Over two years ago, when I was packing my house to get ready for a remodel, I packed up almost all of our possessions for storage.
Along with our essentials, I took a small amount of craft supplies with us in the RV. It was a tiny space, but I thought crafting with my kids might be a great way to survive a rainy day trapped in an RV.
Crafting didn’t happen.
It didn’t happen in the RV.
I faithfully shlepped the crafting box with us from RV to cheap extended stay hotel as the remodel drug on for months longer than had been promised.
It didn’t happen in the hotel.
We moved back into the house, remodel incomplete. For six solid months we lived among the boxes. Most of our stuff was still in storage but, by golly, I had that craft box with me.
Crafting didn’t happen in the house.
When I finally started the monumental task of unpacking everything, I called in reinforcements. Everything was jumbled, covered in sheetrock dust (or worse), or mislabeled.
I called my mom.
As I faced the craft box, it finally hit me.
I am never going to craft with my kids.
My mom took the box and made it disappear. She said she donated it, and I figure she really did.
I’m never going to craft with my kids.
The horrible truth is that when I actually did try to craft with my kids it all went horribly wrong.
I picked boy friendly crafts and materials. I’d get everything ready and then wait for the perfect crafting moment.
We’d start crafting.
Within five minutes, two of the three of us would be yelling, crying, or injured. The other one would be sulking, silently vowing to never to do “craft-time with mommy” again.
(sometimes i was the one crying and yelling. sometimes, i was sulking. it wasn’t pretty. crafting felt like a punishment for me AND my kids.)
I asked both my kids about the whole crafting with mommy thing. Each of them, independently, crawled in my lap and whispered in my ear…
Mommy, I hate arts and crafts.
(well shut my mouth. i wish they could have told me that when they were TWO and i was guilt ridden about the whole craft thing.)
After that, I stood back and watched them at school parties. I don’t know about you, but our parties always include a seasonally inspired craft.
Some of the kids REALLY get into their crafts. They don’t want to stop and ask for extra materials.
Some of the MOMS get into those crafts. They are right there with their kids. Some of them even manage to not “fix” their child’s crafting errors.
My kids seem to enjoy crafts, but they want me on the other side of the room while they happen. They’re even happy when other moms help them. And that’s OK.
Just to be clear.
I am not going to craft with my kids.
I’ll build stuff with them. I’ll do science experiments with them. I’ll teach them how to crochet if they want to know. I’ll cook with them and build gingerbread houses with them. I’ll even help go blow the gingerbread house up with some fire-crackers.
But I am NOT going to do crafts with my kids.
That’s what grandma is for.