24 March 2011

arts and crafts

An artsy project done on a frustrating day will make the rest of the day more cheerful.
This is the rule that I've been well aware of for most of my life.  Rarely has it failed me in my parenting.  Until today.  Today I learned the rule that comes after:
Do not attempt an artsy project that has great potential for mess on a frustrating day, especially when young children are attempting to work together on the same thing.
That's one of those "uh, duh" rules, and I'm sure that I was aware of it on some level.  But if I had consciously realized that this afternoon, we never would have attempted creating the piñata on a day when both children refused to nap for more than an hour.  Even worse, I had forgotten a related rule:
Never, ever attempt an artsy project with children when that project triggers perfectionism.
Well, it's not so much that I forgot that rule.  I just wasn't aware that making a piñata would be so difficult for me.  I admit to not-so-subtly smoothing and even replacing the strips of newspaper the kids put on the balloon.  I admit to losing my temper when the kids dumped so many strips into the pie tin of glue/water that it became a horrible gooey mush before we were able to use them all.  I admit to flinching when, for the hundredth time, glue/water ran down arms and dripped uncontrollably off elbows onto anything underneath.  I admit to getting exasperated and as a result making a great kid experience quickly dwindle into something they didn't really want to do.

At least I'm over the stubby tipped crayons issue - well, enough to not physically flinch when crayons aren't colored with the right way . . .


  1. Do you like to knit? Knitting is one of the best crafty/artistic projects I know of, and it's simultaneously relaxing, calming, a way to vent through your fingers, rewarding, intriguing, and fills in any chunk of time no matter how small or large. Pretty awesome stuff.

  2. I don't knit, but I do crochet. I absolutely love it. I need to do it more often.