As I frantically searched the aisles of Michael’s for googly eyes and colored felt, my heart started racing and my brow started to perspire. After standing in line for 15 minutes while eyeing the boxed Sponge Bob and Barbie cards marked $2.99, I muttered under my breath, “Why do I do this every year?”
In my pre-kid life, I was very artsy and crafty. In my present day reality, my artsy and crafty self can most often be found stored in-between the heaps of supplies begging to be used. I now find that in most situations, it is worth the money to save the time and energy spent on making something. But every time this happens, my brain reminds me, “You could make that, ya know. Remember your sewing machine? Remember your glitter scrapbook paper? They miss you.”
For some reason I trick myself into thinking that any arts and crafts project can be done with my daughters. (Possibly this stems from my neurotic issues of needing to multi-task at all times?) Take last year’s Valentines: card stock flowers with a sucker stem. After running to multiple stores, multiple times because somehow I either don’t buy enough supplies or the right thing, and spending an embarrassing amount of money, I realize that my 3 year old can’t cut precise 3 inch circles out of card stock or spread a thin line of glue with the burning hot glue gun.
So she ends up sitting at the table with me, asking every minute if NOW is when she can stick the sucker through the little hole in the petals. And eventually Lily gets bored with watching me and goes off to play while I finish my “this will be so easy and cute” project.
You would think that this experience would alter my future thinking. But last week the preschool memo came home: “We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with the children. Please bring a box for them to put cards in. If you chose to bring cards for the other kids, here is a list of names. NOTE: BRINGING CARDS IS COMPLETELY OPTIONAL.”
“Okay!” I think, “Must make Valentine’s Day cards. Must hand-make them for all 32 kids and teachers. Must make something more impressive than last year. Totally NOT optional (are they kidding with that or what?).”
Project Valentine 2011: Hersey’s Kiss Gnomes. (This will be so easy and cute!) And again, Lily sits at the table, watching me cut circles of out felt. She tries unsuccessfully to cut circles out of her piece of felt, gets frustrated and decides to play outside with her friends instead. I cut, glue, assemble.
I found my artsy and crafty self grinning as I placed each little hat onto each little kiss, and realized that this is exactly how I would want to spend an hour on a rainy Saturday afternoon, even though Lily can’t help me with every step just yet.
And when she came back to the table and glued on most of those googly eyes with me, exclaiming “Look at this one, Mama! It has four different colored eyes!” it was like icing on the cake.