I’m not going to pretend that this is a virtue on par with that of the Moms who sacrifice their lives for their children, give up kidneys or who starve while giving little Billy the very last Ramen noodle, for example. But can we just stop for one minute and recognise the Moms who struggle to the very end with those horrific art and craft projects when they, to put it baldly, suck at art?
I don’t know what the hell teachers are taught in training school, but you will never convince me that anything involving construction of multi-building complexes is an age-appropriate project for a five-year-old. A teacher told me once that the projects are supposed to encourage parents to work with their kids. Ok, pause. Doesn’t pasting pictures into a scrapbook achieve that, though? Why penalise those of us who scored Fs in Art? Oh, yeah, and our kids.
1. TRUE STORY -Junior, kindergarten kid comes home. He says he has to make a fire station to take to school. Mom (rightly, IMHO) decides that no kindergarten teacher could possibly expect anything looking like a real fire station. Mom (who sucked at art and craft) got a shoe box, sat with Junior and found pretty pics of fire stations and then helped him paste them all around the shoebox. Presto! An age-appropriate project for a three-year-old. P.S. Teacher sends back word to Mom that the box wasn’t a fire station. In the interest of world peace, Mom does not respond.
2. MORE-OR-LESS TRUE STORY -Little Janie, prep/primary school kid comes home. She’s supposed to make a village. Mom (who sucks at art & craft) helps kid make a village (of sorts). A couple sheets of cardboard, with windows drawn in, repeated five times, what’s not to like? On the morning the project is to go in, Architect Parent (of another kid) marches into classroom, carrying a perfectly constructed model village, of the type you might see outside the offices of a major development company to show investors what to expect. Little Janie bursts into tears.
“‘I’M NOT CARRYING IN THAT!”
she howls, in reference to the now-pathetic looking village.
3. TRUE STORY – Junior comes home. This time, he’s supposed to make a housing scheme. Junior wisely by-passes Mom entirely this time. Dad and Junior spend three days working lovingly on a model housing scheme, with matchbox houses complete with windows that open. Did I say Dad and Junior? Junior may have helped with painting the white line in the middle of the beautifully baba-greened roads. This time, Junior proudly walks past the kids with the crappy houses that they made with the Moms who suck at art & craft.
Moral of the story? Moms (and Dads, but today is Mothers’ Day) who suck at art & craft are the real heroes of the parenting world. Those of us whose hearts sink when we hear that Junior needs a hat for the hat parade tomorrow, and it has to be hand-made with an ackee on top.
We rally to the cause and stay up til midnight and proudly produce a black cylinder with what looks like red and yellow ping-pong balls on top which Junior loves until he gets to school and sees what the other Moms made (let’s not fool ourselves that these are the kids’ creations!)
And then we wipe away the tears, kiss them when they get no prize at all in the competition for the sucky projects and count the years until we, I mean they, can drop art & craft for good. Don’t worry, that day will come, I promise. In the meantime, here’s to all of us!
- Dear Mom, Remember when you were alive and I was bitchy and ungrateful? Sorry. Love, Kim (avoidingkim.wordpress.com)