Sunday, October 12, 2008

Life with a craft machine or two

LAP is back. I apologize for not picking up more of Dr. MEP’s slack as she forges ahead with the last few revisions on her dissertation. I haven’t been inspired to write about anything in particular, but, as MEP reminded me in the guest post invitation, these topics don’t have to be mind blowing. On that note, let me share with you how I spent my afternoon…(this was actually my Tuesday afternoon, just waiting my turn in the guest post lineup)

We returned from preschool and our morning errands (read: meeting my mom and grandmother for lunch then hanging out at my grandma’s nursing home) around 2pm. It was a no nap kind of day around here so I knew I had a full afternoon with both of my girls. As expected, Fancy (age 4) requested that we fill this time with crafts. She stripped to all but her underwear. It had been picture day at school so I requested that she change into play clothes before painting, but she couldn’t be bothered with replacement attire when I had already agreed to a craft session. Swiper (age 2 ½) was on board for some crafting too. She’s not the self-proclaimed “craft machine” that her older sister is, but she more than dabbles. So, for those of you who wonder “What do you do all day when you are at home?” let me try to summarize for you how the hours of 2pm-6pm were spent today:

2pm: Fancy and Swiper paint flower pots
2:30pm: Fancy uses the leftover paint on a mini-pumpkin we had at the house. Meanwhile, Swiper is cutting looseleaf into as many small pieces as possible, looking up on occasion to proclaim “I love crafting.”
2:45: A demand for more crafts. I draw upon a ghost display I’ve just seen at my grandma’s nursing home. I sift through our basket of dum-dum’s* and pick out all the reject flavors. We proceed to make ghosts using dum-dums, tissues, markers, and string. These little guys are currently hanging from the light fixture above my kitchen table. We also make a few for some preschool classmates.
3:30: Swiper sits out a round of crafts to go play computer games while Fancy makes a card to give her preschool teacher. I’d describe the craft as mixed mediums: stamping, stickers, crayons, colored pencils. I get roped into making a card for her teacher as well because, after all, I am the helper tomorrow. We decide to sign it “LAP” instead of “Mom.” I will feel so cool handing it over to the teacher tomorrow, but I know better than to think Fancy will forget.
4:00: Swiper joins back in the crafting fun and starts to make a card for her preschool teacher but gives it to me instead, NTB.
4:15: Fancy fills a plastic cup with water proclaiming she is ready to use her watercolor paints now. She makes four cards to give to different kids in her class and churns out some abstract pieces as well. She also convinces Swiper to let her paint Swiper’s mini-pumpkin. Swiper is back to cutting and has no problem granting this request.
4:40: Swiper is starting to get into Fancy’s projects so I distract her with an offer to help me with dinner. She accepts but the offer is strong enough to pull Fancy away from the craft table (aka the kitchen table). Somehow, we end up making chocolate chip cookies, from scratch. Love of baking is a close second to love of crafts around here.
5:10: Dough in fridge, dinner is served in the patches of table space I have cleared. (FYI – BB is out of town and I am hoping the early dinner will help facilitate my plans for early bedtimes.)
5:35: Dinner is over. Fancy returns to watercolors, this time using stencils. Swiper helps me scoop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets.
6:00: It’s a slow process with Swiper as my helper. She helps scoop two of the three trays with me (“I’m really good at this mom.”), but ultimately abandons her duties to do one more round of cutting with the safety scissors. Unfortunately, she chooses to cut some stickers instead of plain paper this time, which angers and frustrates Fancy. The breakdowns begin. So, four solid hours later, we call it quits with the crafting. I’m able to motivate them to migrate upstairs for a bath, without even having to use the dum dum’s…

(bought in bulk at Sams as they are my go-to item for bribery…”get dressed and you can have a sucker”, “sit still for your diaper change and I will let you pick a sucker”, “no sucker until you eat four more green beans”…that’s not the kind of stuff that gets published in Parents magazine)


Anonymous said...

Don't let Parents magazine fool you, everyone bribes their kids. Your house sounds like nirvana for little girls and probably a nightmare for little boys with big hands. Good stuff. m

MEP said...

I love picturing Swiper cutting up a storm of looseleaf and love that Fancy won't let you get away with not giving her teacher the card from you.

My Bub enjoys crafts, but your girls are in a league of their own!

PITA said...

i cant stop laughing thinking about fancy crafting for 4 hours in underwear and swiper's proclamations of "i love crafting" and "i am really good at this mom." So cute...NTB

msh said...

i love it. i may even be inspired to do some halloween crafting myself this afternoon, and i'm not even crafty.

"living the dream," my friends and i like to say!

E... said...

That's it, I'm getting a bag of Dum Dums at the store tomorrow. (I forgot milk when I was there today, so what the hell. Might as well go every day) I need them for the bribes AND the crafts. Just picked up ten thousand pieces of tiny safety scissors detritus from under my kitchen table this afternoon. Thanks for the great post!

Anonymous said...

hilarious post! i'm laughing my head off at the thought of your little one using the scissors....and i'm impressed at her ability to play computer games by herself.

t-baby said...

The Bub also enjoys crafting and baking with his mom but his latest love is more traditional for a little boy. We spent a good part of Saturday and Sunday digging for earthworms in the backyard and at the park. He actually found a couple and was quite proud. NTB.

Actchy said...

I don't think I was able to master the art of scissor-use until I was, like, 5. Swiper is clearly very, very advanced.

While this exercise in art may have resulted in a bit of a mess, it is far preferable to the habits of my cousin's kids. When she offers crafts, they alternately eat and/or throw the crayons at each other and scrunch up paper to use as spitballs. You have some fine children!

Sarah D said...

Fancy and Swiper do sounds like advanced crafters. Lily also prefers eating the crayons to coloring with them. Its early the in the crafting game...
Just wait until she's ready for scrapping with me. I haven't even introduced her to the cricut!

cake said...

i love this post, and all the comments.

i am not surprised that the kids can do 4 hours of crafts, but i am impressed that you could. you must not be the control freak that i am, and that is truly something to brag about.

Anonymous said...

I can't stop visualizing my own little "Fancy" and "Swiper" reliving this whole experience with Bdavin. You will soon find out the changes to the situation will be "I want to be first" and "Who gets to be the leader?" We laughed out loud while reading this post. Looking forward to seeing some of the abstract art.

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