By Sonia Verma
I came clean a few weeks ago: I’m afraid of crafts. The idea of committing to even 10 minutes with a glue stick and googly eyes fills me with insecurity, dread, and an almost crippling fear of failure. I will read to my kid till my voice cracks, build a gazillion unstable LEGO towers and even resort to folding laundry—I don’t know why she likes it, okay? She just does—if it will get me out of the Dread Crafting.
Fortunately, her grandmother loves busting out the glitter and glue and pipe cleaners and cheerfully jumps in up to her elbows in the terrifying act of creation, so my kid hasn’t clued in to my secret shame.
Unfortunately, neither has Grandma.
This year, one of the kid’s Christmas presents was a crafting kit. A snazzy, multicoloured miniature suitcase crammed with streamers and doilies and glue and sequins and confetti and feathers and everything else a creative soul might want.
“Now WE can do crafts at home, too, Mumma!” the kid exclaimed, delightedly.
I stalled for a day, maybe two, but she was so excited to bust open the case and get a-crafting, I had to give in. I braced for her disappointment when she figured out that her mother doesn’t know how to turn a paper plate into a gorilla face or a pipe-cleaner spider or a smiley-faced sun. That the woman charged with raising her doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, or a clue as to how to stick confetti on construction paper so it looks like hair.
Kids can smell fear! She will sense your tension! This was getting ridiculous, and I’m lucky it was. Pipe the hell down, inner monologue, I found myself telling my italicized thoughts. I’m her mother. I helped her figure out a potty AND silent letters; could pipe cleaners really be more harrowing than that?
My inner monologue is an idiot, it turns out. All the kid wanted to do was glue stuff to paper. That’s all it is: smush on glue stick. Press down sequin/pompom/paper/feather/stuff. Beam with pride.
AND she has this great falsetto encouraging voice (is this how she thinks teachers sound?) that she busted out to egg me on: “Come on, Mumma, just stick that googly eye on. Anywhere. Oh, you’re doing great!”
And I was! I was doing great! This was fun! My smiley face looks like it’s having a seizure, and we both love it!
I didn't take pictures of that first attempt, but check out today's momstown craft to see how I did on the second go.
momstown editor Sonia Verma has been against italicized inner monologues ever since she read The Da Vinci Code.