I HATE doing art and craft with my daughter.
There. I said it.
I want to love it, I truly do, but that will take about a pint of something that contains 18% abv and I don’t think that’s allowed.
When people come round with arts and craft kits, my heart sinks a little bit.
Every now and again I upbraid myself. What a mean parent you are! All that fun you’re denying your lovely daughter. She’ll resent you in years to come and will be emotionally stunted as a result of your selfishness. She’ll probably begin to torture small animals for kicks and start spitting at old ladies. WHATKINDOFMOTHERAREYOU?!
Now, this makes me sound like a neat freak. Which I am almost certainly not. When I get undressed for bed I still just chuck everything on the floor like I have always done. I very often just pick it up from the floor and put it back on again the next day. I don’t faint when I see mud on a shoe or an errant piece of clothing somewhere around the house, ergo cutting and sticking should be easy.
SO, feeling the guilty weight of all the future little old ladies with flob in their hair and cats with no tails on my shoulders, I get all the sticky, glittery, stainy stuff out of the highest cupboard that I put it away in from the last time that I thought it was a good idea.
My daughter is SO EXCITED. WE’RE GOING TO DO STICKING!! We start well. ‘See?’, I think. ‘You underestimate her. Look how much she’s enjoying it. You need to take a chill pill baby mama.’ Or something similar.
Then the descent in to madness begins…
‘I just need a bowl.’
‘Yes, but we don’t need to mix the glitter. We sprinkle it on, okay?’
All that you need to know is that from this point onwards the prime objective for my daughter is to cover her hands in glue and glitter. Nothing will be stuck on paper. She just wants to empty out every pot of glitter that we have in to a bowl, add as much glue as she can physically manage and then smear it on to every available body part. This is soon followed by an almighty tantrum when I put everything back in the very high up cupboard.
I don’t hate it because of the mess. It’s…it’s… gah…it’s because she doesn’t do it properly! I know, I know! She’s only 4. Of course she’s not going to do it properly.
‘Oh look Mater. I have completed the glittery rocket in under 20 minutes with clean hands and it looks EXACTLY like the picture on the box. Shall we do some maths next?’
And it’s knowing this that makes me hate myself because I want to be all cool and ‘Hey! We just do art whenever we like, yeah?’, but I can’t be. I am a knob.
So please understand the half-smiling, pained grimace that splits my face open when we are gifted the next ‘Make Your Own Fantasy Unicorn Kit – Complete with Glitter and Glue!’.