Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Step Away From The Glue Gun, Put Down The Scissors, Please Stop Wrecking Stuff: Why I Cannot Craft, A Confession, by Allison

So it is almost Halloween!
Costume Negotiations -
(Geneva Convention type discourse, with added element of "no child prostitute attire" enforcement. That might be in the original Geneva convention, has been a while since I studied that, but regardless, it is an essential element of Costume Negotiations,
because almost all costumes for girls over the age of seven are child prostitute fishnet stockings included! http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/07/its-halloween-time-say-wicked-costume.html)

This year, Costume Negotiations involved two tantrums and one fit
(Note:I am not including my reaction to the aforementioned tantrums and fit. If you add me in, make that four tantrums and two fits).

Pumpkin carving as we speak - I mean, not me, because I am terrible at that.
(I really am.
It is not me pretending to be terrible so I don't have to gut a gourd.
I am inept and likely to cut myself, I have years of anecdotal evidence to back up this claim. )

I am in charge of seed toasting. I love that job - no knives, and it seems very Good Times Mommy Parenting Excellence Fun Magazine approved activity.
I normally cannot do one thing in those magazines -
I flail,
and use f words at the suggested "fun, easy crafts."

Here is why:

Crafts are not fun.
Crafts are not easy.

They are torturous, confusing, involve things I don't have,
or I don't understand even what they are to know if I have it or not,
and what to do with it to make the craft.

I am not crafty.

It has taken me years to be at peace with that - because other adults, plus all the kids seem to be crafting right and left without cutting themselves or gluing things to the table or crying.

I cannot do crafts.

I also hate crafts. 

I do not know if I hate them because I can't do them,
or vice versa - is chicken and egg scenario.
Either way, Mommy Does Not Do Crafts.

By the time my girls had eyes and ears, this was a known and accepted fact.

Thank the heavens for preschool, art classes at school, awesome babysitter, Matt, other children - my kids are not craft-deprived just because I cannot process crafts.

They have craft supplies, and there have been a few glitter glue traumas but otherwise,
crafts happen,
as long as I am not involved in any way.

Why am I all Craft Ranting today?

Halloween parties at school are upon us, and I love Halloween parties at school, except when I am assigned a craft.

(Note: Nobody assigns me crafts anymore.
Other parents, teachers, kids, witnesses of any kind know how inept I am by now.

When V, now a 7th grader, was in Kindergarten,
I helped at the Halloween party -
and I was assigned to a craft that involved rolls of gauze, liquid starch or bleach or something, paint tins, Styrofoam balls, wire hangers, and somehow I was supposed to help the kids make floating ghosts.

I did not understand one thing about how that was supposed to happen,
and did not have the good sense to say "I do not know one thing about how that is supposed to happen."

Instead, I created the Worst, Messiest, Possibly Toxic Non-Floating Non-Ghosts In The History Of The World.

It was very bad.

I remember looking at the mess, the big eyes of the Kindergartners and their  Non-Floating Non-Ghosts, and thinking
"This is bad. I have years of parties and crafts ahead of me,
I can't sign up to bring the paper plates every time, people will hate me,

I am getting all twitchy just remembering the disasters -
Frosting a candy castle decoration sounds easy except the frosting turns to CEMENT in two seconds, all the candy slides right off, nothing will stick,
and I am trying to glue and tape candy to a castle with first graders looking at me with pity in their eyes,
when they are not eating the candy that I am desperately trying to get to stick to the candy castle that will never be a candy castle because I am the worst.

But I love parties, everybody is happy at parties!

Except when I wreck stuff.

So I have learned to work within my skill set of NO SKILLS -

I do two things, every year, every kid.  Valentine's cards, made by the kids not me, and
Mummy wrap contest for Halloween  -
teams wrapping a teammate up in toilet paper, making a mummy kid.
Kids are thrilled to have permission to throw TP around with wild abandon, and you can have like, four contests in a row if you need to fill time.

Any attempts to expand my repertoire FAIL.
Every time.
Freezing water in Matt's doctor gloves to make creepy mummy hands in a punchbowl?

Have you ever tried to get the frozen hand out of a glove without breaking off fingers and having it look like random chunks of ice, not creepy mummy hand?

If so, please let me know how.
Because I break off the fingers, and the punch does not look creepy, just sad and wrong.

In planning E's 5th grade party, I offer up my one activity of mummy wrap, which I am also doing at M's 2nd grade party that day.

Other nice, normal, able to use scissors parents are talking about other activities or crafts,
and I am brainstorming, and I remember there is something else I can do!

The Thriller dance!

I totally know the Thriller dance and can teach it.
(I have done so in the past, including once at one of Matt's cancer center parties.
Note: He is still married to me.)

Only problem with doing Thriller dance at the 5th grade party?

E would immediately murder me.

And though murder is gruesome and kind of Halloweenish in theme,
I prefer to not turn into a vengeful ghost just yet.

I will stick with the mummy wrap contest.

But my brainstorming was not all for naught,
because it gave me another great way to blackmail the girls: threatening to come to their class and do the Thriller dance!

Awesome. I love finding new methods of blackmail to add to my arsenal.