My children are in 7th, 5th and 2nd grade. Excellent spacing if I say so myself. I have had over a decade of glue sticks and safety scissors. A decade of perfect valentine’s and hand-made teacher gifts.
As a new Mom a lot was out of my control. Life is out of your control as a Mom, I think we all realized that quickly. We moved to Washington State when my oldest was a year and a half. Washintonians are a crafty bunch and I was soon pulled into the cult of scrapbooking and handmade card making. I’m not going to lie, I loved it. I could control how my child’s scrapbook looked. Make it pretty and perfect. It was bliss. And there was another bonus. These ladies served wine and had weekend crafting retreats. What Mom doesn’t love a night out drinking and making pretty things? So yes, I consider myself rather craft and enjoy make pretty things. I am not ashamed to admit, I am the over the top birthday Mom. Don’t judge, just sit back and enjoy the pretty if you come to one of my parties.
My school crafting requirements have slowed quite a bit since we moved to Connecticut. They don’t really like the parents in the classroom here. The first year I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I remember asking a friend, “You mean they have an aide for each grade and they do reader’s workshop?” Oh the strange transition to a well-funded school system, it was overwhelming. As you can imagine the few spots available to parents for volunteering are quite coveted. I would even say there is some good old fashion competition on Parent’s night. Polite smiles, a little shoving, speedy pens (so they can’t be erased) taking the prime volunteer spots.
This year I worked my way onto the Valentine’s Day Party craft committee, now that is a story I won’t share. We had a committee of five moms for twenty-three students. Nine adults in all if you count the teacher, student teacher and aides. NINE adults and twenty-three students. I figured we have this in the bag. NINE adults, what could go wrong. Well, a lot can go wrong. Children in school on a holiday can only be described as caged animals. No one can sit still. They are excited to see what Susie or Johnny gave them for Valentine’s. They probably started the day with a breakfast of chocolate. I am also confident their Mom’s sent in jumbo pack of the most sugared up treat in their arsenal.
I stood in front of the class while all the other Moms took a table of feral beasts and we started.
“Mrs. D what do I do with this paper?”
“Mrs. D can you check to see if my legs are perfect?”
“Mrs. D I am confused”
“Mrs. D why do I have all these little pieces of paper?”
“What are we trying to make?”
“This doesn’t look like a FROG!”
There was sweating, quiet weeping and at one point I think I yelled “It’s called artistic expression people GO WITH IT!”. These children are in 2nd grade. They looked at me with their knowing look. This group of small people had pushed one more Mom over the edge. It was there and then I realized this was it. I was done with being the craft Mom. I had done my time.
Our little crafts were intended to look like these cute little froggies:
This is what my sweet second grader created:
I tallied up the hours. One hour had been spent at the craft store buying the perfect heartastic papers. Over three hours were spent cutting 23 sets of eyes, frog legs and heart bodies. My excitement at being craft Mom was still intact. I spent a short half an hour in the belly of the beast with these sweet children and it broke me.
When I got home I posted my decision to Facebook, because lord knows FB will hold me accountable.
One of the other craft Mom’s left me flowers as a Thank You for my frogtatstic effort. She is sort of awesome. I was happy we shared that half an hour of ugly. I am sure it’s right up there with war veterans, we will always be bonded over the frog debacle.
So today I proudly tell you, “I QUIT” as craft Mom. Not to worry, I am still a crafty bitch, that will never change. I have just decided to pass the baton to these new mothers who are just starting their decade of glue sticks and glitter. I wish them luck.