Prompted by the question "if you could kill one children's TV character, who would it be?"*, "Surely its gotta be Postman Pat?" I quipped. "He breaks and or loses stuff all the time" finishing my tweet with the hashtag #worstpostmanever. Other bloggers tweeted a dislike of Bob the Builder and Mr Tumble (they have a point tbh, although Bob's not too bad, at least he can build a house in a day).
The conversation soon took a new direction as I pointed out that if we got rid of them all then I'd have to actually entertain my own children, which would never do! I was reassured that I could give the children glitter, glue and some paper and let them get on with it instead. I recoiled in horror at the mere thought of this and that's when I suddenly realised,
I have become to crafting with children what Postman Pat is to accurate postal delivery.
I used to love arts and crafts with the kids. When ds1 and dd1 were both small we used to have a craft box, filled with the contents of the ELC's craft section including glitter and glue! I used to enjoy shopping for that kind of stuff and planning what to use it for. That was a good ten years ago and I've only refilled the box once since then despite having five children. We are still using quite a bit of the craft paper and paint (when I occasionally get the box out, that is).
When the eldest two were at pre-school they used to skip out at the end of each session and hand me a new picture that they had created. By the end of the school year I had carrier bags full of pasta and lentil pictures and my cupboard under the stairs, where the bags were kept, smelled heavily of poster paint. I like to think that they enjoyed doing Art because we did it at home.
The younger three children have been to a different pre-school, but there were no paintings or drawings, no junk modelling and I suppose I've just kind of got out of the habit of doing it at home too. What used to be an exciting new activity is now something I feel so jaded about.
|Is it Pat, or is it me practising craft avoidance with my kids?|
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia.org)
The mess is another big factor for me - I really can't stand it. I wince at the thought of glitter in the carpet, the dilemma of how best to clean up all the little pots filled with ready mixed paint and where to put the brushes when they dry. There are times when I am prepared to put up with it for a bit of peace and sanity but then, what do you do with all the things that they make and decorate?
The children are oblivious to this. They don't see the mess in the same way, or the storage issues surrounding their artwork. They probably do see a grumpy killjoy who won't indulge their creativity and that's what makes me feel so bad. I wish I still had even a bit of the enthusiasm I had as a mother of two. I wish I wasn't Postman Pat. Speaking of which, I bet I could take him out with a well timed glitter glue stick to the head.
* Don't worry, I think this was meant in jest, besides the majority of children's TV characters are made from some sort of modelling material and that kind of makes it OK.