I think it's very interesting how watching adults craft makes kids want to do that same thing. I also find it interesting that, while reading other people's blogs on that exact topic, their mom-and-kid craft adventures are relaxing, bonding, wonderful experiences in which the adult in question sits nurturingly beside the kid in question, being all wise and mentor-like, projecting the perfect balance of hand-holding and independent challenging. I find it especially interesting that there are, often, no other children around, so that the adult-child ratio is a charming 1:1 or, if there are other siblings, they all magically require assistance only in turns and it's so lovely and parenting-magazine-photoshoot worthy.
Just so you know, it doesn't look like that in our home, okay?
And if you believed otherwise, you should go take a second look at the manic photos in my old posts of whenever the kids get together to make something.
I won't provide details because it's exhausting just to think about, let alone recount in words here. I will say that, ironically, everything was actually more feasible when at least one of my children was a baby or a toddler, whose motor skill level and/or creative interests were in a totally different universe than her siblings. So all ye mothers of nursing infants who can't wait for the day when everyone can craft as a family: guess what? Get crafting now, while you can. You might actually get more done now than later.
Or maybe it's just my family that regularly fails the parenting-magazine-photoshoot audition. Regardless, I'm laughing as I write this. At the irony. At my own fallible Overwhelmed Craftmotherness. At how, everyone (except maybe other moms) forgets that saying yes to crafting usually means the house falls to ruin and there is no food on the table when everyone suddenly realizes they're famished enough to eat a horse. And at how, sometimes, when the kids ask me if we can "do a craft", I inwardly cringe and want to run away screaming. It's - twistedly - funny.
Sometimes, however, I cave.
Like last week, while making those stools.
The older girls were in school but Kate was home with me, watching me saw and sand in the garage.
"I want to make Bunny a table." She told me.
Not "Can I make Bunny a table?"
"I wonder if it might be too much to ask to, sometime when you are free, make Bunny a simple, whip-up sort of table?"
That's Kate, after all.
Knows what she wants.
And because it's so un-self-serving (it's for Bunny, not her), it's hard to say no.
So I detoured in the middle of drilling and measuring and whatnot, dug in our tub of scrap lumber, sawed what we wanted, and clamped pieces in the workbench for her to sand.
Then she glued and nailed and screwed together a table and a chair for Bunny, and provided the following feedback, "I like the nailing and gluing more than the sanding. Sanding is boring."
She found a lemon beanbag (from our old Tea party) for a seat cushion,
and made some clay silverware for her favorite sidekick.
I rather liked the natural wood look, but Kate wanted color.
So she painted them.
And guess what? Jenna saw them later and said, tentatively, "Mom, Bearaby needs a table and chair, too. She can't use Bunny's chair because she's so much bigger and Bunny's chair is too thin. Can we make a bigger one for her?"
Does this count as taking turns? I think it counts as taking turns. Plus, a mom has to play fair, right? So I think I said yes. Now I must go to the hardware store for some hinges so we can make Jenna's table a folding one to save space. Or maybe we can nest Kate's in Jenna's. Because at the rate at which the craft requests are coming in, we may be overrun with wooden toy furniture before long. And then where would we find room for cardboard?