Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Craft Night Fun??

We aren't much for structured activities in the Shoup House.  This is largely due to the fact that, as a champion procrastinator, some of my best ideas come spur of the moment.  And also, because at any given moment, some random activity that wasn't even on our radar suddenly HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW!  Family movie night on Friday nights is about as structured and planned as it gets 'round these parts. 

Recently, in an effort to help KIC and NannyK with a project they would be distributing to a retirement facility, we turned a random Saturday night into family craft night.  The craft was deceptively simple:  cut out two shapes that resembled silver bells, tie a jingle bell onto a ribbon, knot the ribbon on the end without the jingle bell, glue and smash together. 

Test sample

Initially, NannyK and KIC had to take a break from making them because they ran out of glue stick.  Of the 40 bells they needed, they had been able to complete 10.  30 jingle bells left?  No problem.  We got this.  KIC and I picked up a six pack of glue sticks (only because I'm pregnant and any other type of six pack is frowned upon, though I would soon see alcoholic enhancement should have been listed as a requirement in the instructions) and merrily went on our way.  The crafting would commence that evening!!!  

The evening of crafting began with KIC distributing two glue sticks to each of us.  Proud parent moment is when your Kindergartener conquers division without even knowing it!  DH cut the ribbon, based upon a length of ribbon NannyK used, I traced and cut out bells and KIC glued the ribbon and the bells and smashed them together.  Our first snag came when I traced the bell on the white border of the scrapbook paper.  When I saw what I did, and realized it was too late to salvage those bells, I was forced to admit my mistake after a most vehement "Awwww, man!"  KIC, seeing my distress, immediately came over and said "Don't feel bad about yourself."  Mind you, the activity had just started.  With my child telling me to not feel bad about myself, when I wasn't planning on it anyway, I could tell we were in for a long evening.

When we started the craft, I envisioned this well oiled manufacturing machine, a la Henry Ford.  I would be in charge of the bell cutting, DH would be in charge of the bell stringing and KIC would put it all together.  On the first bell, I could see why NannyK and KIC had run out of glue - KIC was gluing the bells, and the tablecloth, like they were a cake ordered with extra frosting.  Not one to mess with creativity, I let it go, taking comfort in the fact that the tablecloth was vinyl.  Not even done with his first bell (remember, the process is string bell and tie at the top), DH complained that his fingers were not small enough to tie the bell at the top.  It was at this point, KIC started chanting "Never give up, never give up!" and I started fantasizing about a mojito.

We soon discovered that we would be running out of ribbon and would not be able to complete the assembly of the 30 additional bells.  We calculated we would be able to finish about 12.  Somehow, our calculations were of extreme disappointment to KIC because it was at that point she confiscated the glue sticks from DH and I, saying "I think it was a mistake for you and Daddy to have these."  She of the glue layers so thick you couldn't see the paper through the purple of the glue stick.  I started fantasizing about a second mojito and saw DH smirking, waiting for me to acknowledge family craft night was a bust!  NOT ON MY WATCH, BUSTER!!!

I went out and purchased some additional ribbon and DH and I finished the remaining 18 bells well after KIC had gone to bed - my ego had taken as much beating as it could withstand that night.  It was a good thing too because with the snow storm, NannyK and KIC would not have had time to complete the bells.  I would like to state for the record that had it not been for the glue stick pancaked on the bell cut outs, they actually would not have stuck together.  Who knew???  Well, KIC did, but that's not surprising!

I am happy to report that 37 out of the 38 residents at the retirement community were thrilled to receive bells.  One lady wasn't that into it, but we'll work on her.  Valentine's day will knock her socks off!  Bonus was KIC got to work on her interactions with stranger skills, something that has been steadily improving much to everyone's delight.

As for me, the moral of the story goes like this:  Parents don't know anything about gluing stuff, if you mess up, don't feel bad about yourself, and if you want to retain some semblance of self-respect, don't craft with a 5 year old.