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Oh no…..not craft

Being awoken around 6.30am by my four year old Josh, is not unusual. He likes to come in most mornings to let me know he can’t find the school trousers I’ve left for him in the middle of the landing floor which he must have walked past to get to me. Or to ask me whether he’s allowed to play lego in his room for a bit as he is allowed to do so every morning. Sometimes he just likes to inform me that he’s no longer asleep.

Today however, our early morning discussion revolved around him informing me that his ‘Spring’ picture was due in today. “What Spring picture Josh?” I asked with some suprise. From his response I glean that his class have been making individual art pieces all centred around Spring. Putting two and two together, I deduce that this was the Spring Art challenge set by the school some weeks before, albeit with the caveat that if your child was in school, as the offspring of a keyworker, not to worry, these would be completed in teaching time.

So here’s the thing. I’m not a creative being when it comes to arts and craft. I mean, at all. Ask me to paint/draw/create/junk model/stitch or otherwise design anything craft related and those efforts would at best be described as woefully inadequate.

But here we are, at 6.30am, with 1 ½ hrs before breakfast club drop off, and Josh is telling me he needs to produce a creative Spring picture and it’s due in today. With a little time, I’d probably have double checked this with the school. I’m pretty confident it’s the four year old who’s got the wrong end of the stick here, but as a parent the thought of his little face going into school with no art project, when all his friends have done theirs is too much to bear.

“Ok Josh, come on, lets see what we can do”. I grab a piece of A4 card, but am immediately informed that that is just too small, everyone else’s is “Massive” apparently. Sigh. We agree on the fact that given the limited time on hand to complete this, A3 is as big as we’re going to be able to stretch. I sellotape two pieces of card together and we head downstairs to explore the craft box.

Now we certainly have Mummy to thank for the craft box. It’s contains every possible type of bead/thread/feather/button/bauble/paper/crimping scissors/sticker or pipe cleaner you could ever need. And given the fact I’ve not topped it up in the last 18 months and yet it still resembles a hurricane struck Hobbycraft store, you can imagine the quantity of craft available.

Asking Josh what comes to mind when he thinks of spring he goes for ‘Chickens’, ‘Flowers’ and ‘Eggs’. At least we’re on topic and Josh draws a chicken. A huge chicken in fact, the sort which would feed a family of 10 and provide cold meat sandwiches for at least a month

I think as a parent you have a scenario in your head for these kind of moments. You’re working together in this idyllic vacuum of family time, where that child has your full attention, without any time pressures, as you smile at one another forging an ever deepening bond of love.

In reality, I’m stood over a half-naked child, who is ruining my his nice picture by sticking chicken feathers over the bird’s beak, at the same time, I’m negotiating with Harry, the seven year old, as to whether today is a ‘Minecraft’ day, all the while having a two year old tugging at my leg informing me of a freshly delivered ‘poo poo’.

But at last Josh adds the finishing touch, writing ‘Spring’ in the title box I’ve cut out for him, except he doesn’t, distracted by a bird with a twig near the window, he writes something else entirely, which means I at least get the idea to do something very crafty indeed… mount the title. Cutting out another title block, but slightly smaller I stick it over the top, it actually looks like it was intentional.

Following a brief reminder to the boy of the word he is to copy, he successfully does this, leading to whoops and cheers all round.

All in all, it’s taken about 23 minutes to complete. You know actually, this craft malarkey isn’t so hard after all. I’m not saying it’s Da Vinci, but it’s got to be better than Damien Hirst.

UPDATE: Having clarified with the wonderful Miss Whitehand, indeed there was no necessity to do this at home… 🤪 Still, at least it gave us an excuse to get our craft on!

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