Monday, October 20, 2014

I Suck Ass at Crafts

On rainy days in Juneau (of which there are many) Paige likes to go to JoAnn Fabrics and shake me down for all I'm worth. She heads straight for the back of the store where the $20-$75 craft kits reside: cupcake-shaped soap-making; mix your own lotions and lipstick; design your own shitty plastic jewelry; etc. Desperate for something to occupy her while it's 39 degrees, blowing 50, and raining sideways, I usually acquiesce to one of these craptastic items if she promises to: (a) play with it for more than an hour and (b) not make me help her. Now, this last caveat is essential, because as the title of this post explicitly states, I suck ass at crafts. The box might say "for ages 8 and up" but I assure you: "and up" doesn't apply to me. The box should really say: "for ages 8 and up (except incompetent adults who'd be eaten alive in the zombie apocalypse for failure to offer a single skill relevant to humanity)." 

I'm not suggesting that being able to make cupcake shaped-soap is an Armageddon prerequisite, but sewing probably is. Unlike my daughter, I lacked the benefit of a Montessori preschool education, where the pedagogy tilts steeply toward the end-times with "work cycles" of washing, sewing, polishing, hammering, and pleas to "keep my body safe." In other words, skills you need to rebuild civilization when the shit goes down. Sadly my kids are on their own when the shit goes down, because everything I sew looks like it was mended by Dr. Frankenstein's pet sloth on quaaludes. 

It's against this backdrop that I bought Paige the "Barbie Fashion Show Sewing and Design Kit." For a moment, I considered adopting a can-do attitude, if only to send Paige the message that it's important to face frustration and take on difficult tasks, even (or perhaps especially) when they feel uncomfortable and challenging. Then I reconsidered and opted for honesty: "Mommy can't sew. It's too hard and I'm too lazy and old to learn how. Also I don't feel like trying. So we aren't buying this unless you promise to play with it all by yourself and let me drink my vodka gimlet in peace, OK?" 

I'm paraphrasing here, but basically I warned her that caveat (b) above was  particularly applicable to this purchase. No doubt, Paige is much craftier than me. But the "Barbie Fashion Show Sewing and Design Kit" ended with some fairly intense (and useless) adult supervision, culminating with Ken clad in a leopard-skin G-string and a long tutorial at the home of the sister wife who'd given us the drum kit. (See prior posts titled "Sister Wives" and "Drums, Puppies, and Mayor Koch."). Forcing my sister wife to make Barbie clothes with Paige was sweet revenge for the drum kit.

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