In past years, I put together a list of ADVENTures (get it? PUNNY) for the Christmas season. The girls, doing that whole growing thing, have better hand/eye coordination, so we're totally upping our game this year. But along with all the FAMILY TIME and CRAFTING and HOLIDAY SPIRIT, this mama is learning about PATIENCE and LETTING THE FUCK GO and GIVING GOOD DIRECTIONS.
For example, on day 2 of the annual Adventures, the activity was "wrap yarn around the attic door from which to hang holiday cards". Simple enough, right? But there were three pairs of little hands that wanted to help out, and I had to do something since they weren't tall enough to reach the top of the door. And I had an idea in mind of what I thought it should look like.
I was reminded of a friend of mine who taught a programming class at Computer Camp (it's as delightfully nerdy as it sounds). He would demonstrate how important it was to be highly specific and ordered when writing a computer program by bringing in a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a loaf of bread, and a knife and asking the kids to tell him how to make a PB&J sandwich.
"Put the peanut butter on the bread!"
And he would put the jar of peanut butter on the loaf of bread.
"Open the peanut butter!"
And he would lift the jar over his head like he was going to smash it open.
"Unscrew the lid from the top of the peanut butter jar."
And he would turn it to the left.
"Turn the lid to the right while holding the jar of peanut butter."
And then it would open.
STEP ONE IS NOW COMPLETE.
STEPS 2-10 STILL TO COME.
Wrapping a door with yarn and the help of children was turning out to be similar lesson in communication.
But once everyone was involved and had a grasp of their job, we were on our way. I'd drop the yarn over the door, Mae Cake would hold the yarn on the bottom of the door and hand the yarn to V, V would slide the yarn under the door and hand it to Zoo, who would hand the ball up to me, aaaaaaand repeat.
But as we wrapped and wrapped the door with green yarn, instead of parallel lines of thread, it was becoming a bit of a triangle. Trying to explain "parallel" and "vertical" to small people while in the middle of a "fun thing" was failing. Both in practice and my patience. So, instead of NEEDING to have it MY WAY, I let it go.
Mae Cake became the commander of the operation, because for being 5, she has an excellent sense of aesthetic.
"Let's make it look like a tree!" she yelled and then proceeded to carefully arrange all the yarn into a more perfect triangle. "Keep it tight!" she'd yell as the tension on the yarn slipped. "Another loop!" she'd yell as she found a hole in her design. Hence, the pretty bad-ass yarn-tree-door was born.
Making circle ornaments, I could have been super-uptight about cutting out the circles on the lines, and really lining up the circles to glue together, and SUCKING ALL THE FUN OF PLAYING WITH SCISSORS AND GLUE, but I let them do their thing with minimal instruction and minimal stress about creating perfect Martha Stewart-esque heirloom-quality decorations.
Did they have fun? Yes. Did they make something? Yes. Was it cute? Yes.
I will thrill you with a pictures at the end of the week. Because right now I'm in the land of slot machines, rhinestones, no visible clocks, and 24-hour Starbucks.