Genuine question that I am putting out there; for genuine answers.
How do other mothers keep their kids entertained ALL DAY?
Each day, I find myself assaulted by images of mummies doing super creative activities; they appear in blogs, on social networks, in various online publications…in fact, I think it is fair to say, we see them EVERYWHERE.
You know the pictures I mean. The pictures of children looking almost blissful with happiness, with a whole plethora of wonderful craft activities laid out in front of them. And the blog posts; all about the huge amount of entertainment a child can gain from playing with sponges, paint and fairy-dust (or something similar).
All these photos and texts I absorb with all the sad desperation of an alcoholic sucking a dribble of White Lightning from a bottle found in the bin; despairingly hoping that if I read enough about these activities, if I pin enough on my Pinterest board; that somehow I should, by power of osmosis, end up as a wonderful, creative mum.
Hmm. Despite all these best intentions, it just never pans out for me!
Take today. Today is a prime example.
Yesterday was a disaster. An unmitigated, nightmarish disaster. Regrettably, I had a huge amount of work to do, plus a husband to run to and collect from hospital, which resulted in a very boring day for the boys. They started off ok, but believe me, by 3pm, they were pretty much on the verge of murdering one another, and I wasn’t far off murdering them either.
So I vowed that today, I would completely make it up to them, by having a whole day dedicated entirely to entertaining them; to doing a wealth of exciting craft activities and having wonderful wonderful fun.
I planned it out in real detail. We would create a jungle scene in the playroom. Lots of painting, lots of creativity. We would then bake some jungle cakes and some jungle bread to eat for our jungle lunch. We would create jungle outfits (you see a theme emerging here?) and parade round as animals.
I thought that would take at least most of the day.
By 9:10am, the painting was done, in a whirlwind of splattered poster paint, splodged mess all up walls and over hands (and in DB2’s case, face) and not much actually on the paper.
By 9:20am, the strange, semi-painted creations were stuck on the wall. As I eyed it, peeling and already falling off the surfaces, paint dripping sadly down the paper as though physical symbols of my frustrated efforts; I realised it hadn’t quite panned out the way I’d planned it. Put it like this, it wasn’t an effort that I would be rushing to post on Pinterest any time soon.
By 9:30am, we had mixed the cake mix, and the boys had eaten half of it. And were covered in sugary, sickly mess, in addition to the paint.
We then floated aimlessly, with me already feeling knackered and like the world’s most useless crafty mummy, until 10:00, when we all sat down to morosely eat the cakes.
‘Making animal costumes’ consisted on me cutting up an old hat to make a lion’s mane, that unfortunately, simply looked like an old, knackered hat; and sewing cardboard ears on to a bobble hat to create an ‘elephant head’. It looked nothing like an elephant, and the boys knew it.
Once again, epic fail.
We fared a bit better with playing and mucking around (that’s a bit more my forte…), then by 1pm, I’d given up, and was bundling them into the car to take them out of the house.
So tell me – do I simply have sons who get bored quickly? Or am I (gulp) just a wretched failure when it comes to these craft activities?
Or, is it all a myth? Are these merry photos on Facebook simply a ruse, to make us mere mortal mums feel inadequate? The jury is out….any ideas anyone?