Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Art project FAIL

Ellie is 13 months old

Keeping with our snow theme, and because Ellie has been crazy in love with snowmen since Christmas, I picked a paper plate snowman craft for today. She hasn't really colored before, but Shayna gave her these cool easy-to-hold crayons for her birthday, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I already knew I'd be doing a lot of the work (cutting and gluing), but hey, as long as she got her snowman in the end...

So here are all the things that went wrong:
Instead of coloring, she decided to put all the crayons on one plate and then the other. And then back to the first plate. And then the other plate. 

The she managed to pull the orange crayon out and discovered her finger fit inside there pretty well. Later, there was also crayon nibbling.

I thought maybe if she saw what it was becoming, she'd be excited. So I grabbed the third plate and glued on the eyes, nose and mouth. 

She decided she wanted to pull all the little foam dots for the mouth off. Taking the plate away induced a complete meltdown. We then began a little dance. She would walk around the ottoman to get to the face. I would move it away so I could finish tying the plates together and adding our ribbon scarf and hat. She would yell and walk around the other way. I'd move it. She'd yell.

Finally, she gave up and sat down with the crayons. I looked over and realized that she'd decided to start coloring! ON THE CARPET. The white carpet in our house that we are trying to sell in a few months. In my infinite wisdom, I used our black, never-been-washed, decorative towel to try to get it off. So now I had black dye in white carpet over crayon marks and a screaming toddler clinging to my legs, angry because she now had neither a snowman face NOR crayons to play with. I finally thought to try Spray N Wash, which praise the Lord, worked. I realized Ellie had stopped crying, and then I saw why: 

The snowman's mouth was completely gone, and there were a dozen tiny black foam dots all over our basement.

I think it was at this point that I realized I was being an idiot. I try to have a go-with-the-flow mentality in my parenting, and I have a very firm belief that exploration is a child's best learning tool. Yet here I was, trading both those in an effort to get my Pinterest-perfect snowman.

I gave up, collected dots off the floor (at least that was a good fine motor activity!) and let Ellie play with her hatless, mouthless snowman. 

She loved him.

Here are some things I learned today:
  1. Do not plan crafts for just before naptime. 
  2. A dropcloth may be overkill, but then again, better safe than sorry.
  3. Really, seriously, don't overplan.

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