Farts & Crafts

There are two very important subjects I’ve been wanting to write about for quite some time but haven’t because neither has truly warranted its own post. However, fate decided it was time for me to open up a dialogue regarding the subject matter and put the wittiest and silliest blog post title in my brain.

The first being my family’s infatuation with flatulation and the second being crafting with kids. Before I go further, I owe it to my husband to issue a disclaimer and absolve him of any embarrassment. The obsessions with farts, toots, fluffies (insert your own terminology for them here) does not extend to him. By family I mean myself and the two children I’ve corrupted with my constant stay-at-home mom presence.

Farts are just funny. I’m sorry, but they are. As a grown adult you might try think you’re above this seemingly juvenile humor. But I ask, how would you react if you were in the middle of a yoga class or sitting in a meeting at work when you heard the unmistakable sound of a fart accidentally escaping despite the perpetrator’s best attempts to hold it in? I guarantee that you would have to do your best to stifle a laugh. If you tell me you wouldn’t so much as smirk, I call bullshit.

Originally this started out as a superhero cape. Then I asked my nephew to lay down and make it look like a fart cloud. Raising them right!

And because I feel this way, the humor in our house is pretty low-brow. One cannot simply fart in our house. If the fart does not announce oneself, then rest-assured my children will proudly announce the fact that they’ve broken wind and look for acknowledgment and oftentimes, praise. I made the mistake of teaching AJR how to put opposite hand over his armpit and flap his arm to create fart noises when real ones are in short supply. A trick that was seemingly made for him and provided much entertainment for all. One night, while lying in bed with Joe, we were having one of those intimate conversations about your children that are equal parts brutal honesty and blinding admiration for the smallest achievements, when I whispered “he’s actually REALLY good at it”.  “It” being the armpit fart noise. Like he was going to get a scholarship to Julliard for his armpit flute talents or sit first chair in an orchestra some day. Yes, I am a ridiculous human.

Laughing and thereby encouraging this love of toots has come with one downside aside from the smells obviously. They think that this is appropriate humor ALL THE TIME. As in public places where they announce that they’ve smelt it so surely I must have dealt it. In all fairness, in these cases I most certainly did not. One time, we were at the library and the kids were getting their summer reading lists checked by the librarian when all three of us heard the faint whisper of a fart. An abrupt, quick noise that the responsible party hopes will be mistaken for a shoe squeak or a low, throat clear. However, everyone in the room knows that it’s most definitely a fart. Especially a four and two-year old that can’t hear me when I’m two inches from their face asking them to get their shoes on, but detect a quiet mouse rip from 500 yards away. AJR started tugging on my sleeve “Mommy…Mommy…I think that lady tooted.” Mortified, yet relieved that he had chosen to use a quiet whisper voice, I did my best to ignore him. In an excruciatingly slow two minutes the librarian finally doled out the stickers they had earned and I was able to high-tail it out of there.

In parenting, everything is a teachable moment. Even this as it led to an important conversation: farts are embarrassing. It was our own little “The More You Know” moment as I explained that if you hear someone toot, you should probably just ignore it because they might be embarrassed that they did it. I’ve also told them cautionary tales about becoming the tooty kid in class as I can still recall the names of people in middle school that happened to pass gas at pivotal moments. People that had a known rep as farters. So much so that I was able to pin a particular volatile SBD on one of them during a stressful pre-Algebra class in 8th grade.

Okay, I actually went on longer about farts that I thought I would. I’m sorry for that. I feel like Will Ferrell in Old School when he blacks out during the debate and asks what happens. I don’t have a good segue since these are such different subjects, so let’s move on to “crafts”.

As for the crafts. We do them on occasion. Olivia is especially inclined towards them but even AJR has shown an interest for them lately, which warms my heart. The kids’ current favorite is painting rocks they find in the yard, which is super easy. Did you know that Amazon actually sells rock painting kits? This is absurd. Do you have rocks or know a place that you can find rocks? Great. You’re halfway there. Do you have paints and paintbrushes or know a place where you can buy some? Awesome. There you have everything you need for rock painting. I actually recommend this as a great activity for the kids, so long as you’re cool with the mess factor that comes along with it.

I’ve made my peace with 99% of painting crafts ending this way.

In general, I’m pretty easy-going about crafts and messes. However, certain things really set my Type A tendencies into full throttle. Like crafting kits that are designed to produce a certain outcome like this:

This thing is $10 on Amazon and is a really super cute craft as long as you’re not crazy like I am.

Olivia received this for Easter and wanted to do it immediately. I lined up the paints and let her pick which window hanging she wanted to decorate first. Then, like a maniac, she started squeezing gobs upon gobs of paint onto it with no regard for the lines or any sort of design or pattern. She’s three so you might think it’s her age, but I’m pretty sure it was somewhat deliberate because she saw my pained expression and I think it only made her more resolved to truly F these things up.

I tried to watch but watching her do this suddenly became unbearable. I took a deep breath and sweetly said, “Oh honey, don’t use too much paint. You have to save some for the other ones.”

Olivia proceeded to look me dead in the eye emptying out the tube of pink onto her giraffe. 1. Giraffes aren’t pink 2. This thing is never going to dry 3. THAT’S NOT HOW YOU DO IT! I sat at the table with her for 30 minutes while she butchered every single one (save for the four that AJR was allowed to do) looking like this:

I realize I need to relax. These are obviously not going to turn into decorative accents in our home. They are not going to be on loan to any art museum anytime soon. It’s her gift, her craft, her vision. Make like Elsa and let it go.

Enter The Teddy Bear Tea Party and a test of my newfound zen. Now, the Teddy Bear Tea Party has been hyped up as the preschool version on the Catalina Wine Mixer. I’ve received at least three notes home about it, AJR has been talking about it nonstop, and there is information on the website. Because of the hype, cue a panicked group text between moms wondering just how much we have to turn out for this thing. This is not just a simple take-home project. IT’S THE TEDDY BEAR TEA PARTY! What is the Teddy Bear Tea Party you might ask? It’s an adorable event at the kids’ school where the preschoolers decorate shoe boxes for their teddy bears and parade around the school pulling them by a string while everyone watches. Cute. Great. Immediately my wheels are turning. So many ideas. My glue gun is ready and waiting.

Then I stopped. This is his project and why am I going to waste so much of my time and effort into something that doesn’t really matter? Wasn’t one of my New Years resolutions to do things more simply? Also, this is his box. Not mine. Admittedly, I did steer AJR towards a theme that coincided with his baseball bear. And I did go to Michael’s solo to pick up supplies but only because taking my kids into that store is an exercise in saying “no. I said no. NO! Don’t touch anything!” that I most certainly don’t have the patience for. But the rest I left up to him. He painted his box green, he cut out the bases (first, second, third, and I traced home so he could cut it out). He placed the stickers and then more stickers when I told him it seemed a little empty (okay, I can’t totally stay removed from it!). It’s not perfect, but it’s adorable and he was so proud of it. Plus, all he really cared about was the string tied to it anyway. With real school on the horizon, I realize that there are going to be many school projects that I could do for him – but how is that good for either of us? His box may not be the most well-executed or even the most creative, but at least he can take pride in knowing that he did it himself. That’s something we can both be proud of.

Is it perfect? No, but he was so happy with it and had a rhyme and reason for each sticker placement. You do you, boo.

So there you have it, folks. An immature post about bodily functions mixed in with an a-ha moment reminding me to let go. Not my best work, maybe even my worst work, but thanks for reading anyway. Happy Friday!

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