Monday, October 17, 2005

Artsy Craftsy

Today was the day that C's "Halloween Hat" was due into preschool. What, you ask, is a Halloween hat? It is a project designed to torture me. Each child was sent home with one plastic top hat (blue, because that is such a Halloween color) and asked to use their creativity to come up with "a spooky, creepy, and original" design, which they will proudly wear in lieu of a costume during the Halloween parade. Shoot me, please.

I am not an artsy craftsy mom. In my opinion, 3/4 of the reason C goes to pre-school is so others may instruct him in the arts. I hate paint, I hate glitter, and I really hate glue. In September the lead teacher pulled me aside after school and suggested I buy C a pair of scissors as he was the only child in the class who didn't know how to cut. It hadn't even occurred to me that I should be teaching a three and a half year old how to cut. I figured it was one of those things they learned in kindergarten. But, buy scissors I did as C apparently reported to back to class daily that "Mommy hasn't found the right pair for me yet" and it was getting a bit embarrassing.

So when the flyer and top hat arrived in the backpack a few weeks ago, I sobbed inwardly while sounding shrill, slightly hysterical cries of "How fun! What a wonderful idea!" Then the hat sat on top of the fridge for a good week while I tried to ignore the situation. But Friday a "friendly reminder" arrived in the backpack and I was forced to confront the Halloween hat issue.

This was clearly a project requiring glue, probably some glitter, and most definitely scissors. Out of the depths of my locked "art" drawer I dug out some pom-poms, some glitter, some glue, and several sheets of construction paper. Thankfully a couple of them were orange. "Maybe C has some thoughts on what should go on a Halloween hat" I thought to myself. Nope, his suggestion was a green bulldozer. Or a pink choo choo. I convinced him that orange, white and black were more appropriate colors, and that was about the extent of the mommy input on the process.

The outcome was so lame that I didn't take a picture. The top of the hat had six orange and white pom-poms stuck to it and the front had a pom-pom face. The back was an assorted collection of shapes coated with glitter glue. It was clear that this was not an award winning project. Even C looked at it skeptically when we admired the finally product in the mirror.

C: "I dunno Mommy, it doesn't look the way I thought a Halloween hat would."

Mommy: "It's lovely! It'll be great! Do you think there will be candy at school for the party?"

During the transport of the hat to school this morning, the majority of the decorations came unglued. As we carried the bedraggled hat into the classroom along with the pom-poms I had managed to snag before they floated off through the parking lot, I took stock of the other hats arriving. There were spiders dangling from strings, candy-corns the spelled out trick-or-treat, even an elaborate ghost that was somehow attached to the top of the hat.

As I handed the hat to the teacher and asked for some glue to reattach the lost pom-poms, she gave me a look which clearly said "slacker." Then she cheerily turned to C and told him that she would help him "fix' his hat during snack and turned back to me asking if I knew about tacky glue.

"Tacky glue? What happened to Elmers? I thought all children's art projects revolved around Elmers." Apparently not. As I slunk out of the classroom in search of tacky glue, yet another "spooky, creepy and creative" design walked in. Perhaps I will outsource the holiday craft project. There has to be some well deserving childless friend out there who has been dying to experience preschool art. Anyone? Anyone?