Today, I made Halloween crafts with the kiddos. I racked my brain, scoured Pinterest, and consulted my uber-talented mommy friends, all in search of ideas for fun and kid-friendly Halloween crafts. I rounded up some orange paint, construction paper, cotton balls, and googly eyes. I thought, "Surely, surely, this is going to be AWESOME. Surely, my kids will love this."
Craft Number One went well, and Lil seemed to enjoy it. Paint a paper plate orange. When dry, color a Jack-O-Lantern face on it. Or cut pieces of the face out of black paper and glue it on. Add a stem. Done.
Craft Number Two was a smash! It was my moment of glory! It was a success! First, I cut ghost shapes out of white cardstock paper. Then the kids glued cotton balls all over the ghost shapes. They added googly eyes and black construction paper ovals for their ghosts' mouths. Spoooooooky cute!
Craft Number Three...oh you craft number three...you wart on my witch's nose...you Halloween FAIL! In my mind, craft number three had the potential for greatness. Trace your child's hands on black paper, then cut it out. Draw a "bat head" on black paper, then cut it out. Glue it all together and VIOLA, a charming little nocturnal "flying rat." Lilly was not having it! She made the following criticisms:
"That does not look like a bat!"
"Handprints are for making turkeys, NOT for making bats."
"I don't like this craft. It's weird."
And my personal favorite (said through tears), "My bat does not look scary at all. It's supposed to look scary. I want it to be a scary bat."
SO, we retraced her hands, keeping her fingers together for "round two." That seemed to appease her. Somewhat. She felt her bat still lacked "the scare factor," so her solution to this--and this is the real kick in the head--was to DRAW HEARTS ALL OVER IT!!! What?????
I admit that at one point I thought, "Why do I do this? Why do I even bother?" Lilly's bat-tastic "bat fit" was disheartening. It's hard when you plan something fun to do with your kids, and then have it tank with their bad attitudes. When that happens, it's only natural to feel frustrated and ornery.
Why do we do it? Why do we bother?
Because in the midst of all the bad--the whining, the crying, and the hand-print bat crafts--you also have the glorious and enjoyable good--the ghost crafts. The shining moments. The joyful times. The times when everything comes together beautifully and the family has fun. We do it because we're making memories. We do it because we care, because our roles in our homes are important to us. We do it because we love our kids. We do it because we're good mothers.
And because we're awesome, too!