I hate crafts. There, I said it. I hate crafts. I know that's blasphemy, especially for a stay at home mom. After all, isn't it our job to keep the kids entertained with pipe cleaners and paints and Play-Doh and anything else that can't be easily gotten out of carpet?
I recall when my daughter was small and trying to learn to use her little hands. One mother suggested I let her play with finger paints at the kitchen table to help develop her dexterity. I said "Sure, maybe," but I didn't. There was no way I was going to let any kid put her fingers in paint in my house.
Ditto for modeling clay. I'm sure somewhere someone has written a book detailing how to get clay out of carpet, but as far as I'm concerned, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cleaning tips.
was cornered in the doctor's office by a woman who said her 'sweet' child suddenly turned into a 'monster' at age 16 and mine will, too. I seem to have this conversation a lot with people from outside my culture, especially when they see me with my 'well-behaved' daughter. Something about her behavior sets their teeth on edge, so I will address it.
To the woman in the doctor's office who claims her kid pulled a Jekyll & Hyde at age 16, I call bullshit. Madam, assuming there are no mental defects or other extenuating circumstances, I don't believe your child suddenly turned on you. Maybe your child was 'sweet' of his own accord when he was young, but I ask you, did you require that he be 'sweet?' Had you set any behavioral expectations, or were you just relying on his natural tendencies? Since you're cornering strangers like me in the doctor's office with tales of woe, I'm guessing you did the latter.
Hal Hutchison, M.Ed.
Hal Wofford Hutchison, M.Ed., is a former columnist, writer and editor for the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette newspapers. She has also been a secondary educator, and a university counselor and administrator. She lives in Little Rock, Ark., with her husband of 23 years and their daughter.