'Tis the season. For this:
The dreamy, whimsical gingerbread house.
A Christmas tradition for most families in our great land.
Coupled with the most ridiculous lie of the year: "Look at the gingerbread house my children made!"...I have literally had enough!!
Because, let's be honest, your five year old and 15 month old did NOT make that gingerbread house. YOU DID.
My point is this, we adults have these awesome perfectly perfect ideas that we conjure up and dare to share with our own children. But, we have rules...very strict rules...
It goes something like this:
--parent buys craft-in-a-box or spends the equivalent of her husband working three hours on multiple craft supplies.
--she gets the child or children very excited as she plays up the craft they are about to do.
--children are literally bursting out of their "chucks" to get started.
--they ask over and over "when will we do the craft".
--parent begins to lose energy after multiple minutes of being victim to the child's excitement.
--parent sets up the most perfect art/craft/activity station in the heart of the home.
--children begin to dive into the table. Literally. Touching everything.
--parent loses it a bit and tells children to "wait" and "don't touch"!
--parent then proceeds to suck all of the fun out of this "child-friendly" activity by being too particular and literally using the child's hands as their own as they are "creative" together. Better together, right?
--the now completed craft matches the packaging photo perfectly and the child gets all the credit. Sharpie their name and the year on it, and it's another keepsake for the box.
Except, your child did absolutely nothing. And you didn't do art at all. You hovered over your child and told them where to place each exact little item, because, after all, if they did it alone, it wouldn't come out right.
Which brings me to the whole gingerbread house thing. I get that spending time together building is important, but we gotta stop with the perfection thing. So let your child have the icing bag and pipe all over the roof! Really. Let him.
Who cares if it turns out like a bad dream, I guarantee your child will file this moment away as one of their favorites. And to me, that's more important than the most Facebook worthy photo op.
*I currently have no personal photo of our own gingerbread house, as it doesn't currently exist. I bought a kit from Aldi, opened it up, prepared the items for them (meaning I opened the bags of candy, essentially), and they went to town. It was the most miserable looking house ever. (It collapsed at least a dozen times) But, it was owned by the most happiest children. And it was gloated on by the happiest mom who didn't care to snap a photo because the moment was too good to care about such things.