the Mom projects. It turns out that Absurdist Tot's playschool (daycare) is having a Valentine's Day party on Thursday. I now have a list of all the kids' names. Do I buy the little Valentines that I remember from elementary school and just put names on them, which I can do easily and quickly one night after AT's in bed? Or do I buy red construction paper, cut our hearts, and begin our first craft project together? To me, this seems like a choice between convenient, yet anonymous commercialism and a handmade but time-consuming, potentially frustrating, potentially fun project. Of course, I am reading too much into it -- not every kid project must bear the weight of my deciding what kind of parent and person I am. But perhaps because I've been thinking about so much lately about how I need therapy to work through some really big issues from my own childhood and how I don't do enough with AT, this choice seems weighty and important. Especially because I'm always touting the intrinsic goodness of the handmade gift. Obviously, this means that I'm going to have to get myself to the drugstore and buy some construction paper and glue. We have some Sesame Street stickers that I thought were a silly purchase of mine at the time (ha! something in me knew better in that JoAnn's line), and I could get crayons, markers, more stickers, or, dare I say it, fingerpaint. The whole thing sounds daunting, especially in our Berber-carpeted apartment. But I was just reading about craft ideas for children his age last night (and saw many different things, including the very real idea that he is simply too young and the best play is self-directed -- of course, they all touted the goodness of pudding fingerpainting which is only good if you don't mind your child eating that much sugar).
I have long wanted to get his little handprint. It's no good always meaning to do something, but not getting to it from just not taking the trouble to get it done. AT needs a better example than that. He needs a good role model. Which is why I need therapy. Having such a happy child and not wanting to screw him up with my baggage is a great motivator.