Dear Pinterest & Co.
I think we need to talk.
For a while, I thought it was me, not you. I tried to change my ways; alter my behaviour to meet your approval. Obviously though, this was neither right nor healthy.
But your pictures were so awesome.
Your ideas so great.
Your cleverly shaped vegetables delicious looking.
It was hard not to be seduced by you, by your promises of perfection and satisfied smugness. I wanted to bathe in your light, dance in your shadow.
Unfortunately though, it was never going to work out. Mostly because words like ‘homemade sensory craft’ fill me with dread and also a little bit of hate… if I’m being really honest.
This may be my failing and I’m probably in the minority, but I’m just not that way inclined – in fact I never have been. So why I expect things to be different now that I’m also juggling a feral toddler on top of everything else, I have no idea. I think I was seeing you through rose-tinted glasses, but now the infatuation has lifted, I can accept the truth: we have nothing in common, and to be honest, I don’t really think you’re all that special.
In fact, the thought of undertaking glitter based activities with a young toddler, painting windows with water and mustard (WTF!) and spending an age setting something up that my child will spend no more than five messy minutes on holds no appeal whatsoever. For a start, my windows are filthy enough as it is – if I’m going to let him near them with anything, it will be newspaper and white vinegar thanks very much.
I’m sorry. I’m just not that kind of parent, and despite often feeling like I should be, I think my child will be okay. He messes up the stones on the drive and plays with mud in the park (okay it may sometimes be poo), which to be frank is enough sensory action – for me anyway – to be going on with for the moment. And isn’t that what I send him to nursery for anyway? Amongst the care, confidence building, pre-school learning and life skill shizzle, obviously.
We play, we read, we dance, we cuddle. And when we do get creative, it is never worthy of an Instagrammed photo or a blog post. But that’s okay; it’s not why we do it anyway. He’s right, cutting paper is fun when you’re two, even if it doesn’t result in a Pinterest worthy art installation.
He is happy and bouncing (apart from all the times he’s not) so I think he’s getting on fine, despite never having made a 3D canvas out of leaves and caterpillars.
And besides, his schedule is already pretty jammed with refusing dinner, refusing to nap and perfecting his renditions of Riddle Diddle Dumpling and Jelly on a Plate (there are some tuning issues), so I’m not even sure he has time for much of your fancy, complicated tasks.
I think maybe I should stop feeling inadequate about an internet full of perfect designer pumpkins and homemade sensory tables. We’re good – and I don’t feel at all lacking from the absence of making our own bouncy balls with my mum all those years ago. Although maybe that’s the cause of my commitment problem with glitter and stencils today, who knows? A psychologist could have a field day – but then I could spend hours reminiscing about Rainbow and Chockablock, which I still remember the themes to – so we all have our talents.
I know lots of people find the time for your fun and games and if that’s their thing, good for them. It isn’t mine though, and that’s fine too. I have the interest and inclination for lots of stuff, and just because one of them isn’t handmade Christmas cards, it doesn’t make me wrong, just different.
So to Pinterest, Instagram and the countless websites and groups of glorious sensory shenanigans, I wish you well – no hard feelings eh? We’ll go our separate ways; you with your homemade wind chimes, me with my shop bought sticker books and poorly carved pumpkin. It is what it is.
Now I’m off to tidy my boy’s unoriginally decorated bedroom before an afternoon of good clean fun, before knocking up a boringly shaped meal for dinner. Ciao.
Are you a crafter lover or loather? Feel free to share any NO effort ideas for other parents who just don’t have the creative gene… we could start a club. And feel free to check out my completely craft free and smug free posts on Instagram and Pinterest!