Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Joy of Crafting with Toddlers, and the Danger of Midday Errands

Though its excitement level didn't quite compare to that of Mia's antics later in the day, another rather novel thing occurred yesterday afternoon: Abby, Michael and I did a craft together.

I'd run a quick errand in the highly-coveted space of breathing time I can eke out after lunch most days, and had returned home feeling frazzled. You'd think that getting away would be a good thing, but it hardly ever is for me, for reasons that can best be explained by Jen over at Conversion Diary. Particularly since my house is always about as far from spotless as could be, I really need my mind to be in order, and it's very hard to keep it that way; harder still when I have to alter usual my routine and subject myself to a great deal of The Unfamiliar, such as roads not often taken, and people not generally seen.

Though yesterday's errand was to the several-times-previously-visited home of a friend, due to unexpected issues with the car, rain, and the ever-present volume of traffic, the drive was stressful; the instant dive back into All Things Baby upon my return, more stressful still. I searched my brain frantically for a task that would occupy the older two (Mia was napping) until I felt more myself again and fell short, just as I began to notice that Tom was asking me a question. "What's this necklace that Abby's asking about?"

The "necklace" was a kit brought over by Nana the day before, consisting of fishing line and foam colored shapes. It had looked simple enough to do when I first glanced at it, I had promised it to Abby the day before and forgotten, and -most importantly- it seemed to fit the "novel distraction" requirement that I was seeking. I jumped at the opportunity.

Like many such things, however, it was not nearly so simple as it first appeared. The center holes, while pre-cut, had not been removed, and proved difficult to pry out of the smallest-sized pieces. Astonishingly, Abby proved to have developed sufficient fine-motor skill to manage the larger pieces, and so we set up a factory line, of sorts. I struggled with the little "beads," (cutting at quite a few with nearby nail clippers to get the job done), Abby prepped the larger beads, and Michael scattered the pieces that he was methodically pulling out of the plastic baggie that they came in, occasionally handing new ones to Abby, who would then hand them to me. Some number she also insisted on stringing herself, and did so successfully.

Though I did have to occasionally chide Michael for kicking pieces onto the floor or knocking them between sofa cushions, I was mostly able to keep my attention to the task at hand: prepping and stringing. As we worked, I asked Abby and Michael what the colors and shapes were of each new addition. Unsurprisingly, Abby nailed it each time, and Michael occasionally grunted, but I hope that the information was sinking in to him, all the same.

This was the finished product.

You may have noticed that I took over once all of the larger pieces were on, and let my OCD tendencies guide my hand. Sadly, I did not have sufficient numbers of each color to make the exact same rainbow sequence on each side, but I got them pretty close.

The second phase of all of this- of course- involved a lot of infighting over who would wear the necklace, and though I tried to referee when necessary, Abby came out the clear winner.

I suppose that was rather fitting, however, as Abby had (and continues to have) the most interest, in the tacky little thing.


Today required another errand of me- a visit to the vet with Gracie- that took more out of me than even I anticipated. Not only were the route, the people, and the errand itself all highly unfamiliar to me, I came home to a six-month-old who had not properly napped and was mid-teething frenzy.

While she calmed down for a bit before we attempted nap #2, she awoke prematurely from that nap worse off than before and I ended up doing a repeat of yesterday's hip carry improvisation. I didn't have the energy to take new pictures today, but it ended up looking the exact same way, so forgive me for splicing in an unused picture from yesterday, instead.

It's really not such a far stretch to pass it off as today's anyway, considering that I threw on that same shirt and overlarge pair of jeans to rush out with my cat in the middle of a rainy afternoon. Mia, at least, had a different outfit on.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll have more time (and a happier baby) to move forward with some wrap experimentation. For the time being, I'm just happy that, once again, my lovely wrap allowed me some semblance of dinner consumption and brought Mia some measure of comfort in those difficult last hours before bedtime.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do some major de-cluttering of the brain (lazy, meandering, Facebook-stalking style).