It’s 7.55, I’m getting ready to leave for school and I call my son to come and put on his shoes. “But I’m busy, mum!” he says. I go into the kitchen, and my eyes nearly pop out of my head. In the ten minutes I was upstairs getting ready, he’s created a 3ft square masterpiece from tissue paper and feathers, right there on the kitchen table.
He was supposed to be taking a few boxes into school to show how they had Braille on them. But rather than just take them into school, he’s decided it’s much better to weave them into an ‘autumn display’ for the teacher. A display made from eight pieces of A4, sellotaped together and embellished with foam shapes, sequins and leaves. You’ve got to admire his vision. I would have taken a photograph, if I wasn’t in such a rush to get us all out the door.
The thing is, my five-year-old has a great talent for making things and I do my best to encourage him in something he loves and is good at. He knows he’s good at it, as I even saw in his school book at parents’ evening a chart where he’d detailed his talent for making along with (no sniggering at the back) playing, loving and the best yet, eating.
My mum once suggested as long as I keep him in a steady supply of paper, pritt stick and glitter he’ll manage to stay out of trouble. I also try and remind myself a little piece of parenting advice that’s always stuck with me, and that’s to try and say yes to things more often. So when my son announces he wants to start painting at 4.30pm on a Wednesday, I try to hide the fact that I need the table laying for dinner in an hour, and just think “why not?” This advice obviously only goes on a day when I’m feeling cool, calm and collected mind you.
With all this making, though, comes a floor covered in a million hazards for his one-year-old sister. I’m forever scouting the floorboards for danger in case she is about to sever a finger or swallow a sequin.
All things considered, it seems having a sometimes stressy mother hasn’t stopped him coming up with new projects. If only he could limit them to convenient times of day…