Monday, August 6, 2012

Debut of “Sloppy, Slap-it-Together”

I have secretly been harboring feelings of jealousy and distain. Shame on me.

You may be surprised at the subject of my feelings, and I will confess them now to the public.

For many months I have perused the blogger world, and the world of Pinterest which links to the blogger world.

I have been privately and wrongfully scoffing at all the many hundreds of crafty bloggers, who concoct impressive projects with effortless ease, snap pictures of every step, and cheerfully bubble on about how excited they are to find a new object to mod podge. I have cracked up at imagining how the blogging cook must stop, wash the hamburger off of her hands, take a picture, and then dive into the next step, only to stop and wash her hands all over again for the sake of digitally capturing every painstaking addition of an ingredient.

However, I am a hypocrite. Because as I crack up and scoff, I am also taking notes. I am bookmarking, favoriting, and pinning. I have tried new recipes and pinned ideas for my kids. I bought mod podge. I confess that I even made a wreath for my front door from the inspiration of Pinterest. (But this was only after I realized that we were the only, I mean no exaggerating, ONLY house on the entire street - I checked - with a plain, empty, dirty-with-smudges, front door. Not that I care. Well, obviously I do because we have a wreath now. Anyway I digress.)

I realize that this is the internet we are talking about here, which is NOT REAL LIFE most of the time. I know that the blogging cook may very well be screaming bloody murder at her kids who are beating each other to death with train tracks in the next room while she is snapping those seemingly peaceful and delicious photos. There may be a few genuinely blissful, silent, peaceful, crafty bloggers, but in general I prefer to imagine them with glue in their hair and paint on their nose, quickly pecking out their blogs late at night with a sink full of dishes, toys all over the floor, and a toddler collapsed next to them on the couch. Because to me, that is real life. Do you imagine me sipping my coffee with classical music playing in my serene, neat-as-a-pin office while blogging? I don't have an office. I have a laptop propped up on a baking rack on a second hand table in the corner of my kitchen, surrounded by piles of books, crumpled papers and an overflowing shredder. And there are lots of dishes in my sink right now. The classical music part might be stretched to truth if you count a Baby Einstein movie playing in the next room, where my kids are beating each other with train tracks. I intervene every few sentences or so. It takes me days, weeks, sometimes months to finish a blog post. Time is warped on the internet. And so it must be with crafters, I assume. Unless they have a cleaning lady, nanny, and secretary, it must take these crafty women several messy days or weeks to complete a project as well.

Therefore, this is my public apology to anyone who blogs about anything that involves creating and making. I am sorry for judging you as being perfect. Because I was wrong, I know this now. You are real people. You just choose to focus on and publicly blog about your projects, not the messy parts of your life. Just because you do not write about it doesn't mean it's not happening. You have the right to your privacy. And that is fine, I am OK with that. I also apologize to anyone who thinks I am amazing, organized, super-peppy and creative, and just an all around blissfully delighted crafter. Sorry to let you down, I'm not. That just made me laugh to even type out such a ludicrous idea.

So begins the theme for the next few posts I have planned. If I were to create a new blog, I might call it: "Sloppy Mom Tries to Slap Together Something and Call it a Craft." Now that would be a fun blog to pin, wouldn't it?

I have ideas. I want to share them, because maybe another unorganized mom or dad out there might see an idea and think, hey, if that sloppy mom can slap that together to help their kid while her house turns into a disaster area, maybe I can do it too!

Yes, dear, you can. And you also might be so much better at it than I; simultaneously stroking the head of your sweet child with endless patience as she reads a book to herself while you mod podge to Mozart.

Most of my ideas are cheap – sorry, I have to get the lingo down here – I mean "frugal" ways to help a child with special needs. Long ago I became fed up with the astronomical prices in the special needs catalog full of unattainable gadgets. I would thumb through the pages with longing, wondering how our lives could be changed if only we could get insurance to pay for some cool "adapted" button or switch. One day I was lamenting to someone about how we could not afford a hundred dollar button that happens to have a similar name to a popular fast food hamburger. If only we could have a button like that, Lilli could learn to push it when she wanted our attention instead of crying. We could record messages on it. We could teach her to use "words" to communicate, I complained.

"It's like that button at Staples, right? The 'Easy Button?' Maybe you could get one of those and rig it to say something different," my friend commented. And that was where it all began for me. We now have "Potty Buttons" all over the house, and I have given several away to friends with non verbal kids. Most parents of kids with special needs cannot afford the expensive hamburger-named button that is not covered by insurance. I am still on a mission to find new ways to make cheap "talking buttons." Expect a post on that one of these days.

After scouring the east coast for small recordable picture frames, I also began to look at yard sales for "therapy toys." I went overboard, buying so many toys to use with Lilli that we did not have room for them all. But those yard sale toys taught Lilli amazing skills. I would love to share about that. This has become a fun little hobby, a mini passion of mine, to find frugal ways to help Lilli. I hope that someone else might benefit from seeing these ideas, and maybe it will help some other child with special needs.

My first post will be about my latest "slap it together" idea: The Spelling Piano. Look for it soon!

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