I blame Hobbycraft. They had an offer on those blank cards you can use to create whatever message you want. Blank for your picture and message. £2.50 for 20 seemed like such a bargain.
“Save me buying those oh so predictable ready made versions” I thought. “Be nice for the children to draw their own pictures” I said. “How special it will be for the teachers and nursery staff to have a personalised picture from the smalls”.
That was back then. Now I know the truth. Now I know the real pain of THOSE cards. Now I know why they were on offer.
If you have a child you’ve probably been living your own fresh hell of getting the kids engaged in the thank you card process this week.
Next year I’m starting it in March. I swear.
My daughter’s birthday was in June. A month on we still hadn’t crossed off thank you cards from the never-ending list of chores I have to cattle-prod the kids into doing. And while the birthday thank yous sat on the list, the thank yous for the teachers came up to bite me on the arse too.
So there we were at the beginning of the week and after two homemade ones completed for her friends I gave in and made the girlchild write in readymade ones for her friends.
We got through this hurdle. The bigger mountain was yet to climb – the teacher cards. Now when I say teacher cards, this is 4 for the teachers, but my son is finishing both preschool and nursery, so that totals 16. Let’s just repeat that – 16 cards I decided would be a good idea for him to create.
What the fuck was I thinking? Pinterest peer pressure got to me. I hate the me at the beginning of the week. That me sucked. But there I was thinking this would be a nice gesture. And you know, my role as a mum is to teach my children to say thank you.
In reality no one learns the lesson of thanks here, what we all really learn is endurance because that one bloody task has now expanded across the whole week. It’s like a game of parenting chicken about who will break first – me or them. All under the umbrella of the shitfest of tantrums that is the final week of term. It’s not a pretty sight for anyone by the time bedtime comes.
So there we were, felt tip tub at the ready, blank cards out. Game on.
I’m there like a positive football coach willing the children on, showering them in praise “this is fabulous… I love the colours you’re using… Mrs X will love this card… wow is that a ermm dog….” but after approximately 15 minutes and half a card done by each there are cracks in my spirit.
Then the moans start from them.
“Can I finish noooooooooooooooow? I don’t know how to spell her naaaaaaaaaame. I don’t want to do this anymoooooooooooore.”
One card done by the girlchild, lovely picture of some flowers. The message written. The boychild has drawn a fabulous face. We can do this I think.
Then as soon as the creative whirlwind has begun, it stops.
After more ‘soccer mom’ chants of encouragement the second cards are started. The boychild draws what can best be described as modern art, at worst a scribble he tells me is ‘a caterpillar’. Abstract.
The girlchild groans and starts muttering how she wants the iPad.
30 minutes in and they’re clearly done. And so am I. So we savour the task for another day.
By last night we were still 2 cards down and even Mr MF was involved for 30 minutes before it broke him too. At 9pm the girlchild finished her final card. It was a relief like no other. Done for another year… oh hang on there’s Christmas not so far away.
So I’ve decided – next year I’ll be Moonpigging the shit out of this task. Screw you Hobbycraft!
Happy holidays and good luck!