You hate me.
I’m the “Pinterest” mom, the one who pins shit and remembers it, and then wraps her front door in medical gauze and googly eyes for Halloween. I go through glue sticks like hot cakes.
At Christmas, I spent hours constructing gorgeous wreaths out of duct tape, pool noodles, and cheap ornaments. Sounds cheesy, but they were masterpieces. I have decoupaged Moby-Dick and T. S. Eliot quotes to seashells, which I put in my bathroom (nothing like being confronted with “Call me Ishmael” while you’re taking a dump). I have crocheted enormous afghans, scarves, hats of all sizes, shapes, and colors, plus one that had turkey legs on the sides for Baby’s First Thanksgiving. The women at the craft store knows my name and probably my pin number.
Then my kids got old enough to crave sensory activities and art time, and it was on.
Multiple recipes for homemade play dough were tested. The kind of recipes you have to knead and cook. And then dump on the table and yell, “Do not touch that! It will burn you! Wait, wait, wait, wait for Mama!” And you know what? All of that shit sprouts mold when you try to store it — all of it. So unless you want to cook play dough every time your kids want it, which is often, you gotta buy the yellow cans — my first Pinterest fail.
Then there’s the goop. Oh, the goop. You can make so many recipes for goop. You can use clear glue or normal glue, which is cheaper but doesn’t give you the same jewel tones as the clear stuff, if you’re into goop aesthetics and I am into goop aesthetics. You can use laundry starch. You can use straight borax. Then you can add glitter, glitter, glitter, and glitter may be the herpes of the craft world, but glitter is also the purview of David Bowie and glam rock and all things wonderful and unicorn-y, so we glitter the shit out of our goop. I once set up a “play invitation” for my 4-year-old son with silver-sparkled white goop and Star Wars toys from the planet Hoth. He played for hours, y’all. Hours.
Sensory bins were constructed. My youngest’s favorite is a plastic container full of kosher salt and tiny plastic sea animals. But there have been others, over the years, sensory bins used to trace letters, sensory bins used to trace numbers, rice poured into baby pools to play with in winter (the rice dyed blue and purple, thanks to Pinterest, and still coming out from underneath my furniture years later, thanks to time and inertia and the fucking stupidity and karmic wastefulness of letting your kids play in a baby pool full of rice).
And when we started homeschooling, Pinterest (along with a Play at Home Mom obsession) went from a recreational to a full-blown addiction. I need it for interest-based lesson plans. I need it for crafts to go along with those lesson plans. I need it for fucking crafts. Because I have a second-grader who needs cutesy sheets that let him fill in facts about Paul Revere. Because I need a lesson and a craft for damn near everything. Because my kids love it, and Pinterest is so much easier and more fun than freaking Google.
Oh, Pinterest. You are my muse. Without you, everything just falls apart. You suggested the Mayflower we made out of construction paper, a straw, and a milk carton. When we read the Epic of Gilgamesh, because we’re doing mythology, you’re the one who suggested that the kids make their own cuneiform tablets, and I just happened to have a shit ton of clay because my other addiction just might be hoarding craft supplies. They made Sumerian beads with the leftovers. And then came the tall tales material. Pinterest has a craft activity for every single fake American myth who chopped down the frontier and killed American Indians (and we get to talk about how horrible that is, and we don’t sugarcoat history here). We did Babe the Blue Ox from a printout, paints, and a toilet paper roll.
But Davy Crockett? Pinterest showed me a full-on costume and holy plastic glue gun, Batman, I bought some felt, some fake fur, and the kids and I pulled together some awesome-ass Davy Crockett costumes, complete with coonskin caps, while singing the old Davy Crockett song: “Davy, Davy Crockett/ King of the wild frontier.” Oh yeah. We made costumes. That happened in my house. As part of school.
I also made a kickass hedgehog costume using nothing but an old sweatshirt, felt, and hot glue for my youngest as consolation for not being school-age. I mean, just look at him. Notice the ears. Thanks, Pinterest.
Pinterest, my girl, my love, my drug. Y’all hate on me if you must. But I need it. I love to make shit. We all have our vices. And even if the Christmas tree balls melt off those wreaths in the Southern heat, dammit, they looked good and you can just glue them the back on, thank you very much. Meanwhile, I’ll be opening a new browser tab and finding a worksheet on the French and Indian War. And maybe a craft.
Oh, who am I kidding, there will definitely be a freaking craft.