There are certain things that can excite only a mother. Personally I think it's one of those rare gifts of motherhood no one can really prepare you for. Seriously, no one in their right mind would think they'd proudly hang up bits of roughly cut paper glued to a larger sheet. Yet when your preschooler begins learning how to really use scissors, those 'snippets' excite you.
That's where we're at now. My son is all about snips. It's a concept they started in school this past quarter. Three year olds learning to master the skill of cutting paper can't always cut template lines. They start by having them just cut for the sake of cutting. It produces little bits of paper. The school sends them home in an envelope with instructions to each parent - we are to make a wild fuss, more or less. And fuss we do.
They do cut out objects as well. Yesterday they made Christmas trees. They spread green paint on paper with evergreens branches and then they cut out big, lumpy triangles to glue on brown ragged edged rectangles.
In our house, the hours between 4pm and 6pm are the hardest. I'm tired and frazzled by then many a day. The kids are just punchy and it's not quite time for reinforcements (aka Dad) to walk in the door. It's when I get my most creative with child entertainment. Seriously it's a self-defense mechancism.
I remembered this website that allows you to virtually cut paper into snowflakes. We started tinkering with it. My son took over the mouse as he's apt to do. He created the flake shown at the start of this post. As I watched him snip on the computer it occurred to me that we could actually apply his classroom glee with actual winter crafty fun.
I folded up the paper. I handed him his green handled safety scissors. I told him to snip. He struggled a little. He's not used to cutting through the heft of several layers. He gave up about five good full snips in - leaving chunks of removed paper around our playroom floor. He tossed the triangle at me and said it didn't look like any sort of snowflake to him. He was bummed.
I opened it up for him and handed it back. He was so incredibly proud. We hung it on the glass door that separates the main house from our playroom/sun room. We made several more snowflakes. We let little Meg experiment with the roll of tape. She, by the way, not a fan of having her fingers stuck together even if it was self-induced.
Looking at the resulting paper snowflakes now, I swell with pride. It's something so small. Something so rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things, yet as a mother it's also something so very big for a little man to accomplish.
Four years ago, I never would have guessed something so small could make me so happy. It's the gift of motherhood.