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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Friday, February 09, 2007


Becoming THAT mother

Box for valentines
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
Today I did that thing that THOSE MOTHERS do. You know who THEY are: the mother who brings her daughter to a paint your own pottery place and then proceeds to not let her paint her own pottery, the mother who carves her child's pumpkin for entry into the 3rd grade pumpkin carving contest, the mother who makes sure that any homework involving a craft project is done by her, with her child watching as she carefully constructs a miniature replica of whatever historical monument his class last visited.

My assignment was to help Emily decorate a shoe box for her valentines. With the idea that I was "helping," I painted a shoe box red, figuring that I'd turn it over to Emily at that point for stickers and scribbles.

But then I got the idea that I would make a heart stencil and spray paint white hearts all over the box. Emily watched me carefully as I cut out my stencil and got out the spray paint. "Mama, can I...?" "Stand back!" I ordered. "This stuff is toxic!"

After I spray painted the hearts, I brought the box in to dry. While it was drying, Emily wanted to touch it. "No!" I shouted. And then in a softer tone: "It has to dry first."

When the hearts dried, I could tell that the box needed additional adornment and yet I worried about sloppy sticker placement. That's when I realized there was no way I was going to hand over the job of decorating this box to Emily. And as I finished embellishing the hearts with paints and markers, I knew in my heart that I had failed miserably in my first-ever craft project homework assignment.

If the box wasn't so darn cute, I'd be totally hating myself right now. Instead, I'm realizing that it's best not to judge, for one day you might just become THAT MOTHER.