I hate crafts. I mean, I don’t hate crafts that other people make, I just hate making them myself. Crafty and creative handwork is just beyond me. I have no patience or skill. I have a number of friends who scrapbook, make cards, make jewelry, etc., and I pretty much stand in awe of them. I am terrible at stuff like that. I want to do it, I really do. It seems like so much fun in theory. The thought of making a scrapbook is so appealing. But I can’t envision, I can’t design, and I certainly don’t have the hand/eye coordination for measuring and whatnot. Some people love to sit and create for hours—it just defeats me; I want it to all be over so I can go back to reading a book or cooking or something.
So it probably won’t surprise you to learn that when I found out Lucy had to have a homemade Native American instrument for school, I was markedly unenthusiastic. Why am I going out to work to pay for private education if they can’t make a dumb Indian spirit rattle for the Thanksgiving parade during class time, I ask you?
There were what seemed to be pages and pages of instructions for rain sticks and rattles and drums. Kill me. The drum had the shortest amount of instructions, so that’s what I picked. Plus we had two partially empty oatmeal containers on hand (you know Elaine was going to need a drum too), so I dumped the remaining oatmeal into a Tupperware and we were good to go.
First there were elaborate directions on how to take brown paper and temper/treat it so that it resembles bearskin for the drum cover. Yeah, not this little gray duck. I just had Lucy and Elaine draw on brown paper with markers, then we crumpled it up. I haphazardly measured it to go around the containers and taped it with Scotch tape.
“The top of the drum doesn’t feel right, Mom,” said Lucy. So I took a serrated knife and tried to trim the edges. That unfortunately loosened the bottom from the cylinder. More Scotch tape. Darren came in at this point. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Making a s-t-u-p-i-d Indian drum. Where is the packing tape?” I asked. “I buy packing tape every single time I mail a package so we should have approximately 78 rolls of it. Where is one of them?”
“Are you going to put a string through those drums so they can wear them around their necks?” he asked.
I made an exasperated and despairing noise at him that I’m not sure how to spell here. Why was he trying to add an additional step to my Purgatory? It was like part of my soul withered and died. And was cut up and fed to hyenas. “Dad,” said Lucy reprovingly. “She’s only 39.” [And no, I did not make that up.]
He got some twine and fixed both so that they had strings. Here’s Lucy’s in all its glory:
For a little while, she and Elaine marched around, beating their drums to George Winston music. If you’re familiar with George Winston, you know that he plays quiet, mellow piano music. Probably what I’ll play in my room at Shady Pines. Not exactly drum-friendly. “I wish I had a rainstick instead,” Lucy said gloomily after a few minutes.
Here she is with her drum:
“Mom, it doesn’t sound right. I don’t like it,” she said.
“Lucy,” I answered, “the only thing that matters is that you have some instrument to be in the parade and march around the school with. How ’bout, ‘Thanks, Mom and Dad, for helping me’?”
“I get to march around Lucy’s school?” Elaine shouted.
Lucy continued to grumble and complain about her drum and how only boys had drums and all the other people had rainsticks and she wants a rainstick, so finally I sent her up to her room to sit on her bed for complaining and being ungrateful.
You see how crafts bring disunity and discord to my family even?
Yet another reason for me to hate them.