Smootch in the Driver's Seat

I have had a number of opportunities to craft with various children over the years. Even more fun, I have been able to observe hundreds of different adults helping children with crafts. I've noticed that kids all seem to have their own personal set point where the help from an adult turns into interference. With one child, they want you hold their hand through the whole process and another will throw a wobbler if you even so much look at their craft supplies. And some children are very, very nice, and will silently let a pushy or uninformed adult slowly take over their project, turning it into a perfect replica of the 'example' provided by whoever is running the show. (If this is you, I suggest you read over here.)

Smootch has never been one to let anyone hijack her creativity. When we crafting together and I move beyond pure instruction ("This is how you open the glitter container") and into what she considers her artistic domain ("This is where you put the glitter"), she is quick to let me know I've crossed that line again. Usually she's fairly straightforward and polite when she says, "Okay, mom, this is my project. Yours is over there and it's lonely. Why don't you go play with it?"

I consider my kids great teachers in the art of humility and letting go. And Smootch, she's a Master. Here is my big lesson this week:

This modified and embellished t-shirt is one hundred percent pure Smootch. I did get to make cuts and tie knots, but my role was much like a puppet with Smootch pulling my strings.

Smootch has been wanting to embellish her own t-shirts for awhile. I'm guessing, by the definitiveness of her design here, she's had some ideas in mind for some time. I guess this will teach me for letting her watch old Jem and The Hollograms episodes.

To facilitate her t-shirt alterations, I gave her a small budget to spend in the craft store. She walked out with some fabric glue, glitter, a couple of metallic stick-on embellishments, and the string of pink dangly things you see in the pictures.

I had no idea she was going to glitter up a freaky face and then cut the tee to make it look like she should be riding some guy's shoulders at a Twisted Sister concert.

People, she loves this shirt. And I've agreed to let her wear it to school (with a shirt on underneath). Because that's the kind of zen mom I am.

Plus I also really like to see the looks on the other parents' faces :)


  1. Love it - she has great style.

  2. Smootch would get along famously with my child. They'd be dressed like glittery 80s groupies, but they would be happy.

  3. Much like your crayon liberation post I loved this. Although Wednesday is only 2.5 and has yet to really care about how much or little I participate in her crafting, I love your posts. They are stored int he vault for that moment when she directs me to my own project on the other side of the table-room-house.

    Also, love love the Twisted Sister reference and Jem cartoons, man I loved that show! I always thought the dolls were amazonianly big compared to barbies and really didn't yearn for one.

  4. LOVE your post! I'm sure my 6 year old daughter would love the chace to do anything to a plain old t-shirt. Way to go mom! You're great!

  5. OH - that looks fun :) and I wish i could see the other parents faces when Smootch goes to school :)

  6. That is awesome. Takes guts to let your kid take the helm and dress like that! I love it.

  7. I am certain the younger parents/faculty would be jealous. I remember those shirts on teen girls at camp some summers back.

    She did a great job!

  8. This made me laugh. Thank you!

    Smootch has some awesome style . . . I'm glad you're letting her be herself.

    It's been a long time since I thought about Twisted Sister. Someone needed to bring that up again. And Jem? All in the same post? Man, I wanted to be her BAD when I was younger. Those Misfits always geeked me out when I was little, but I LOVED Jem.

  9. the shirt is outrageous! sure her name isnt jerrica?

  10. Smootch ROCKS! And it looks like she's well aware of the fact. May she never forget it.

  11. Oh, my gosh, I loved Jem! This shirt is fantastic. I think I may stop applique-ing stained kid shirts and just let them have at it instead.


    Okay, totally not my style, but sister's got STYLE all her own. Gotta respect that! :D