It’s a universal truth… we’re all a bunch of numpties who hightailed it out of the darkest depths Africa. Some of us are just numpt-ier than others. On the numpty barometer of human morality we’re all there, having notched up forests of post-its on how we satisfactorily compare to our fellow numpties.
Weeding out imperfections in others is a natural human flaw. Pulling the thorns from our own egos? Never. Only this morning I threw a seething glance at the creature next to me on the train who almost combusted me with his vile breath. Forget the impact of C02, given the chance this guy could reduce the Arctic to a toxic brewery and still have enough fumes to take on Iceland. And then there’s the she-man who trots along the road each morning hidden beneath a scraggly blonde wig and an utterly ridiculous grin – yes you know who I’m talking about. He’s worth a giggle a day. Tut-tut. And still on the subject of numpties in Numpty Land there are those who take it to the tenth degree by putting the numpty spotlight on themselves: sharing their daft unsubstantiated opinions. It’s a shaky moral high ground sewlling with immoral numpties. We all share that spotlight; we all do it.
Earlier this week a five year old kid was abducted from a small Welsh village. It has taken only a couple of days for hyper numpti-ism to erupt. The child’s mother has been lambasted a pathetic parent, a bad mother who left her child unattended for 10 minutes at night outside… without adult supervision. Shudder. She should be thrown in the stocks so we can hurl the expired contents of our fridge at her. She should be held down and forced to endure a scathing citation of Acceptable Parenting (by, erm, whom?). To some she has dropped way down their barometer of human morality. She doesn’t deserve motherhood.
As fickle and opinionated as us lot are, I’m amazed by our incessant urge to berate, ridicule and judge others. Motherhood is tough. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. Whether we live in squalor or splendour, provide toast or steak, scream or whisper, are addicts or preachers – we all muck up at some point. It’s a continual ride towards perfection for most. So 10 minutes of your kid being out of sight? I can think of a few worse things I’ve done as a parent. Perfection is fiction, regardless of your status. You can gladly pull me way down your barometer of morality. Numpty.
Definition of numpty: an idiot or fool.
A little while back I wrote a post about creative ways to wrap your gifts (you can read it here). It inspired me to step away from commercial gift wrap and consider more creative options to wrapping loot.
Not a good photo, but you get the picture nonetheless
The little girl and I began our new approach to gift wrapping by starting with her friends’ birthday presents. Our supplies included brown paper, string, foam shapes and letters, raffia, and those old-fashioned luggage labels. Oh and of course, buttons.
Wrapping is quick and easy, and the little girl spends a great deal of time decorating the luggage label with the foam shapes and letters. The final result may not be too superfluous or gaudy, but it imparts a fair deal of charm and interest. The gifts are always handed to the birthday kid with a big toothless smile, followed by a response along the lines of ‘oh wow, look at that’.
I think the important part of the wrapping mission is the effort and thought the little girl now takes to wrap her friends’ gifts. It’s not only a gift she’s handing over, but a piece of her own handiwork that adds to the delight of giving.
Who knows – maybe she apologises profusely to her buddies after I’ve dropped her off at the parties. Perhaps she says ‘mother made me do it’. Or maybe she carries a secret stash of Clinton’s garish gift bags under her coat. Or maybe not.
Back to the subject of buttons, here’s a few bright and easy craft ideas kids will love. These ideas are super for birthday party activities too - they’re non-fuss and simple to organise. Place several tubs of colourful buttons around the craft table with felt flowers and craft glue and watch the creative action unfold. Younger kids will need help gluing on the brooch backs.
Make your own button and felt brooch
* x2 felt flowers – one larger one and one small one (cut out your own or buy them pre-cut here)
* x1 brooch pin back (you can buy a pack of 10 here)
* x2 colourful buttons (one small and one larger)
* Craft glue
Glue the two felt flowers to the brooch pin back, and then glue the larger button to the centre of the felt flowers. Add a drop of glue to the button and then press on the smaller button. Leave to dry.
Make your own button hair clip
* x2 hair clips
* x3 colourful buttons (small, medium and large)
* Craft glue
Glue the largest button to the back part of the clip, and then glue on the medium and then small buttons. Leave to dry.
Buy a button craft set on my Folksy shop here.
I discovered a hand scribbled note on my pillow earlier this week. It said: I do not believe in the tooth fairy and that is that!
It was written by my seven-year old daughter who hours earlier lost her top front tooth. The tooth had been precariously suspended from her gum by a wing and a prayer for more than a week. Some hardened hero who I can’t remember suggested she bite hard into an apple. The little girl opted for the natural route and waited it out.
Finally the tooth let go amid a flush of blood and frothy spit. It was washed and folded in a tissue, ready for retail (the tooth, that is).
Things were different this time. Suddenly the Tooth Fairy was accused as being ‘the parent’. As a test the little girl hid her tooth in her bedroom. Of course the Tooth Fairy did not pitch. Instead the Tooth Fairy tiptoed about her bedroom late at night raiding every jewellery box and crevice for a tiny piece of enamel. It was hopeless.
Next morning the little girl was distraught. There was a last minute change of heart: she chose to place the tooth under her pillow. Talk about messing the Tooth Fairy around.
Round two saw the Tooth Fairy dodge her cover by reaching beneath the child’s pillow late at night. Result. The tooth was finally redeemed for £1.
There was no further discussion about the Tooth Fairy’s true identity. The little girl I suppose had accepted a cash deal for her teeth as rather cool. Regardless if it’s her mother or some denture-hungry fictional character, why jeopardise a good thing?
Once again for the sake of childhood charm I’m the one left lying through my teeth, aren’t I?