The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Art Lessons

How to Enrich and Foster a Love of Art in Your Children While Rejecting the Rampant Consumerism and Commercialization of a Pseudo-Religious Holiday – A Step-by-Step Tutorial in Self-Righteousness

Step 1: Have lunchtime cocktails with several of your oldest and dearest friends. Blow directly past the ‘appropriate lunchtime beverage consumption’ line due to encouragement from friends and amazing drink prices. Recognize it could hardly have been helped.

Step 2: Decide since you’re in a shopping center, you probably need to sober up a touch, and it is the day before Easter you should probably wander around and figure out what you’re doing for your kids for their Easter baskets the next morning. Pat yourself on the back for not waiting until the literal last second. You have been known to make 9PM Target trips to purchase whatever is left in the store at that point, after all.

Step 3: Buy a birthday gift you’re two weeks late in sending, a new iPhone case for yourself and a pair of ridiculously short shorts. Determine shopping while tipsy is way more productive than doing it sober. You’re so decisive and un-over-think-ish!

Step 4: Wander into OfficeMax starting to feel sleepy. Consider office supplies as Easter gifts because WalMart is way down at the other end of the plaza and Target is all the way across the street. Office supplies could be fun, right? Stumble upon a rack of brightly colored and patterned duct tape. Decide this is the answer. Purchase several rolls of duct tape for each child without really knowing what they might do with them.

Step 5: Head to Marshall’s and find three coordinating striped shirts in small, medium and large as Easter outfits for your kids. Mentally give yourself the Mother of the Year prize because you’re totally killing it right now.

Step 6: Get home and have this conversation with your husband –

You: Dude, I’m totally awesome. Look what I got for the kids’ Easter baskets.

Him: Duct tape? What are they going to do with that?

You: I don’t know… they’re boys. They love tape. And it’s in Angry Birds and I <3 Bacon patterns. Plus pixelated camo! What says ’12 year old boy’ more than pixelated camo duct tape?

Him: I guess…

You: I’ll download directions for making projects with them online.

Him: Ok, but what about actual baskets? Did you get any of those?

You: No… do I have to do everything??? I hate the Easter baskets. We use them for 20 seconds and they stay around all year. Such a waste. We must have like 30 around the house. Can’t we just use the ones from last year?

Him: If you can find them. Um, and I’m not sure I would characterize what you’ve accomplished so far today as ‘doing everything’. You day-drank and went shopping.

You: Hey, I also went to a Ballet Booty class this morning that was extremely difficult. My ass is going to be sore for days. And I didn’t taste-test any tequila when I stopped at Total Wine, which was a huge accomplishment, thank you very much.

Him: I stand corrected. You’re practically super-woman.

Step 7: Google ‘How to make stuff with duct tape’ and get lost down a wormhole of weird people making things of all sorts out of duct tape on YouTube for 2 hours. Eventually stumble across a couple of tutorials about making baskets out of duct tape. Have an epiphany that you can kill two birds with one stone by having the kids make their Easter baskets out of duct tape as an art project and pretending this was all an elaborate, intentional, well-thought out plan by the Easter Bunny.

Step 8: Find a cute looking woven basket pattern, print out the directions and leave this note for the kids:

Step 9: Realize after reading the directions and doing the math, each basket will require 16 rolls of duct tape and 43 skilled artisan man-hours to complete. Try not to cry.

Step 10: Find a YouTube tutorial on how to make a basket out of duct tape that looks so simple your extremely elderly cat has a good chance of completing it, even without any opposable thumbs. Know this is probably the only chance you have at coming out with anything remotely resembling a basket.

Step 11: Get up the next morning to two slightly confused children who aren’t sure why they’ve been give duct tape as a present. Show them the YouTube tutorial on making the basket. Realize you don’t have all of the supplies necessary for the project. Run to the grocery store to get three more rolls of plain silver duct tape and balloons.

Step 12: Begin by taping the balloons sticky side down instead of sticky side out. Argue indignantly that you know what you’re doing when your husband points out the error in this logic until you watch the video again and realize you’re completely over your head with this.

Step 13: Start over and this time enlist the help of your husband because you clearly don’t know what the eff you’re doing and this is all way harder than you thought it would be.

Step 14: Yell, “I TOLD YOU NOT TO MOVE OR TOUCH ANYTHING.” 87 times because it turns out balloons covered in duct tape sticky side out are kind of a problem.

Step 15: Threaten to send anyone to timeout who doesn’t look like he’s enjoying this enough.

Step 16: Use all of the willpower you can muster not to murder your almost-teenager for emerging from his bedroom 2 hours after everyone else gets up only to look on with disdain at the project and respond, “It doesn’t appear I have an alternative,” when asked if he wants to participate. Decide not to have any more teenagers because they are THE WORST.

Step 17: Feel excessively joyous and exceedingly proud of yourself when both baskets and smiles begin to emerge from the chaos and wreckage.

Step 18: Punch your husband in the face when he calculates that each of these baskets actually cost in excess of $15 each to make, not counting labor.

Step 19: Vow next year to buy baskets and get a pedicure with the money and time you saved.


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