Felt Cloth Artists

My usual Monday positivity was a bit shaky this morning when I woke up and remembered that day-care is closed. But in honor of MLK Jr., I thought I would make this day all about doing new things and celebrating love, freedom and equality for all. Except, sharing equal power with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, even for a day, is not necessarily good for one’s mental health, I’m learning.

And even though Martin Luther King Jr, didn’t intend his famous quote – Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that – to be about parenting, I had to chant it several times when I too felt like yelling and screaming and having a tantrum right along with my kids.

It takes a lot for my kids to get to me, but today they pressed all the right buttons. I had planned many fun activities to take up our day, but they moved like molasses and whined like I was doing all these things for me (well, may be I was?). That high-pitched, slow-talking, whining voice is what kills me guys, and there was a lot of it to handle single handedly today.

But after doing some breathing exercises that, ironically, they taught me, I confessed that “mommy was having a bad day.” That “I am frustrated because you guys don’t have listening ears on and it’s keeping all the fun away”. At school they are encouraged to use words to share their true feelings instead of just getting mad, and there is no reason why that wouldn’t work for me too i figured. As expected, I felt so much better and got plenty of hugs to make it all better . They did slip a few times after our hear- to-heart, but I did not! And that’s what matters.

What does all this have to do with a felt cloth? Ha! Sorry for digressing! Once we got back home and I was back to my usual patient self, I tried to think of a “quiet” craft, which involved the least bit of arguments, sticky substances, and messes. I had bought some colorful felt rectangles for my own crafting, but I was more than happy to share. I cut up different shapes (along with some colorful yarn strings) and let them make pictures. It worked beautifully! desperation + resourcefulness = creativity and good time!

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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