I have done this.
And so many many more. I cannot stop myself.
So yesterday I decided to do a craft with my kiddos when they got home from school. It was too cold to play outside and I was putting up Valentine's decorations, so I thought I would combine an art project with decorating and make Valentine stained glass. The idea is genius. Take old tissue paper and tear it up. Mix Elmer's glue with water and use a paint brush to paint the glue on the window. Press the tissue paper on the glue and voila!
In my mind, we were going to make giant hearts on all of the sunroom windows - one window per child. It was going to be beautiful and festive. I announced the project to my children.
"Guess what guys? We are going to make stained glass hearts on the windows!"
"Yay!" says Rachel. "But do we have to make hearts?"
Cue the sound of my vision crashing to the floor.
I should interrupt to say that I really believe that art should be free expression for children. I prefer blank paper to coloring books. I truly believe that children's creativity should not be limited and that they should be allowed to express themselves through their artistic creations. But, even though I subscribe to this philosophy, it goes against my very nature to actually carry it out. So, I had to fight with all my might to say the following.
"I guess not. What would you like to make?"
"Butterflies, I think."
"I want to make a sword!" says Jonah.
"Me too!" says Henry.
"And a throwing star!"
"Are you sure you don't want to do a heart? It could be awesome..." one last, desperate plug for my vision.
"No I want a fish!" says Lucy.
"Oh, and a gun!" cries Jonah.
"Um, we aren't making stained-glass guns." I have to draw the line somewhere....
So, off we went to the sunroom. And despite my inner voice crying out that this is not what I had in mind, we began.
A sword and a cross
I had to bite my tongue a hundred times to make myself let them do whatever they wanted. The only time I stepped in was when Lucy just wanted to paint the entire window with glue.
They painted. They pasted. They made a huge mess. They were happy.
I didn't get my Valentine's decoration. But I got stained glass. And my children got to be creative.
And it's better than perfect. Plus, I can leave it up past Valentine's day. :)