A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I got a text from my son’s preschool (that’s how they send out newsletters) stating that St. Patrick’s Day was coming up, so they were going to have a little party for the preschoolers and our homework as parents was to make a leprechaun trap at home. I remember feeling kind of puzzled reading this text at work and wondered what the hell a leprechaun trap even was.
Apparently, this is a common thing that children and schools do every year (insert slap yo-self on the head emoji). Maybe my memory is jacked up, but I really don’t remember doing anything like this at all! I asked Clint, “What should we do?” And his answer was, “I don’t know. Ms. Teacher (name changed to hide identity) said we could buy premade ones at Target.” So off to Target we went.
We strolled around Target for while because you know, Target is my jam and I got super distracted looking at all the new cool stuff that is put out there to grab unsuspecting shoppers’ attention (like me). Eventually we got to the seasonal area, and there were hardly anything out for St. Patty’s Day, they were already geared up for Easter! We ended up asking an employee to help us, but it wasn’t looking good. I started thinking of all these cool ideas we could do ourselves with our three year old, Sterling, but my husband seemed less enthused.
Anyways, someone found a premade leprechaun trap and we ended up buying it because someone already went through all the trouble of finding it for us. Later that night, I let Sterling have a go at it and decorate it however he wanted. I have no idea what goes on inside a three year old’s mind, but just once I would love to take a peek. This little dude thought it would be so funny if he peeled every sticker off the page, and ripped it in half to put it on the box. I laughed so hard when he was done because I thought it was the sweetest stinking thing, and he was obviously very proud. I was a tiny bit disappointed because I was wanting to make it ourselves, but I let it go because I didn’t want to start anything.
Fast forward to March 10th (when they had the party), I’m starting dinner and Clint comes through the door with our little loves, and a bunch of goodies from school. As he’s putting stuff their stuff away, he looks at me and says, “It’s a good thing you didn’t pick them up, because you would’ve been PISSED.” I met him with a bewildered look and playfully asked him why I would’ve been mad. He goes on to tell me that all the other parents made their traps homemade, and everyone else’s looked amazing and so beautiful and blah blah blah. I immediately felt a pang in my heart and my eyes well up with tears.
I felt awful that I didn’t take the time to do a homemade craft with Sterling. I felt terrible that ultimately, we took the easy and lazy way to do something because we were tired from our extremely busy lives and wanted something that hardly took any effort because we were mentally exhausted. I have always wanted to be the parent that was involved in homework, sports, projects, etc. and felt that I had failed some sort of parenting test.
Then I got to thinking…Why do I do this? Why do I feel the need to compare myself to other parents? This parenting thing isn’t exactly a competition. In the moment that the leprechaun trap was being made, we were having fun! I had laughed so hard and we were being so goofy just making a beautiful little craft with what we had. Which is when I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter if you make the best looking contraption, or the shittiest, what matters is that you have fun and enjoy your time with your loved ones! It’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who is as competitive as me, but one day at a time, am I right?