How to Create a Monster


i learned something this past weekend. i laughed out loud when the realization struck me. And then i smiled…for a long time.

It was a typical weekend around here. The hubs and i convened in the living room saturday morning  and asked our usual question; “So what’s on tap for this weekend?”

For some people, that might mean, “Where do you want to eat out on date night?” or “What time do we need to be at so and so’s birthday party?” But most often, for us, what we’re really asking is;

“What projects are we going to tackle this weekend?” “What’s on the Home Depot, AC Moore, Terrain shopping list?” Stuff like that.

i’m a little embarrassed by this.

My husband and i often discuss the fact that we should consciously take some time out to picnic with our 4-year-old or just veg in front of some animated movie with a big bowl of popcorn so he knows our attention is on him. In fact, this past weekend, i was determined to focus 100% on my little guy. It was my #1 goal. But it didn’t turn out how i’d planned.

Little man trotted into my room bright and early saturday morning, climbed up between the 2 groggy lumps and nestled into the covers. i savored the snuggle and breathed in his hair and strengthened my resolve to have a day without projects.

“What do you want to do today, buddy?” i asked. “Today is all about you, and you can do anything you want.”

i then proceeded to throw out a million kid-friendly ideas, all of which were quickly snubbed.

“I just want to work, mommy.”


“i want to work on projects with you and daddy.”

Oh lord. i’ve created a monster.

It’s true, my child will choose a paintbrush in my studio or screwdriver in the garage with his daddy 9 times out of 10. He wants to make things. He doesn’t think about it. He just lives it. He is just like my husband and me. i worry if that’s a bad thing.

While watching tv the other day and seeing a commercial for a Food Network show, he asked if WE could build our own restaurant. He could make the food because he’s so good at helping make dinner.
He saw a truck on the road that had flames painted along the sides, and later asked me if we could paint his wagon green with orange flames so it would look like it was racing.

He even asked me if we could build an airplane with a “real jet engine” so he could take all his friends for a ride!

i’ve tried to explain that certain things are best left to the experts, but he just reminds me we can buy a book or look up instructions online.

i’ve created a little do-er.

He has no concept of “can’t” or idea in his little head that some things might be impossible to make. i kinda love it.

This weekend, we were prepping for an upcoming family BBQ. i wasn’t feeling well, so i took the easy road and planted myself on our couch for the simple work of slip-stitching the zillion new cushion covers i’d made for our deck furniture. Nick and Cooper sat on the rug in front of me assembling a new outdoor misting fan (which we bought specifically for Papa Joe, and little man thinks is the coolest thing ever.) Coop ran back and forth fetching tools as Nick called them out and he was in charge of tightening screws. i had to sit back and pause for a moment. Then i took a photo. This is my family. This is how we roll. i cannot help but smile.

crafty family

And just when i worry that maybe my little guy is not doing enough “regular” 4 year old things while he’s so busy tinkering and building, he abandons me and my boring old needles and thread, and Nick with his last few screws, and goes running off in the direction of the swingset to dig in the sandbox and climb his fort.

And all is right with the world.

20 thoughts on “How to Create a Monster

  1. Oh how I just love, love, love this blog. It actually made me a little teary – dreaming of the day I have my own kids and can pass on my craftiness to them. Your fam is rad and I love this story! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  2. thanks lauren! passing on the craftiness is so much fun. right now, i’m typing this in my office while Coop plays with modeling clay beside me at his own craft table. He says he’s cutting “little bricks” so he can build a castle….excellent : )

  3. EXCELLENT!! You have no idea what a strong, independent child you are raising. Kids need a purpose and love to have a job that helps…it sounds like what goes on at my house :)

  4. I just loved this post…even though I do not have children, I think it’s awesome that your little guy is so independent and already showing his passion! You gave me such a chuckle when you gave him all of these choices and he chooses to work with you two…. Keep on encouraging him!


  5. I love it! I’m not the only one. My boy l-o-v-e-s to help out. Sometimes a little too much…but that’s okay! I finally got him to stop going under tables, etc to see how they were built – that got old, real quick..especially when eating out. haha.
    Thanks for the great blog.
    ♥ – Kat.

  6. So cute! I hope to create a little monster like that some day! It is all about how you approach it. My husband’s father was a “do-er” and did all the plumbing, electricity, painting, roofing, etc on their house. He forced my husband to help him and now that my husband is a grown man and can pay someone else to do it all…he won’t bother with any DIY.

    I am the opposite. I want to do it all. I guess any child we have will be somewhere in the middle.

    Great post!

  7. This is the first time I have read your blog and I will be back! I love this post and smiled because my 4 year old daughter thinks we can make anything too! I do a lot of repurposing and upcycling, especially clothes, and she is always finding things to reuse in fun 4 year old ways!

  8. Stephanie, this is exactly what I hope my daughter will be like in a couple of years! Why is it we all think we aren’t doing the right things for our kids? No matter what we do, there’s something else we could be doing instead. I think projects together as a family is as good as treats like the zoo or staying up for a movie. Come to think of it – that’s how I was raised! (which turned out mostly ok most of the time!)

    1. thanks mari. i agree. i love that he is so invested in our projects and gets to take pride in the results. we might not hit the zoo or park as often as others….but he’s not lacking for family bonding! : )

  9. I think we are all breeding a lot of little do-ers these days. With a world of information at their fingertips, of course they can do anything! It’s a wonderful post, hope to see more of his projects. Maybe a blog is in his future? 😀

    Happy blogging!

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