Monday, March 3, 2008
This is my first try at participating in Unplug Your Kids' Unplugged Project. Every week, a new theme is given, such as red, toothpicks, or fabric, leaving readers and their children to interpret anyway they want. Everyone then signs up at the Unplugged Blog, and you can see everyone's different ideas of how to do the theme. We are far from Unplugged in our house - in fact, Paige is watching Little Einsteins while I type this. But, I do like attempting to do projects with her, and I love the idea of a theme, and seeing what everyone comes up with for that idea. I've always found the idea of giving a group of people the same items interesting. They always come up with unique ideas.
This week's theme was music. First, Paige and I danced. However, seeing as I got the music by turning on the TV and using one of the all music stations that my cable company provides, I figured that it probably didn't count as being Unplugged. I had a great idea though - to make a rainstick with her. I used the directions from Enchanted Learning, but then I also consulted a video of the project from Sprout's Good Night Show. That girl made it look so easy! However, I found out that it wasn't so easy for perfectionism.
First, Paige and I decorated a paper towel tube with stickers. They were alphabet stickers, and I let Paige pick what letters to use and stick them on. Next, my directions said to cut out a circle of paper to cover the ends. Easy enough. One set of directions told me to glue the circle on, one said to tape it. I figured tape would be easier and less messy. However, no matter how much I tried, I could not tape the paper on! The tape would not stick! Michelle helped me out, and we tried a couple different kinds of tape, and nothing worked. Now I was starting to get frustrated and mad at myself. How come nothing ever works right for me? I started to think. Michelle went and got some Saran Wrap and my rubber band ball. She had Paige pick a colored elastic and helped her put Saran Wrap over the first end. Paige and I then followed the rest of the directions, and put Saran Wrap and elastics over the other end. This seemed to work well, but when I shook it, a lot of the rice got stuck in between the Saran Wrap and the end of the tube, and you had to push it back in. Also, the tube wasn't keeping it's shape at one end - the rubber bands squished it shut. This was really irking my perfectionism.
I have a hard time when things don't go the way I planned for them to go. It is often hard for me to "change gears." This makes it hard for me to do things with a 3 year old sometimes, because things almost never go the way I had planned, and I want to make sure she doesn't become a perfectionist like me, so I try to go with the flow. But during this project I'm sure she saw I was frustrated that it wasn't coming out the way it was "supposed" to. Michelle then reminded me of the motto I use for my classroom, taken from Maryann Kohl's books - that it is the "Process, not the Product." (Darn her for being a logical friend.) She's right. I know she's right. The finished product doesn't have to be "perfect." It doesn't have to look just like any picture. The important part is that Paige and I did it together, and that we had fun. I just wish that wasn't so hard for me to remember sometimes. I just wish I didn't immediately get all stressed out about every little thing.
How do you deal with things when they don't go as planned? Anyone have any tips for how I can "let go" of having Paige and I do "perfect projects?"