My mother was a genius. She was the paragon of parenting that I aspire to be. She could sow and glue, create and build, draw and inspire. She was at peace with double sided sticky tape and did not panic when I announced my desire to be a frog/martian/koala bear/ Mr Tickle/a clanger for the next fancy dress party.
She was a great cook too.
I, regretfully, am nothing like my mum. This is both a shame and a nuisance as other mothers seem to have acquired the creative gene and what is worse, expect their peers to have it too.
As the nights draw in and our home is swathed in darkness by 5pm, I am determined not to take the easy option of watching Finding Nemo for the thousandth time with my daughter. This leaves us with little option but to basteln, the wonderful German verb which covers all things arty-crafty.
Today, I discovered a hitherto undiscovered aptitude for the art of robot building! Finje is currently going through an android fascination stage. It followed the knight in shining armour stage and knowing my luck it will probably precede the fire breathing dragon stage.
We "bastellt" away, Finje and I, for hours on end. It was surprisingly satisfying and more than a little relaxing. At long last, from under the mountain of aluminum foil, glue, buttons, cereal boxes, sellotape, paints, pipe-cleaners (I know! How impressive that I had pipe cleaners?) and a plethora of other items we dug up from all corners of he house, Lili the Robot emerged. Like a Phoenix from the flames, she arose to a round of flabbergasted applause from my husband and a bushy tail and raised hackles from Ripley the Merciless (cat).
The whole time, Finje had been regarding me with a look of disbelief. Clearly wondering who had abducted her mother and replaced her with Martha Stewart. She seemed to settle on enjoying the experience while it lasted.
I, for one, emboldened by the masterpiece that is Lili, intend to continue to amaze my family with feats of outstanding bastelling capabilities. Before you can say sticky back plastic, I shall be making a three storey, five bedroomed doll's house out of nothing but loo rolls and crepe paper.
As I tucked my baby up in bed this evening, I asked her if Lili was a German or an English robot. "English" she replied. I asked her why and she didn't miss a beat,
"Because she likes milk in her tea"
You can read more Achtung Baby posts here.