Art and Craft

It is Sunday morning. Betty is plonked in front of the telly gawping at a conga style marathon of startlingly unstimulating pig people and I pretend that the mountain of skiddy undies spilling from the washing basket is homely; endearing even, if you overlook the particularly crusty ones. I sit, first brew of the day in my hand, picking chunks of hard skin off my feet and flicking them across the living room, listening intently for that skitter as they career across the laminate and settle themselves under the coffee table or armchair. Everything is well with the world.
All of a sudden.
I remember.
There is a birthday tomorrow, this selfish sod is one of the ones we see regularly and cannot ignore, and we are poor. Bugger.
So, eye to eye with financial ruin, I brace, haul myself up off the settee and…DO SOME ACTUAL PARENTING.
I know – and I’m not even blagging it. I’m talking proper. Like, THE TELLY GOES OFF.
Up roll my sleeves, out come the paints and in slip the gritted teeth.

Coloured card, glue, giggling, crayons, excitement, tissue paper, fascination, glitter and many smudges later, I surface from five minutes of creativity with my offspring, reeling at the discovery that this quality time lark is unnervingly seductive. Sucked in by this horrifically warm, fuzzy feeling of engagement with my daughter, I dally further along the Parenting Hall of Fame, investing another heartwarming five, nay, ten minutes, in our shared artistic thriftiness.