When Your Kids Have Hobbies You Know Nothing About

It is inevitable your children will one day develop an interest in things outside your scope of experience.

Now on one hand you can consider this a learning experience, expand your horizons to include areas you have never considered.

On the other hand, it can be annoying.

My children play musical instruments and like to sing, I think they are pretty good, but then I’m tone deaf. Luckily, this area requires no participation from me apart from paying for the lessons and drop offs to practice.

Similarly, they play soccer, a sport I didn’t know existed until we found ourselves covered in frost on the sidelines watching air swings and aimless wandering on a very large field. I’ve come to like the sport, and their performances have improved, although the off-side rule still eludes me. I even bought Soccer for Dummies in an attempt to understand the rules (especially the off-side rule) I still don’t get it. However, that doesn’t stop me issuing instructions from the sideline and providing a detailed commentary on the ride home (which neither child listens to, I’ve even caught them with their I-pod headpieces in when they should be listening to me explain where they went wrong).

Touch footy, frankly what’s the POINT? But I’m trying to learn to love it.

Now Hippie Child is taking textiles and design as an elective. Sewing basically.  I think we have already established on this blog that homemaking is not an area of strength for me and really she should keep me right out of the equation.

Term one project is a skirt. Sounds simple enough. Teachers insist students go to the shops and select fabric, patterns and so forth. That’s how I got involved. Hippie Child, myself, two of her friends and their mothers ended up spending Sunday afternoon in the local Spotlight store. Actually,  the mothers were supposed to be having coffee in the cafe next door but sadly they saw the desperate trio approaching and shut down for the day. We wandered through the shop for a while only to end up in the fabric section with our children, a big mistake.

It’s a whole other world. They have systems people. Systems I didn’t understand. Hippie child selected her pattern, wrote the details on a little bit of paper, took it to counter number 1 where staff brought it over to counter number 2 and searched through large drawers filled with patterns of every description. They were out of stock of that pattern, 10 days to get it in, we need everything for Friday (five days away). Back to the drawing board, considering it had taken us over half an hour to chose that one I didn’t like our chances of seeing daylight again today.

Hippie Child liked nothing (particularly nothing I suggested). We went through every book four times. Eventually she “settled” for one, wrote the details on a little bit of paper, lined up at counter number 1 to get a staff member to take it counter number 2 to go through the large drawers. We held our breath, please God don’t make us go back to those books. EUREKA they had the pattern. They took the pattern out and handed us an empty envelope, I was confused. Apparently we can take the envelope to choose fabric then return to counter number 1 to get the staff member to go to counter number 2 to collect the pattern then return to counter number 1 to pay for said items.

In my usual let’s cut out the middle man I insisted we pay for the pattern then and there so at least we had one thing sorted. Back to counter number 1 to pay. Sadly, my friend the Scottish Mum, followed my lead paying for her pattern too ’cause there was a buy one get one free thing happening so we conducted some high finance adding and subtracting to get our patterns cheaper by sharing the promotion. More about that later.

Then we hit the fabric. Me desperately reading the back of the pack for which fabric you could use to make this skirt (and also reading Scottish Mum’s packet as well, she’d forgotten her glasses, her pattern was beautiful but neither of us had heard of any of the materials).  I desperately inquired if Scottish Mum could sew “Naw, I could build you a house quicker than make you a skirt”. We were both out of our depth. After much agony selections were made.

Zippers, of a certain length were required, which is where Scottish Mum came undone. Her skirt didn’t need a zipper. The staff politely informed her that the students in yesterday and said that a pattern with a zipper was a requirement for the subject. Scottish Mum’s daughter pulled out a very lengthy document which outlined the course and on wading through realised she did indeed need a pattern with a zipper. So refund for the pattern, counter 1/counter 2 dance, put the fabric back, start again.

I looked at Hippie Child do you even have that document? Somewhere at home, I think was the reply (she’s only been back at school 3 days).

So we’ve lucked it got a skirt needing a zipper, but one version required braiding. We were directed to the braiding/ribbon aisle. Wasn’t that a special kind of hell. Rows and rows of braid in every colour imaginable. Some wide, some narrow. Seriously, I had no idea where to begin, obviously I’m not visual enough to imagine any of this on a skirt, Hippie Child looked at some lacy stuff which looked like a bride’s garter to me. At which point I called a halt to proceedings. We’ll choose braid another day right now I need to get home and have a good lie down.

By the time we got back to counter 1 to pay my friend Party Mum was having an out-of-body experience at the cost of her home-made skirt, it was really beautiful fabric. Hippie Child and I looked at each other panic-stricken I only had 40 bucks in my wallet. We checked the price and thank goodness the child has cheap taste – she’d chosen one of the cheapest fabrics and patterns available and we just scrapped in on budget. Love you kid.

As Party Mum and I left with our respective children and purchases we last saw Scottish Mum wandering aimlessly up and down fabric aisles saying “this one looks nice, no really I think this one WOULD DO”. I hope she made it out in time for work on Monday.

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6 thoughts on “When Your Kids Have Hobbies You Know Nothing About

  1. Oh Mrs Shambles this is bringing back memories of last years sewing project – a sports bag, to be made by my 13 year old son, who as it turns out can be as particular as his mother. I too share your pain of that same Spotlight store and the endless rows of fabric to choose from. I can only hope that Hippie Child’s skirt is as much a success as Skaterboy’s bag. Thanks for the ‘fond’ memories and keep us posted on her progress.

  2. Love this post …My mother was/is an excellent seamstress …I obviously did not inherit the designer/creative gene. I took “home economics” as we called it waaaaaay back in the day here in the states cause I thought it would be an easy A…cook some meals and sew a few things how tough could it be. Well I am a good cook, and oddly I still have the stupid little apron I sewed in class but the outfit I was required to sew never ever was worn…it was pretty hideous…but if you ever need some curtains made out of sheets I’m your seamstress)! In retrospect I wish I’d have taken “shop” class with the boys (and some of my girlfriends who took it too) as I am like your friend…I’d much rather build a house than to ever have to sew something presentable to wear.

    ps…my friends each made themselves beautiful cedar hope chests which I’m sure they still have…lucky me I’ve still got my apron 🙂

  3. My son likes special effects make-up. He’s spend hours making liquid latex boils and scars. I’ll occasionally get a “Mom! Come here and check out this severed limb prosthetic! Isn’t is great?” I love me some severed limbs let me tell ya. Once upon a time, I knew nothing about special effects make-up, now I know a lot more than I want to about the subject. I keep wishing he liked Legos. *sigh*

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