Because I am easily susceptible to flattery I found myself saying yes to taking on a special art project for my middle daughter’s class, a split class of six and seven year olds. And the project was: a quilt.
Yes, I agreed to take on a sewing project with 23 beautiful six and seven year olds.
We were making the quilt because our school has a wonderful end of year event where each of the classes make a collaborative art piece which is then auctioned off to raise money for the school. In the past the bidding has gotten a little out of hand, one year reaching at least $900 for a single piece – putting it well out of reach of many families and all the teachers.
So because our teacher is dearly beloved (and because I clearly didn’t have a clue what it would mean to make two quilts simultaneously) I decided I would also sneakily make a second quilt at the same time, which the kids will present to her as a gift at the end of the year.
I’ll skip over the past two months when I was actually helping the kids make the quilt and then sewing fifty individual squares because it would sound like this:
Ooops didn’t mean to do that.
Where are my scissors!
Damn, ran out of thread.
Bugger, back to Spotlight.
Where are my damn scissors!
I don’t want to do this anymore.
F*** back to Spotlight AGAIN!
What in hell is wrong with my machine?
What in hell is wrong with me?
And then –
Mum – I really need your help to finish these damn quilts.
Skipping to this morning when my mum showed up at my house with the finished quilts, I had one of those moments when the angels sings and you realise that your mum is in fact a little piece of heaven bundled up and delivered back to earth in a pair of jeans and sensible shoes.
Leaving the second quilt at home, I carefully bundled up the art quilt to show to the teacher. We laid it out on the table and let everyone have a look. The bell hadn’t rung yet and I still had my youngest daughter with me before I dropped her at the pre-primary. The teacher was appreciating the beauty of the kids’ designs (and my mum’s impeccable binding) and clearly Child Number 3 felt she wasn’t getting enough attention.
‘She has another one, you know,’ piped up my daughter.
Lasers shot out of my eyes and my heart sank. ‘Shhhhh’ I hissed at her.
The teacher was looking at me, shock on her face.
‘There is another one at home. On the table!’
I quite literally tried to kill my daughter with just poisonous looks (didn’t work). I wanted to throw myself across the table at her and wrestle her to the ground.
She had just given away a secret half the school had been keeping for two months and I literally could have cried. However I wasn’t actually prepared for what the teacher did next.
She took a big gasping breath and patted me on the arm.
‘Oh my gosh Shannon, do you know what I immediately thought when she said you had another one?’
I shook my head, miserable that she knew the secret.
‘I thought she meant you were having another baby!’
I couldn’t quite decide what was worse – having the surprise ruined or being mistaken as pregnant. I packed up the quilt and shuffled away with my youngest who clearly knew she had done something wrong but wasn’t entirely sure what. Poor mite. Something for her to talk to her shrink about when she’s older.
Now with a bit of time (and a muffin or two) under my belt, I can look at this morning’s event with a bit more clarity. I get mistaken for being pregnant all the time so I decided that having the secret blown was definitely the worst thing.
Never trust a five year old.