I know today is election day. It’s one of the few days of the year I am 110% happy that I do not live in the US. I just can’t handle all the rhetoric and only slightly sophisticated “you’re dumb” rigamarole.
Unless you live under a rock – and sometimes I try hard to be present in that state – you’re probably noticed a constant stream of “never ever”s leading up to this day, both from people’s mouths and from campaign machines. “Never ever”s such as, “never ever will I vote for this guy again,” or “that guy could never ever make our country better.”
Golly gee willikers.
It is our American duty to vote though, so unless extenuating circumstances apply hopefully you have cast your vote one way or the other already. So then, let’s focus on another “never ever,” as in “never ever would a child in the US use alcohol and tobacco products for art projects.”
Yep, seriously. I can’t believe I’m going there. I often have to remind myself that I couldn’t make this stuff up, even if I tried.
Last summer, the kindergarten that both of my boys currently attend put a box in the lobby with a big sign on it asking parents to donate packaging materials such as boxes, containers, paper towel rolls, etc. The children could then use these items for artistic endeavors.
The parents did indeed donate, though perhaps they went a little above and beyond the call for materials. Among the items were packages associated with alcohol and tobacco. And then the teachers made the things available for student use.
Hey, it’s all recyclable… and therefore good for the environment to reuse such materials… right?
Let’s just say it’s a good thing that these kindergartens don’t teach the children to read.
I’ll never forget the day T-Rex brought home this amazing mixed media design. It’s a trash truck (and you totallyknew that, right? right!). He was mighty proud of his creation, and so was I. Only upon a closer look did I realize that he had fashioned the trash part of the truck from two tobacco canisters!
The best part? The generous donor had even left a few wiggly scraps of the stuff inside!
How thoughtful. Really.
T-Rex eagerly showed me how he constructed the driver of the vehicle. He put several wooden dowels on two wine bottle corks and hot glued the whole dude together. And the project was definitely not complete without a beer bottle cap to act as the garbage release mechanism.
He used those exact words.
Okay, maybe not.
But those exact materials, for sure. All I could think as he’s showing me (other than, awww shucks son, what an imagination you have!) is that this project would never ever in a million years have been put together in any institution involving children in the United States of America.
Well, without a lawsuit, that is.
And shall we talk about how this innovative piece was put together? Why, it would be rather impossible without the use of power tools. A drill, a saw, and a hot glue gun had everything to do with the making of the Müllwagen. I’m absolutely certain that the teacher was right.there.with.him.the.WHOLE.time. Yeah, you betcha.
Now, T-Rex is four, almost five. Perhaps I’m just underestimating the power tool skills of a preschooler. But Screech was TWO and had been at kindergarten a whole THREE days when he brought this pop art beauty home.
A lively composition using beer bottle caps (some rusty, some fresh) and hot glue if I do say so myself. Standard materials and equipment for a two year-old, obviously. Again, there couldn’t be a doubt in my mind that Screech had constant, closer-than-white-on-rice supervision.
It’s too bad having another baby zapped 2/3 of my German skills, because I would LOVE to hear what the teachers have to say in defense of these materials. I’m sure the philosophy on allowing 2 to 5 year-olds to use power tools would be equally as entertaining.
So, today, as you are entertained (or repulsed) by the unfolding of America’s choice, remember this: “never ever”s may be come “some day”s… perhaps even sooner than you think.