Thursday, January 20, 2011

Imani and the sewing maching

Imani really wanted a sewing machine for Christmas. I said no. Our neighbor/Grandma, Kathy, has sewed with the kids and they all love it. I don't love to sew. I actually, really, kind of, can't stand to sew. I don't mean anything mean to all of you who love to sew. I think it is an art. And I am not artsy. And I have no patience or tolerance for art. That, is, for creating it myself. I do appreciate art. I just don't like to create it.

So, Imani wants a sewing machine and I said no. Couple of reasons. One, and the big one, is Akila. She will undoubtedly have a hard time with a sewing machine. She will be jealous. She will try to sabotage it. And Akila, definitely could not handle it without constant help. Which, as I mentioned, is something I hate. Her fine motor skills lack also. Not fun.

Anyway, I had told Imani that once she became more skilled with a machine, I would be more open to the idea. But for me, to every 5 minutes, be going to help her thread it, our unjam it, or whatever you call all that stuff, would drive me nuts. I know. Bad mom. But that is who I am. The kids have a zillion times, done some hand sewing projects. I have to help them get it started, make the knot, etc. Can't stand it. Bad mom.

Kathy and I talked about Imani using her old machine (she has a fancy newer model, and a really nice older model- not like the really old one that I have from my mother-in-law), and she is going to sometime help Imani get more familiar with it so she can be more independent with it. But here is what happened today.

Imani came home with a letter to Santa that she was graded on . She got 19.5 out of 20 points. It is a good letter. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Claus:

I hope Rudolph is still shining his bright nose. I'm sending this request to get a sewing machine. I think I deserve this because I am nice to my family even though they can be annoying.

I was going to use my neighbor's other sewing machine, but she said no (not because she doesn't trust me). I would share with my siblings and family and my friends. I also will keep it in good hsape and only ask for help when my mom isn't busy.

Say hi to Mrs. Claus for me!



Enclosure: Information on sewing machine


She then included a sheet printed from the interned with info on a sewing machine, with the price and all. Wow, I am a bad mom!!! She would only bother me when I'm not busy? Wow. Kathy was willing to let Imani bring the sewing machine over to our house, and I did say no. I just know Akila would freak out, and Imani still has not been responsible enough to keep her room locked.

It is hard to see how Akila's FASD effects the entire family. From the fact that I am worried about how she will handle the sewing machine and what she will do with it, to the fact that I have spent all my patience on her issues, and don't have any left for a sewing machine. Her birthday is in June. She may be ready by then. So may I.


GB's Mom said...

I'll pray for both.

Blessed said...

I just wanted to tell you it's not just you. I don't know how to sew, but if I did, I could NOT help my children learn. I can do art projects, sometimes, but I don't do crafts (i.e. things that take patience and skill) and I have only recently started playing board or card games with the kids (the oldest is now 10). Other people would play Candyland with their 4 year olds, and I would be sitting there thinking, "how is this fun for either of us? I'm just telling her what to do every step of the game. Don't I boss her enough in real life?" So I quit and never looked back.

If I am ever questioning if I am a good mom about something, I choose a historical figure whom I admire, like Abraham Lincoln or Harriet Tubman, and I ask myself, "Did that person's mother play board games with him/her?" Of course not, and they are some of the best people our nation has produced. ; )

I'm really good at the rationalization. You're not a bad mom--you just need to get more creative in your rationalization.

Ok, JK! Can you sign up Imani for a sewing class somewhere? If the machine is not in the house, that would get around most of the problem, right? I hope something works out. You are being so smart in anticipating Akila's struggle, and yet it does sound like Imani should get a chance to learn. . . may God give you wisdom. : )

a longtime lurker, Blessed

the johnson crew said...

sweet imani, i remember getting a sewing machine when i was a kid. (it didn't do me much good, i still am horrible at it. and it is always jamming up on me still. but as a kid, my mom would give me scraps of fabric and i would make the UGLIEST "cinderella skirts" for my younger two sisters. (they were the cinderella clothes she wore before becomming a pricess - "rags") but it was so fun to me. and what a sweet note.

you are not a bad mom. i completely understand. my mother in law bought kalynn a kit to sew a bear and we started on it last night. every time i left the room she would call me back in to fix her mistake. :) we set a timer and when time was up we put it away until next time.

maybe she could practice locking her room.

Miz Kizzle said...

That's sad for Imani. Would Akila damage the machine if you presented it as yours? Something that belonged to you and that you let Imani use every now and then?
It must be hard for you having to disappoint the other kids because of Akila's behavior. Of curse it's not her fault but it still must be very difficult for her siblings.
I learned sewing from my mom and grandma when I was young and yes, kids need a lot of help at first threading the needle, winding the bobbin and unjamming the needle when it gets messed up. The sewing machine made for children that was my first machine didn't really work well. It was too flimsy and more like a toy that a real machine. it could only sew through very thin fabric and it got frustrating to try and do more complicated projects.
I'd suggest getting a good used machine for Imani when the time is right, one that's very sturdy and basic with few bells and whistles.
If there's a large fabric store near you they sometimes give lessons. That might be fun for her.
good luck.

Anonymous said...

We all beat ourselves up over what we see as faults with our children - look at all the positive things you do for your kids! I have no patience for sewing either and that's just the way it is. Annie sews with my mom, Imani sews with your neighbor - it's all good. Try googling MN sewing classes - Treadle Yardgoods in St. Paul has a kids sewing class during Spring Break this year. Might be kinda fun if you can swing it. - Liza