My Nemesis, The Clay Class

Today marks the end of the family clay class that I have been taking the boys to, every Thursday for the past nine weeks. I breathed a sigh of relief as we walked back to the van, clay turtles and volcanic islands in hand. You see, I hated clay class. I dreaded it every week. The boys, on the other hand, loved it, and so I kept my feelings to myself.

I was the only mom there with two children to deal with. I would look around and the other moms would be focusing their attention on their child and their clay sculpture, which would inevitably look like what it was supposed to look like. Suns would look like suns, complete with rays and smiling faces. Then I would look down at my little hyenas, one of whom would be adding a fifth eye to his sun, the other sculpting a sock to stick to his sun’s face. I would look at the other moms, painting and glazing with appropriate colours and detailing, and then I would look at my children, who had apparently ingested a hallucinogen of some sort, painting their sculptures in a strange and alarming array of colour. The entire class I would be crazily busy keeping up with them, helping them in their bizarre art, and not giving either of them very focused attention. On bad days, it sort of felt like a metaphor for my life.

I never for a moment have regretted having my children so close together. They are true playmates who share so many similar interests. However, I do feel that most days it is just impossible to give solid, focused attention on just one child at a time. I once read a parenting article that advocated spending thirty minutes per day giving one-on-one time to each child. I remember after reading that wondering how anyone could actually feasibly do that. Maybe by locking one child in his room for half an hour, so I could do a craft with the other? Hmm. That just doesn’t seem right.

Most days, I feel that the constant existence of a playmate in the form of a sibling more than compensates for the lack of one-on-one attention from me. And so even though the session is over, I will have many haphazard, colourful, crazy pieces of art to remind me of this time, when it was the three of us, together in our clay class.


  1. it is all such a balance– I think the best thing us mamas can do for ourselves is to take a deep breath, let go, and know that we are doing the best that we can. I love that your little abstract artists were adding sixth eyes and crazy color schemes– it just says they are creative and trust that you’ll be okay with that. I think you should celebrate being brave enough to even take a class like that with two littles…and also the fact that your brood obviously does not color inside the lines.

  2. I think all parents of more than one child struggle with this, no matter how their children are spaced.

    Extra kudos for not doing your sons’ projects for them, which is always a temptation. 😉

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