I’m pretty certain that one day my son will be lying down on a long couch and sobbing to a therapist about how his mummy made hundreds of toys but he was never allowed to play with them. For me, if not other needle felting parents, this is what causes me the most grief.
He’s 3. I barely trust my husband with handling my creations, let alone the heavy-handed, sticky-pawed mini Dexter that lives with us. He tries so hard to be gentle and, for the first 5 minutes (if I’m lucky) he remembers to be ‘very carefully’ [sic] with my models. Then it all goes to hell. Limbs get pulled off, eyes mysteriously shift position, wool fluffs up so much it may as well be back on the sheep – you get the picture.
I’ve stopped showing him the majority of my creations now partly because of this, and partly because he doesn’t especially like my Dead Eric series and quite frankly I don’t handle criticism well (especially when it’s being dished out by a certified poo poo head.). My son doesn’t sugar coat things – he licks the sugar off his opinions and studies you out of the corners of his eyes before dishing out devastating repostes. That’s my boy.
So we’ve reached a compromise. I make him his own felted creatures, which he is welcome to destroy to his heart’s content; he abandons them after a cursory glance and resumes his efforts to reach Barry the Bat (with his irresistibly fragile wings). Hey, I didn’t say it was a good compromise!
He’s too young for needle felting himself (well duh!) but I do like to get him involved. We have a little ritual now that we both enjoy – the viewing of the sketchbook. Whenever I’ve designed a new character or creation we sit down together and it’s his job to come up with their names. This is how we’ve ended up with names such as Hesserly the hedgehog, and Apple Boo and Cooloo the Felted Fiercies. There are names that make sense, such as ‘Stampy Feet’ the monster and ‘Little Ears’ the sheep (although its ears aren’t particularly little, if I’m honest). ‘Mr Nose’ the pig I can see the reasoning behind; the same with ‘Running Around’ the fox and ‘Scruffly’ the badger. I’m not too sure of the logic behind ‘Swoo’ the rat, ‘Agorda’ the wolf or ‘Lops’ the owlet, but I presume there is some in his little three year old brain. I don’t know where he got the idea for ‘Derek’ the seahorse or ‘Barry’ the bat, but they’re proper names at least. ‘Dratty’ the bee I quite like. I have my reservations about ‘Splats’ the Day of the Dead figure though, and Deydrick the raccoon just baffles me.
i think everyone needs a 3 year old to name things. Hours of fun.
Distracting him with this new position of authority doesn’t stop him from asking, twinkly-eyed with hope, ‘is that a new one, mummy’ whenever he sees me surreptuously sneaking a new creation onto my designated felt-shelf, but it at least distracts him long enough for me to stand a Dead Eric or two on guard to protect them. He’ll probably be mentioning that to the therapist one day too.