I bought myself a Cricut machine for Christmas this year. I’ve lusted after one for about three years, I finally had an Amazon gift card and no other more pressing priorities. It’s called a Cricut Explore Air, and it’s basically a die-cut machine. You can precision cut designs out of any material more flexible than posterboard.
My stated goal for this purchase- on the internet, as part of public record- was to become “The Pinterest Mom From Hell.”
Since I actually really do like die cutting as a hobby, I will admit that there was more to it than just showing off for my fellow moms. I did the overwhelming majority of the decorations for Chloe’s birthday party. I’ve made some cards. I created a whole series of Yeti drinkware with urban legends depicted on them.
However, all of this was minor compared to the stakes this time of year, when everyone pulls out their A-game: Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Challenge, accepted.
I’ve been experimenting with dioramas, and so I decided Chloe and I would design a diorama for her kindergarten teacher. Topics were proposed and rejected. We settled, finally, on an undersea theme.
The finished product. Look carefully
As I was cutting, behold the scene I envisioned for the presentation of this gift:
Me: Sorry we missed actual teacher appreciation week. We made this for you.
Teacher: Oh wow! This is great. Thank you.
THAT MOM**: Wait, YOU MADE THAT?
THAT MOM: Oh my god. OH MY GOD! All those times I set up group play dates for 3:00 in the afternoon on weekdays! And judged you for the amount of time your child bought lunch! And judged the nutritional choices on the bought-lunch tray! All of the time I spent theorizing that you didn’t breastfeed! All of that has just melted away under the weight of the fact that you can do THIS.
*That mom faints and is dragged to the restroom by a pair of Those Women*** who follow THAT MOM around.*
**Let’s face it we all know THAT MOM
***Let’s face it we all know THOSE WOMEN
What ended up happening was quite different.
I finished the diorama two days early, but I still fussed with it last night trying to get it cleaned, getting Chloe to sign her name to the back, and wrapping it in the color-coordinated tissue paper I bought yesterday at Kohls. I cricut’ed a matching card (it was darling and featured a jelly fish). In short, I would say that I spent a decent amount of time staring at it once it was in the frame.
Chloe and I proudly walked it down the hall to the classroom.
The teacher promptly placed it on the nearest table and opened it.
First, a win. She was delighted enough to pick it up and examine it closely. At which point I notice that there is a BEER BOTTLE CAP covering the jellyfish in the top left corner. Specifically a Devils Backbone Real Ale cap.
Me: Oh my god. THAT is not supposed to be there.
The Teacher: *laughing hysterically* Well it certainly looks as though you had a relaxing weekend.
Me: Hey. Listen. I have, in my day, contributed more than my share of discarded beer caps. Not this weekend though, that’s not mine.
The Teacher: Oh my god this is the funniest thing that has ever happened to me.
Me: *dying inside* Well, you’re certainly going to remember getting it, I tell you what.
The other kids in class: *Gathering Around* Mrs. G, there’s a bottle cap stuck in there.
There were no other parents in the room. The teacher and I politely agreed that she could probably handle opening the frame and removing the bottle cap. I left.
Upon reflection, I am forced to admit that my attempt to be Pinterest Mom will always be diluted by my innate Bridget Jones’ Diary self.
Also, I realize that all of this is a hard lesson in not trying to avenge millennial parent-on-parent violence with paper craft schemes.
Next time, though, I’m going to nail the whole scene. Just you watch.