Mommy Fail Number 235 – Model Car Kit

Mommy Fail Model Car Building With 8 year old

I only go to Michael’s in an emergency; I can’t be trusted.

This time, I put my blinders on to pick out a birthday present for one of Isaiah’s friends. I passed the scrapbook stickers, looked straight ahead as I walked by the colored pencils and didn’t even peak at the already-here-way-to-early Halloween decorations. I was surgical, I found the aisle I needed and tried super hard to focus. Vaguely aware of the fact that the boy had wandered off.

Everyone in the store became aware of it when his gift for projection accompanied, “Mom! Mom! Come here!”

“I’ll be there in a second.” If a second is never, because I’m not gonna just drop everything for the sentence I hear 1 million times a day.

“Mom! Mom! This is the one I want! This is it! Mom! This is it!”

Please. As if that can rip me from this really important decision making; which American Girl knock-off shoes do we want? The fake Uggs? The silver ballet flats? I cannot worry about what the boy has found, that “thing he wants.” Let’s face it, he wants something everywhere we go.

So why did I hear my mouth say yes five minutes later?

I know why I did it. I barely fought it at all. His birthday is around the corner. He let me sell a TON of his toys at garage sale, even more on Ebay. He had been very patient while I pondered fur coat or sweat suit.

When he showed me this Dukes of Hazzard police car, I just said, “Okay.”

dukes of hazzard model car mommy fail

I have a weak spot for The Dukes, and he knows it. So I guess this was really my fault. If we hadn’t named our dogs Roscoe P Coltrane and Daisy this probably never would have happened. But I did. And it did.

The problem is I really didn’t look at the box.

I had misplaced the conversation I had with the guy at Hobby Town last year who told me that these models were for real model enthusiasts. These were not for kids. Not even for kids with parents who would help them. Unless those parents were hard-core model car enthusiasts.

We don’t have one of those in residence.

The parent we have in residence asked me “What I was thinking?” when I got home.

Not at all defensive, I said, “I thought it would be nice for you two to have something to do together.”

And when, after two days of frustration, the model was barely a car yet. And the boy would ask the husband every time we left if he “would work on the car a little while we were out?” I realized it was time to stop caring.

dukes of hazzard police car model mommy fail

So I told the husband to stop caring. I told him not to worry that a corner of the directions went mysteriously missing when it may have gotten cemented to the bottom of a box and ripped off while we tried furtively to fix it before said husband found it.

And I told him not to worry that the boy insisted on glueing the wheels on instead of figuring out the right way to put them on the axle.

And so we stopped worrying. And we let the boy put the model together his way. 

model car mommy fail
That made him pretty darn happy. The boy, not the husband.

And when he decided to use The Kragle super glue, instead of the non-toxic model cement I bought, I said okay.

And the boy was happy. Once we let go of the reigns that boy worked and worked and worked.

8 year old boy building model car

And then it smelled toxic and we opened the windows.

And then he ran up to me while I was cooking dinner and said he had to wash The Kragle off his hands. When I told him it wouldn’t wash off, he covered his fingers in band-aids because – he’s Isaiah.

And then at a crucial moment of dinner preparation he said, “I’m gonna paint it now!” And I said, “Wait for me!” And he said, “Too late!” And my house smelled even more toxic than before. And I ran around opening more windows as fast as I could, hoping dinner wouldn’t burn. And my throat hurt, and the boy started coughing and then he said, “Look mom! Look! Doesn’t it look perfect?”

And then before I could turn around, “Oops! Oh no!”

Yes. You already know don’t you? You’re thinking, “Really Jen? Didn’t you know this would happen.”

Yes my dear friend, I did know something like this would happen. I did. But I made the choice to let him have the fun since the alternative was going to suck for everyone.

And so the boy got model paint all over his favorite pajamas, it even soaked through and has permanently adhered itself to his leg. No amount of soap is going to rid his body of super glue or paint. And since I won’t dip him in a vat of acetone, he’s gonna stay white and crunchy for a while. His only concern is he’s gonna look funny in a bathing suit.

But he sure is proud of his Sheriff Car!

dukes of hazzard model car mommy fail

 

And I’m thinking it’s not such a Mommy Fail after all.

 

———-

I originally published this in August, but when I saw the topic for Finish the Sentence Friday was “Whenever I hear the term “Epic Fail” I think of the time I….”

Well this is definitely what I think of! And I am really happy to join one of my best blogging friends again.

Kristi from Finding Ninee hosts this shindig, you should go see her. And check out the faboo co-hosts The Latchkey Mom and April Noelle.

  • Jean

    -I said, “I thought it would be nice for you two to have something to do together.”-
    You’re a ninja.
    He did a great job, even considering the Kragle fingers.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      LOL, thanks for getting it Jean! And I think he secretly likes the Kragle fingers 😉ReplyCancel

  • Nailed it!! (both you and Isaiah). I love the Lego movie reference — better to be a master builder than a slave to the rulebook. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I agree Sarah! Lose the instructions!ReplyCancel

  • First, I refuse. I mean REFUSE to enter a Michael’s or an AC Moore store. I make Abby go with her grandmother(s) or aunt(s) with the rule that whatever is purchased is put together by the person who had a brain fart and spent money on it.

    But more importantly how freaking awesome is a kid with SPD that managed to glue, paint, get krunchy and more importantly NOT FREAK OUT that he is now resembling a Smurf?

    And on top of that he managed not to ignite the house on fire. So I think mommy win all around.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      For real Kerri. It is beyond ridiculous and I always regret it.
      And totally about the SPD! It’s amazing how much he’s grown over the last few years. It’s part of why I can’t write about it so much anymore. I know I should keep sharing, but he’s outgrown so many things I NEVER thought he would get over!
      And no fires. Basically that’s all that matters 😉ReplyCancel

  • I’m pretty sure the failure would have been valuing order over learning and forcing your vision of what the sheriff’s car should look like over his. Isaiah can now be proud of and play with the toy he made instead of showing off a model perfectly assembled by someone else.
    Hurray for messes!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I completely agree with you Cyn. And I’m learning to say hurray for messes!ReplyCancel

  • LOL! Love it! Especially the Kragle reference… 😉 There are no mom failures in life. Period.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Oh Sarah…you’re right. But it still feels like it sometimes, doesn’t it? This one really was a win though.ReplyCancel

  • This post makes me so happy in a billion ways. What an awesome little dude you have! He did excellently and Kraggle fingers are super annoying (I had them this weekend trying to Kraggle a marble game toy together that keeps falling apart). He’s going to rock the white and crunchy look in his bathing suit, because PROUD. So, um, has he asked to blow the car up yet? 😉
    tttx10ReplyCancel

  • also G+’d and tweeted but forgot to tag you in the tweet! https://twitter.com/FindingNinee/status/497036401708646400ReplyCancel

  • I mean… I can’t believe you even tried it. Beyond my skillz, that’s for sure. You know, it kind of looks like it is covered in icing, which makes me want to eat it, which makes me realize why i’m 20 lbs overweight. 😉 Welcome back, sistah.ReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner

    What a great story! Totally Isaiah! And BTW, so wonderful to see you back here at FTSF. It’s been a long time, and I have definitely missed seeing your work and laughing along with your stories!ReplyCancel

  • First of all, I am not a craft person – at all. Second, we have a model car here, still unassembled. One of my children was a little obsessed with matchbox cars and it was getting to be age inappropriate. We tried to transition the obsession into something a little more age appropriate. Then we saw the directions and put everything back in the box…ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Exactly, Allie! I have learned my lesson, although he still loves the car!ReplyCancel

  • Awww that’s wonderful. Sometimes I think we can take the fun out of stuff trying to make it right and safe. I am glad he wasn’t harmed in the process other than being white and crunchy for awhile. LOL!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      You are so right Kenya, it is really hard to let go sometimes, but the rewards are great!ReplyCancel

  • Love this! It is not a fail at all it is not being a helicopter parent, or whatever they call it now. I applaud you, and am glad he didn’t superglue himself to your chair or something!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thanks Allison! Pretty psyched he survived!ReplyCancel

  • I love his car. My children are older now but I had to let go of the perfect Martha Stewart ideal of how decorated cut out cookies (done by the children) need to look. As long as the tasted great. Who cares?ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      So true Jamie! I am over that now (finally) and I’m happy if he’s happy!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell

    This is a perfect post to link up with FTSF and I love that you let him get paint and glue all over the place. I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time around and am so so glad that you’re hooking up with the prompt, Sweet Thang!! TTTx10ReplyCancel

  • Mardra Sikora

    That is awesomeness at work, that’s what that is. Well done, in the end. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Moskowitz Sadikman

    I love this Jen! I wish I could back off enough to just let my kids get messy like that. I’ve tried it a few times and it makes me really anxious. I end up having to leave the room and then running back in to save them from the glue/glitter/paint. The other day the 3yo showed up with blue marker all over her face and I managed to stay cool but that’s because I didn’t have to witness it! Great post.ReplyCancel

  • Oh, Jen, this is perfect. I laughed and then I cried. Sometimes we really do have to let them “have the fun” no matter how we know it’s going to turn out. The time spent together, the thrill of helping with something or doing it themselves, the look of pure joy at what they accomplished…that’s huge. The glue will come off eventually, yes? 😀ReplyCancel

  • Joe

    Good going Mom, kids have to start somewhere, and sometimes…………it can get a bit messy!

    I work for a HobbyTown myself and have seen too many Moms and Dads take the easy way out by buying prebuilt stuff for their kids or if it’s Radio Control related, will just leave the vehicle with us to fix for them so their kid doesn’t screw it up, and said it just like that in front of said child! I always like to see parents and/grandparents buy kits, even if they’re just snap together kits for their kids to build.

    If he has any interest in the General Lee, MPC has been making a snap together version for almost a year now that is a nice kit with both waterslide and peel and stick decals, if you can find it still, it would be a good one for him and shouldn’t need any Kragle to build it with either! Revell also offers a line of Kragle free kits in their Snap Tite line, although I do recommend avoiding the Ferrari Enzo, it’s a bit fiddley and had me about ready to pull my hair out trying to help a bunch of kids your son’s age build them with the assistance of a few Moms (and if you’re also reading this blog, THANK YOU!)ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thank you!! I was so surprises when this post started getting so much traffic all of the sudden, you guys are great! Glad to know I’m doing it right. I will definitely check out the General Lee!ReplyCancel

      • Joe

        No Problem Jenn and you’re welcome. There was a thread about this blog post on Model Cars Magazine’s forum that has been very positive towards you and your son, complete with stories of other guy’s first builds many, many, and innsome cases many more moons ago!

        The Dukes kits appear to be going away after the end of this year, so you may have to dig a bit for it. The kit is out of stock at Tower Hobbies right now, but apparently should be available in August or September if their arrival estimates are correct. I have a couple of the snap kits and one of the 1/16 scale kits on order for myself since I don’t know what all is going to become of them post Dukes licensing.ReplyCancel

  • Neil Van Zile

    Awesome story. I built my first model when I was five (a Fokker tri-plane) I couldn’t read yet, but I could follow along with the pictures. It was covered in gluey fingerprints, but it had three wings and I “flew” it all around the house for weeks. In the process I discovered a hobby that I still enjoy very much at the age of 57.

    I have made many friends through the hobby, plus I have learned a lot about mechanical things and the history behind the various scale model subjects that I have built. I have built models of serious things like WWII battleships and fun things like wild custom cars and Universal Movie monsters like Frankenstein and King Kong.

    And the only way you can do it wrong is if you are not enjoying it. Every kid needs something that they can do by themselves that makes them feel creative and that they have accomplished something all by themselves without any help from anyone else. It’s part of growing up and will serve them well throughout their life.

    There are some great online hoboby shops (unfortunately the well-stocked corner hobby shop is a thing of the past) and there are models of literally thousands of subjects. I recommend Megahobby.com as a great place to start. You will be amazed at the variety of scale model subject matter.

    For your own sanity you may want to think about setting up a semi-permanent model building area from items that you aren’t worried about getting covered in paint and glue. Mine is in the cellar next to the kitty litter box. 🙂

    And the model looks great!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing your tips! I am so glad someone shared this with you guys, it was a great experience!ReplyCancel

  • Michael Shipwreck Logan

    Reminds me of my first glue bomb. Awesome story specially the lesson for all of you about modeling. These pieces we modelers build sure arent toys people make them out to be. Keep on building. They will get better at it!!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I plan on it! It was a great lesson in letting go and giving him the chance to really do something himself!ReplyCancel

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