My children go to nursery twice a week and pre-school twice a week. And there are two of them. So that's a minimum of 8 pieces of artwork that they bring home every week. If I was a good mother, I would put them on display and save at least some of them for their keepsake boxes. But I'm obviously not a good mother because I do neither.
It's not that I don't appreciate my children's artistic endeavours. I do. And I'm sure that macaroni stuck onto a toilet roll could probably feature in a modern art gallery somewhere with nobby people talking about the artist's inner angst. However, I personally find most of it rubbish. There, I said it. I am officially a bad mother.
Besides not being particularly good art (I can't tell you how many times I've risked life and limb by saying: ooh, what a lovely space ship, only to be told in no uncertain terms that it's not a spaceship, it's a horse) it's almost invariably very messy art.
Yesterday for example, son number 2 came home with a toilet roll covered in glue and glittery stickers and two pieces of art covered in pine needles (one was a hedgehog, the other was 'Jamie's own creation' as labelled by the teacher). Merely looking at the pieces of paper made the pine needles fall off. So as my son proudly carried his artwork through the house, he left behind him a trail of pine needles waiting idly to prick people in the feet. The pine needles soon got stuck to the floor as the glittery stickers joined them.
Luckily, older son came home with his 'art' which was someone's old sock that apparently had a face drawn on it (I still can't see it) and it was his sock puppet. He informs me that it's a dog. I'll take his word for it.
What usually happens with their art is that I place it 'carefully' on the front seat of the car so 'that it won't get ruined'. I then usually say that I'll come back for the art once I've carried everthing else into the house. Except I don't. So the front seat of the car starts to look like an explosion in a glitter factory crossed with a macaroni and pipe cleaner display. (You can always spot a mother's car - it full of shit).
Eventually, when I just can't stand it anymore (and once the children aren't there) I clear the lot out and shove it all in the bin. I'm beginning to think that children's artwork has a bigger impact on the environment than disposable nappies. Then again most of it is made out of recycled cereal boxes and discarded ice cream tubs so it's not entirely eco-unfriendly.
The only problem with doing this is that as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow, in a few weeks time I'll hear: 'Mum, where's my sock puppet? I need it.' And so the lying starts.