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The Three Little Pigs

09.01.2010

Puppets

I had an “Aha-moment” two weeks ago.  To make a terrifically long and terribly dull story short, I realized that my attention deficit disorder, a diagnosis I never paid much attention to, has mildly affected every facet of my life.  When it was initially suggested that I suffer from it, I was already in college and had been academically successful despite my previously diagnosed dyslexia.  I was getting what I required in terms of accommodations for my disability and I had developed whatever coping skills I needed to succeed.   Another diagnosis for personality traits I was previously aware I struggled with did not matter much to me.  I am not sure that I even told anybody about it.  I paid little attention to my attention-deficit-disorder  and continued to live as I had been.

Years later, I am a bright woman with a masters degree and no career aspirations.  Nothing holds my attention long enough.  I am a woman who wants to travel to places more than 6 hours away, but finds the idea of sitting on a plane that long, unbearable. I dread walking the same short walk each day to take care of errands.  The thought of doing so for the unforeseeable future makes me panic.   When having a conversation with someone my attention wanders no matter how much I care.  I have to apologize and ask my loved ones to repeat themselves. Worst of all, I feel like a bad mother because I find it so difficult to simply sit with Gloria and keep her company as she plays.

I knew all of these things about myself, but all of a sudden they have all been lumped together.  I am not sure if, “that’s just Laura,” or “Laura has ADD” is better.  The second makes me feel less flawed and more disabled, but what kind of consolation is that?

Either way, the symptoms have been with me for as long as I can remember and I have been learning how to deal with them as best I can throughout my life.  I apologize when I space out.  I bring lots of activities on long flights and I continually try to find ways to be productive and happy.  As for playtime, we do a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and on days like yesterday, when we are stuck at home, I show Gloria how to make something related to a subject she has expressed interest in.  My quest to make a “maker” out of Gloria serves both of us well in countless ways.

Two days ago, Gloria announced that she would like to put on a three little pigs puppet show this weekend.  Thankfully, we do not own three little pig puppets. I say thankfully, because while we were stuck at home yesterday, I was able to sit with Gloria as she played and I freehand cut felt shapes to make puppets.  Then the two of us glued all the bits of felt down.  When playtime rolls around next, we can practice the story, and I can get up and down a million times, and sing and growl and do anything but sit still and pretend to enjoy my imaginary tea.

I suppose if I could learn to sit still, life would be simpler and I would need less therapy, but in the meantime I will continue to channel my energy into making stuff for and with my loved ones.

Felt Character Hand Puppets

Materials

  • Craft felt
  • Scissors
  • Glue suitable for felt
  • Optional – reference pictures of characters
  • Optional – embellishments
  • Optional – markers

I sat and cut each piece of felt freehand and consequently, this is not my best work.  You may want to draw your shapes first on some paper and cut out a pattern to follow.  If you do cut a pattern, simple pin the pattern to the fabric and cut.

Be sure to make a front and a back piece for each puppet.  The body should be big enough for the puppeteers hands.  I kept it simple with one big body, head, and arms piece.  You can get as piece-y and complicated as you would like.

Then cut any other shapes to make faces, hair, claws, teeth, tails, etc.  Get out the glue and attach shapes.  Once you have glued pieces to the front and back, glue the front and back together – just be sure to leave an opening at the bottom for the puppeteer to slide in his or her hand.

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