While I was on the computer, Jia, who wanted a “kids activity” (her term for anything we do together), started browsing her tv-free activities book for things we can do together and shortlisted T-Shirt Art. When I asked her if she had a shirt we could use, she immediately went to her closet and came back with a plain white shirt. Owwww-kay I could sense her excitement. Hahaha! I cautioned her that even if we had a plain shirt, we may not have the other needed materials (as I was not sure yet what was needed to actually put art on the shirt). She excitedly read aloud the things we needed (shirt, fabric crayons, tea towel (optional), white sheets of paper, iron). Luckily for her, because she has a mom who is fond of shopping (LOL!), we actually had fabric crayons onhand! (Fabric crayons are available in National Bookstore. A box of 8 colors is Php65.00.) So on to our impromptu project!
Jia drew her design on a sheet of paper using fabric crayons. I reminded her to color the design thickly so the color will transfer well. She drew a butterfly, diamonds, and hearts.
While she was drawing, we discussed how it was more important to do one’s best than having a perfect product. Jia said that it was okay for the shirt not to come out perfectly as long as we do our best. 🙂
When she was finished, we went up to the yayas’ room to iron on the design on the shirt. A tea towel or white sheet of paper had to be put in between the ironing board and the front of the shirt (so the wax will not go to the ironing board). Then the design was put face down on the shirt (so if you will write letters, be sure to write it the mirror way). At first I put another sheet of paper in between the design and the iron but later discarded that sheet while ironing. I carefully put the hot iron (no steam!) on the paper, being careful to keep the shirt and the paper steady (maybe pinning the paper on the shirt might be a good idea but we did not do this). The iron should also not be moved, it just had to be pressed down. I saw Jia praying while I was ironing. Later, she admitted that she prayed for the design to come out really well. 🙂
After a few minutes, we had a “perfect” art shirt that Jia was really proud of! Nakakatuwa!!
What made this activity really significant for me was she drew a butterfly, diamonds, and hearts. During the time that we were dealing with this crisis, Jia refused to draw butterflies and diamonds and hearts, insisting that she did not know how to draw them. It even went to the point when she wrote “Things Jia cannot draw” and then enumerated butterflies, diamonds, and hearts. So the fact that she drew them without any prompting from me tells me that she is beginning to recapture her sense of self. Haaaay! Super, super grateful for that!