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DIY Rocket Ship and “Parental Guilt”

This afternoon in between watching conference sessions, I had some craft time with my girls. Roo requested that I make her a rocket ship. (Okaaaaay, let me whip one right up.) My girls have been loving the Toy Story movies lately, so the idea was fresh in her mind. Luckily with a little improvising, I did my best and came up with this…


DIY Rocket Ship

First I found a piece of trash, an empty Dr. Pepper box, and taped a funnel to the top.

Funnel + Box

Next I pulled out another piece of trash, a piece of packing paper from an online order for us to color. We then wrapped the box in the paper.

color time

I had to improvise one more time and find an empty aluminum foil roll to give the rocket more height. And there you have it. But that’s when trouble began…

aluminum foil tube


My normally sweet-loving-thankful-Roo had a FIT shortly after those smiling pictures were taken. “It’s not big enough! I can’t ride on it! I want a rocket tent!”


The past couple of days have been full of tantrums like that. All of them have boiled down to her being ungrateful. I know she is only three, and gratitude is a big concept but I am appalled at her behavior and want to teach her to be thankful for what she has, and not complain. Is that too much to ask? How can I teach that effectively? I ended up putting the rocket on a shelf out of her reach until she calmed down and apologized.

I think my point was made but she had the same meltdown just hours later when I was making her Halloween costume. I made the mistake of buying one at the store a couple of weeks ago as a back up plan, in case my DIY idea didn’t pan out. She saw it and has talked about it non-stop. When she saw that I was working on making one, and that it didn’t meet her standards, she pitched a fit and only wanted the store bought one. I was thisclose to pulling out my hair.

Luckily when I got to a stopping point with it and she tried it on, SHE LOVED IT. Naturally. She even asked if she could sleep in it.


All day has been a roller coaster of  “Parental Guilt”. I recently identified with “Parental Guilt” when I read the hilarious book by stand-up comedian, Jim Gaffigan titled, Dad is Fat. He jokingly talks about growing up Catholic, and how he thought nothing could top “Catholic Guilt” until

“I became acquainted with ‘Parental Guilt’ which puts ‘Catholic Guilt’ to shame…No matter how hard you try to be a good parent, you always know deep down that you could do more. I feel guilty when I travel out of town to do shows. I feel guilty when I’m in town and I don’t spend every single moment with my children. I feel guilty when I’m spending time with my children and I am not doing something constructive toward their intellectual development. I feel guilty when I feed them unhealthy food they like. I feel guilty when I feed them healthy food they don’t like. I feel guilty when I drop them off at school. I feel guilty when I pick them up at school. I feel guilty mostly for writing this book instead of spending time with them. Great, now I’ve probably made you feel guilty too.”

He always puts a funny spin on things, but his point is very valid. It really hit home with me because I deal with most of that guilt every day! In addition to the following:

I want my daughters to be happy. I want to give them things that they desire. But I don’t want them to be selfish. I want to give them everything and yet I want them to live on next-to-nothing so they will be grateful for the little things. We are so blessed. I want my children to see that.

And now I feel guilty for showing this atypical side of Roo to y’all when she really is a sweet, helpful, loving girl. I wouldn’t trade her for a gold guinea!

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