image via nic0
I grew up in an old house, a front-to-back house. The lovely husband grew up in a mid-century house, a split-level down-left up-left house. And then we bought an ‘80s suburban house, and when we contemplated offering a contract I thought, the kids we’ll have can run circles here. And sometimes I say: go run three laps and come back. And sometimes I say: go gallop two circles right away. And sometimes I say nothing, because they chase each other and I just have to yell: someone make sure the gate at the bottom of the stairs is tucked in so your brother still has two eyes at the end of this game!
They have driven ladybug toys and riding firetrucks around that circle. They have slithered jump ropes like imaginary snakes around that circle. They have pushed each other in laundry baskets around that circle and convinced their grandfather to be ridden like a horsie.
Front hall. Side hall. Kitchen. Dining room. Living room. (Watch out for the gate on the bottom of the stairs.) Front hall.
The problem began, as I’m convinced all problems do, with a craft kit. Craft kits by nature are an affront. If you’re going to craft, you should have crafting supplies, really, not a kit, you know? Like if you’re going to bake a delicious cake, you should have flour and eggs and sugar. You shouldn’t have a rectangular box.
Craft kits affect my self-esteem, and actually, this is the real problem. I want to hate them because I think they limit true creativity. But I rely on them for projects because I don’t have enough innate creativity.
(But at least I know how to bake a real cake.)
So the craft kit in question was a beading kit. Make some pretty bracelets, blah blah blah. Except the supplies ratio was terribly composed, and we had beads long after we’d run out of the stretchy beading string. And anyway the beading string was terrible. It was slippery and wouldn’t hold a knot and broke easily, spraying beads all over the floor for little G to try to eat, completely undermining my encouragement of crafting disciplines: at the table, girls. Do this project at the table.
And then beads spray everywhere, AGAIN, because the cheap kit string snapped for fun, AGAIN, and now I have to sweep, only you know what the problem with sweeping is? 1) You realize how much gross food stuff accumulates really fast under the table, and 2) G wants to sweep. G LOVES to sweep. G will fight you for that broom, and now he’s sweeping like a self-satisfied little maniac, only he just hit one sister in the head with the broom handle and poked the other one in the arm and now they’re both yelling, ouch, G, stop! and they’re both clamoring for ice packs, which in the end will be the daycare’s longest-lasting legacy on the childhoods of my children: behold, the all-great and all-knowing panacea, the ice pack.
Dun dun DUN. I just solved all your problems: hold this ice pack.
So now G sees ice packs and yells ELMO! ELMO! while pointing nebulously at his head like a very short drunkard with a speech impediment, because G has a passionate love for Elmo (the character) and ice packs (the panacea) and knows that there’s an Elmo ice pack in the freezer, the character-branded cure-all being obviously THE GREATEST THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, and invents an injury. It’s patently fake, of course, so he switches off between hands with the pointing and the broom-clutching, since it doesn’t matter where the injury is so long as he gets his AAAAAAH! ELMO!!!
the joy of which sends him into spasms of double-fisting Elmo-having dancing, and so he drops the broom, always, every time, on my foot. And there are no more ice packs available for use.
So I thought I had them all outsmarted. I clickety-clicked and for $6, ordered two 50-yard rolls of elastic thread, one in gold and one in silver. Because everything’s better in sparkle, you know, and how did anyone ever parent before Amazon Prime? Two days later, ta-da! Mama should be a bead-crafting hero.
Because E took one look at all. that. string. and decided that the thing to do, the only thing, the thing that must be done, was to wrap things like presents. Starting with: the whole house. Front hall. Side hall. Kitchen. Dining room. Living room. (Watch out for the gate on the bottom of the stairs.) Front hall.
And this is the thing now. This is what they do. They wrap up the whole house, and then they respool the string. Then they wrap up the whole house, then they respool the string. So I’ve still been foiled by the supplies ratio, because what am I supposed to do with all those beads? And this is why I hate craft kits.
Did you follow all that? Then you, my friend, have earned your weekend.