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Posts Tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day’

Losing Sleep to a Leprechaun

March 17, 2011 7 comments

St. Patrick’s Day “eve” was crazy.  I worked all day and then went to book club last night.  As we are chatting about everything except the book, we start talking about Leprechaun traps and pranks…

Oh shit!  We didn’t build my son’s Leprechaun Trap!  He has been talking about it for weeks.  My husband is out-of-town, the kids are with a babysitter – I am hosed!

You know that feeling that you would rather chew glass than disappoint your kids?  The guilt of forgetting one of those special moments that only happens in childhood…

My son is 6, he could stop believing at anytime, especially if his mommy screws it up! 

As I sat in book club I asked friends for advice.  I even texted the babysitter to see if my son was still awake so I could give him a plan, an alternative, an excuse, something to keep him from being disappointed. 

Unfortunately, he was asleep.

But the luck of the Irish was with me.  And by luck, I mean my son has growing pains.  (Yes, it’s a loose definition of luck – go with it)  My son woke up with growing pains and my brilliant babysitter explained that leprechauns don’t always come first thing in the morning.  My son was delighted, he asked her to tell me that he would like to go to the store tomorrow to buy materials for a trap.

When I got home at 10:45, I did not go to bed, tired from a long week of having no husband, a stressful work day and a rebellious three-year old daughter.  Instead, I was up searching websites for ideas, concocting a story on why the leprechaun came late and formulating a plan for executing his trickery.  And hell yes, I am taking him to the store for supplies!

Because that’s what we do as moms (and dads):  We perform small miracles and amazing feats of sleep deprivation to make special moments happen.  We stay up late on Christmas Eve to ensure the details of Santa’s visit and then wake up too early to unwrap presents we finished wrapping a few hours before.   We risk certain heart attack and broken hands when trying to exchange lost teeth for money.  We scour the internet to find discontinued Lego toys.   We face our crafting demons to create potato leprechauns.  As parents, we push to ensure that our children can believe in Leprechauns, Santa, the Tooth Fairy, fairies and all of the wonderful parts of being young. 

Because in the blink of an eye, the magic stops; our kids grow up, the joy of fantasies fade.  I, for one, am fighting to preserve  my children’s magical fantasies, their joy and my joy as a witness. 

So last night, I gladly accepted losing sleep to a leprechaun, because the joy it brings to my kids is pure gold.

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Un-Crafty Family Meets Green Potato

March 15, 2011 8 comments

My son had a school assignment to take a regular russet potato and dress it up as a character for a story he would write in class.  There was also going to be a prize for the best potato.  There’s a few things you should know up front:

  1. I am not crafty.
  2. My husband is not crafty.
  3. We’re both competitive.
  4. We started Sunday and it was due Monday.

We had the flier for the assignment in plain view all week, but just had not gotten around to it.  Sunday morning the pressure was on to deliver a potato character by Monday.  We agreed that my husband would take the kids to Target to buy supplies while I went to the gym. 

After my workout, I texted my husband to let him know I was on my way home and he called right back asking if I had my wallet.  I always have my wallet and my husband always forgets his…  True to form, he had forgotten his wallet and had no way to pay for the $36 in potato character supplies the Target cashier had just rung up.  Target is next to the gym, so I swung by and rescued the supplies. 

My son had decided that he wanted to make a leprechaun.  My son LOVES St. Patrick’s Day.  He is in the design phase of this year’s leprechaun trap…

Once bringing home the hostages supplies, my son announced we would paint the potatoes green.  Remember – my husband and I are neat freaks… So we proceed to cover the whole kids table with paper bags and newspapers.  We rolled up the kids sleeves and carefully doled out the green paint and brushes.

My wild child daughter had green paint on her, her clothes, the chair and the “covered” table in less than a minute.  I braced for my husband’s frustration with the mess, but he uncharacteristically laughed.  He had the foresight to buy washable paint! (I mean pick out, since he did not have the foresight to bring his wallet.)  This mess quickly spread to my granite counters and me.  But again washable, so we decided to live on the edge.

Next the potato needed limbs.  My husband suggested straws and I thought about toothpicks as anchors.  I whipped out my hot glue gun.

I must pause here – I only own a hot glue gun because I have pipe cleaner dreams of being crafty.  I think my neighbor has used it more than me, but HA, I now had a project for my glue gun.

Um, plastic straws melt when they meet hot glue. 

My son thought melting Mr. Potatoes arms was hilarious, but my husband rescued the idea by suggesting I apply the glue to the toothpick and waiting a second before placing the straws on the toothpicks.  I said I had a glue gun, I didn’t say I knew how to use it.

Next came wardrobe – my department.  We had bought a hat and fake mustache that truly must have been marketed with potatoes in mind… weird??  My son and I then fashioned a coat (more like poncho) out of a half of bandana and glue-gunned it in place – I was feeling very crafty at that point.

During this time, my daughter has helped herself to a bottle of purple paint and a container of googly-eyes – with my husband and I one foot away.  Apparently this craftiness took all of our energy.  So my husband helped the diva, while my son drew and cut our construction paper boots and hands, that I glue-gunned on. (Yes, I am going to continue to yap about the glue gun).

The piece-de-resistance was the pot of gold.  We took mini caldrons from our Halloween decorations and filled them with glass beads that you would use in floral arrangements (another thing I have a few materials, but no skill for).  We borrowed gold spray paint from a neighbor and voila:  The potato leprechaun had his pot o’ gold.

I am pleased to introduce you to Lucky:

 

A close up on the gold:

  

And what about my daughter’s potato?  Well… she’s three and had many “design-changes” mid-project.  I tried my best not to take over and make her a cute potato lass.  True to her artistic direction, we ended up with “Potato Ghost Goldilocks Leprechaun”:

 

This turned out to be a fun-filled, kitchen-wrecking, heart-warming, glue-gun wielding, family bonding experience.  This was more fun than carving pumpkins and everybody contributed to the finished product.  As long as there is washable paint, our family may continue to do Sunday craft projects until I accidentally glue the kids together!