My children constantly amaze and amuse (and befuddle and confound) me. When other parents tell me their children are complaining of boredom or whining that “there’s nothing to doooooooo,” I’ll admit that I envy them just a little. There are days I’d much rather be on the hook to organize a nice safe, clean family activity than to repair the aftermath of my kids’ creativity.
That’s just sometimes, though. In truth, when the mess is put away and the boo-boos bandaged and iced, I rejoice in having 3 wildly creative, strangely daring, absurdly funny little girls who are capable of what seems to me a fading childhood art: making their own fun!
We recently had family visiting for about a week, and in defense of Grandma and Grandpa’s health and safety, I’d declared a ban on toys in the upstairs hallway.
I don’t know what it is about that hallway. Maybe it’s fun to play in because it connects all their rooms and toys. It could be because they love to use the hurricane fan at the top of the stairs as a doll hair dryer. Perhaps it’s that they can lower stuffed animals between the railings and down the stairwell with the aid of a long piece of string (or, when all else fails, one of Daddy’s belts).
Whatever it is, I’m not complaining. I can get laundry done and still see them all when they play there.But the last thing I needed was a post-knee-replacement relative tripping on a LEGO Friend and falling down the stairs.
The girls were truly awesome about keeping their wacky games in their rooms or the play area of our living room. As soon as my in-laws were out the door, though, the girls asked me if they could play in the hall again.
They started assembling a motley assortment of stuffed animals and plastic tableware, which seemed to me pretty low-risk behavior, so I hopped into the shower.
Only to be interrupted as I dried off by my youngest (do they send her because she’s cute or just a good patsy?) shouting “Mommy! It’s an egg-tastrophe! Eggs exploded in the microwave and they’re everywhere!”
WHAT? How did we get from stuffies in the hall to eggs everywhere in 15 minutes?
Here’s the run-down:
1. His Royal Highness King Biscuit announces his intention to wed the fair Princess (soon to be Queen) Rose in an inter-species wedding that will have the tabloids talking for years.
2. Unable to find a dais high enough to allow all the subjects in the kingdom to properly view the couple, my children build one by lashing 2 footstools together with – you guessed it – one of Daddy’s belts.
3. The guests travel from far and wide, bringing greetings from lands as distant as
the Magical Rainbow Kingdom
and the Undersea Realm.
4. Beautiful music for the ceremony and reception is provided by D.J. Pinky Penguin and his tatty, tacky assistant Snow White. (who has clearly seen a wild party or two in her time.)
5. One of my brilliant children suggests that there should be a spectacular wedding cake.
6. Another child agrees, rejects the idea of a fun-dough cake, and suggests that they cook one themselves.
7. A quick and lively debate ensues in which the conclusion is drawn that, of all the foods they are allowed to prepare without help, SCRAMBLED EGGS are the best way to go. The entire wedding planning delegation hurries to the kitchen.
8. With little argument and much cooperative spirit, the girls choose 3 different sized bowls, add an egg, milk, and salt to each,beat thoroughly with a fork, and proceed to place each in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. They carefully use oven mitts to handle hot items and clean up all the spilled egg whites with hand towels. So responsible!
9. After inverting the 2nd egg “layer cake” atop the 1st quite successfully, the girls put the final layer into the microwave. Unfortunately, they’ve got it in the tiniest bowl they could find. The one I usually use to hold ketchup or ranch for dipping. It’s filled to the very top.
10. As the egg cooks and expands in this tiny bowl, spectacular wedding fireworks occur, painting the sides and top of my microwave with bits of yellow and brown egg. Jaws drop.
11. An emissary is chosen to inform the cleaning wench (yeah, that’s me) of the disaster.
12. After a brief lecture on culinary science and a collaborative clean-up effort, the top layer is placed on the wedding “cake” at last. A discussion about the inadvisability of birthday candles and flames at a stuffed animal party happens without my input.
13. A compromise on the whole “candle” issue is reached – all parties agree to a carrot instead. My protests that wedding cakes don’t have candles are ignored. After all, what do I know? I’m just a wet-haired cleaning wench from the kingdom of B’ath R’oom.
14. The delighted guests dine on yellow egg layer cake and toast the happy couple with dixie cups of the finest sink water. All is right in the land.