Monday, August 20, 2007

In Which I take Leave Of My Senses

I present living proof of my insanity:

Pictures for you

Paper mache.


In my kitchen. Dripping on my table. Puddling on my floor (which, thank God, is a faux-marbled paper-mache colored ceramic). Coating each of us.

See, I'm home with the little angels for 2 whole weeks. Actually, what with the Labor Day weekend at the end and the fact that I only work the first 1/2 of each week, it's a day shy of 3 weeks. Our lovely summer sitter, C, had to selfishly get her little self off to college the middle of the month and modern society frowns upon 8 year olds and 4 year olds being taken care of by adolescent dogs, no matter how good their intentions are.

Desperate to find something for us to do to take up a rainy morning on a day that was not my time-honored favorite "Let's Clean The House For Money, Kids!" Day, I agreed to have us make pinatas.

Yes. I am agreeing to do crafts.

I am not in the least little bit craft-y. Nothing personal, I just never saw the point. Knitting, sure. There's a use for that sweater. But a Popsicle stick napkin holder? Not even as a kid did I see that as anything but crap. (I was a shitty Girl Scout.) I apparently lack the gene. It must be next to the one on the "X" chromosome that confers the desire for expensive designer bags, which I also lack.

So, we blew up the balloons, and then made a quart of flour-based glue, which we dredged strips of paper in and plastered all over balloons. Which then had to drip-dry, indoors, so they wouldn't become large fly strips.

Pictures for you

Here they are, dangling over the kitchen table where only a few pet indoor flies were present (drip, drip, drippity-drip).

Then they were tissue papered and painted. And glued and glittered.

Actually, when he realized that we WOULDN'T be filling them full to bursting with bags and bags of candy and then whacking them open and then stuffing ourselves on the bags and bags of candy, Colin rather lost interest and decided his would be an "egg". An undecorated chicken egg. (I owe him a pony or a car for that.) His is, of course, on the right.

Pictures for you

Sara, however, took full advantage and glued and painted and glittered hers extravagantly. I am still finding green sparkles in odd places on my person, despite having had more than one shower since then. I'm not sure what Sara's pinata is. Neither is she. But it sheds the carefully applied glitter nicely, so I'm thinking it's a kindergartner from the egg dimension. Or a grade-school art teacher, from the planet Ovoid.

Today, we used the morning splitting my psyche in two as I attempted to fulfill the school supply requirements of both kids' teachers simultaneously at the local Shopko.

For some reason Sara must have a box of 8 crayons that are not the 'jumbo size', but the 'regular size'.

As far as I can tell, they make the box of 'regular sized' crayons 16 or 32 or larger and the box of 8 crayons 'jumbo sized', but not what is required. I'm thinking they can take the box of 16 and lump it. She also needs a box of 'pipsqueak markers' as she is a girl. What the fuck? The boys have to bring paper plates.

Seems like the parents of daughters, who will be subjected to multiple bizarre fashion demands over the years, should be the ones to bring the simple paper plates and the parents of the boys, who for the next several years will be happily dressed in a uniform of jeans and t-shirts, get to find the 'pipsqueak markers'.

Or maybe the teachers figure that the parents of girls need the practice.

Oh. I also realized that all the pairs of jeans I bought Colin are the wrong size. But that's OK. I can use up another morning exchanging them.

I think I don't have enough beer in the house.


I know I don't have enough beer in the house.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

If I can find them, I will post our INSANE just-moved-to-the-suburbs-and-
DAY-YAM-it-is-different-here school supply lists. (5 folders, one red, one blue, one green, one white, one black; 2 LAMINATED folders, one blue, one green, 24 red pencils, sharpened, one plastic ruler (pockets), one wooden ruler (boo)... insane levels of detail... just insane. Not just a box of markers, but stipulated down to the brand...)

9:06 PM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

also, the full-size nature of the photos? Totally adds to the papier mache horror....

9:08 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

Diana dear, it could be worse. Look at these words and thank the dieties they don't apply to you yet: College tuition. Textbooks. Campus parking pass. Lap fucking top. HELP!!!!!

1:15 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

Keep your spirits up by singing this song:

Look for the beer necessities
The simple beer necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the beer necessities
Old Mother's recipes
That brings the beer necessities of life!

(Apologies to Jungle Book and Uncle Walt)

4:08 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Teri- Oh good LORD! At least we got to choose Colin's ruler (wood as that's what the store had) and the colors of the various folders (4)and folder system (7pocket) and spiral notebooks (3)... Makes a rebel want to, well, rebel, and get pink in place of red. (I thought everyone should see the full horror that is paper mache--I used the bastardized American spelling.)

Voyager- Please, oh please, tell me he's at least not going to a private college? Ouch. We whisper in our kids' ears each night while they are sleeping, "Uuuuuuniversity of Wisconsin or a public Canaaaaadian University." They can become dual citizens if they wish and give ol' mum and dad a nice break on the tuition up North.

Dumdad- Now it's stuck in my head, you evil person. Stuck with a smile, however.

7:31 AM  
Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

How have I missed this post before now? I know I've checked in several times. Oh well, always the last one at the party.That's me.

I've always found crafts to be more trouble than they're worth, too. But my kids always loved them,so,like you, I sucked it up and did them. I did try to steer toward food crafts, with an eye to getting lunch out of the way at the same time.

Look at it this've already got two holiday gifts for grandparents in the can.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Kate W. said...

I love making pinatas! I have the funniest story about them... I will post it soon. Oh and the school supply list- WTF? I also love the pip-squeek markers too...

1:39 PM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

But going out for more beer (get wine while you're there) will also use up at least an hour, right? And don't your kids need to get to know the inside of the liquor store a little bit better?

I wid ya, sister.

We made pinatas like that last spring, and they never became pinatas but rather became three-eyed space aliens (the shape is completely alien head).

Hang in there.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Hey, there is always the possibility of card games. You know they LOVE them. Although they are far too kind to one another to play them effectively...

Erik's family is in town this week. We have been at his parents' house every night. I am ready to freaking BURST from annoyance.

2:59 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I remember paper mache. I remember thinking "Hey, this is kind of fun" until I had to get my hands dirty. Not much on that. I am, however, fond of playing with fire. There's something you can teach your children (I am just kidding although mom let me do it when I was 14 and (cough) mature enough).

Have I mentioned how glad I am that I don't have children? Because seriously, I'd say screw the red pencils, I'm sending Elizabeth True Frances to school with brown pencils with pink skulls on them (which I happen to own now). Deal with that, authority! You can take your list of conformity and shove it.

Yeah, probably good I'm not a parent, huh?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a special place in Mommy-Heaven for you for this activity. I am so glad we had girls and not boys so I didn't have to go through this stuff other that the loyal spouse of your girl scout leader. Your mum is a real hero for her craft abilities with you girls. This is why I went into high school teaching and not elementary.

The Ole RF-er

4:00 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rotten- Now there's a good plan if I ever heard one. We can play 'Hey! Kids! It's Time To Stock The Freezer!' We'll start with batch after batch of zucchini bread to use up the last of the 'bats' in the fridge, which happen to be the last of the crop before it all went toes up.

Kate- Hm. You're only a 10 hour drive away. That'll take up a WHOLE day! We'll be on your doorstep proto with bags of newspaper and a sack of flour. (So, what the hell ARE pip-squeek markers? I'm going to have to google them as I don't even know what I'm looking for. Bah.)

Jocelyn- We call that a field trip, don't we (yes, we do!). I still remember when we lived in the conservative Illinois town in which we both live tooling the cart with Colin in it down the beer aisle and hearing him holler at the top of his lungs, "THAT'S BEER, MOM!!!" Not the done thing in a town where few even admit to having a sip of champagne over the holidays. Soooooo glad we moved to the land of beer and brats. Aliens!! That's what the damn things reminded me of. I just couldn't place it.

Ariella- We've been playing us some cards. I've been trying to teach Sara "Kings in the Corner" but it's a bit beyond her, still. I'm so horribly sorry for your week. We shall co-miserate over beers and dinner Saturday (yes?).

Dana- It is kind of fun for the first bit, but after the 50th strip with the damn thing less than 1/4 done, it does get a bit dull and then you ditch your mom with it because she has 'completion issues' and will grit her teeth and finish the damn things. Colin also needs blue or red colored correcting pencils. Feh.

You'd be a splendid aunt. Lucky Josh.

Dad- I remember macrame thingies of the '70s, which were definitely better than the school-based pop-sicle stick crappola. I will not be walking in her footsteps and leading scouts. She was a much braver soul than I.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

I remember covering balloons and (I think light bulbs) with slimy papier mache strips. I liked it, but I don't think the results were very beauteous. It made a royal mess, too!

Like Colin, I would be majorly bummed out to learn that the pinatas were not going to be filled with loads and loads of candy. I think he took the letdown remarkably well!

And, oh yeah, get some beer in the house pronto! It's going to be a long two weeks.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

Oh no, this sounds horrendous! Crafts?? Gosh, how bleak. Wait, in Portugal we have these programmes for children bcs the parents only have 1-2 weeks off and they need to be kept busy for close to 2 months, is there anythiong like that available to you? Something that would let you breathe for some hours every day?

And those requirements - I can only hope Portugal hasn't become that horrendous yet, we used to only be told what books to buy, basically, cannot imagine having to agre to every specification some lifeless sod came up with.

I have 5 beers in my fridge for friends, come round anytime. As a matter of fact, were I to be able to swallow beer without gagging (now proven fact, tried a few days ago to develop a taste for it, how can ANYONE enjoy it) - I'd have one in your honour bcs dahling, being a Dr is hard but this? This is beyond words. Also, our beer is stronger, I'm told. Always a plus. My immediate suggestion is, 2 of yours at once.

May you find Christ, or something, to help you through.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Lioness said...

Also? This comment? Took 40 min to post! Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, even Blogger is horrified over the crafts.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- Good grief! Lightbulbs??? Gotta love the 70's. Mix in a little lead for flavoring and you're all set. Marvelous Charles came home last night bearing good beers.

Johnny- We've got them, too. Day camps for kids and such, but I really am enjoying the time with them, it's just not what I'm used to, needing to find entertainment for all of us for 3 solid weeks.

Hm. Wouldn't it be funny if it turned out you liked that weak-assed crap that passes for Big Name American beer and I loved the good strong Portie beer?

We usually don't have to buy books until college over here (the classes loan them out) but have to buy all the supplies, pay for art and music, sports, after school stuff.

I think Christ would laugh his ass off and say that this was reason #45,768 he never had kids.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

I saw Pipsqueak markers at Target the other day. They're just small markers--get it, 'Pipsqueak'? We laughed when we saw them because we call Lauren Pipsqueak all the time! Whoever heard of makng girls bring certain supplies and boys other ones?

Now see, I am quite impressed that someone who does not love crafts would choose a messy, multiple step/day project such as pinatas....or was it Sara's idea? If my kids weren't such self-starters when it comes to arts and crafts, I am sure they would just watch a whole lotta movies on a rainy day!

2:28 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Colleen- Good. Target. Our destination on Saturday. I gave them a choice on several projects and they both went for the pinata, of course. I'd forgotten how messy the stuff was, which considering that it's been over 30 years since I'd done anything like it, makes sense. Personally, I'm a large fan of rainy day movies, but as it's been raining hard except for a few small breaks for over a week, even I'm tired of movie stuff. I kiss you much. Mwa! Mwa!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I have been wanting to do the paper mache thing all summer but haven't found the time. As for the school supply list - you should see ours.
-Book Bag big enough to hold art projects
-Fiskar Scissors
-1 folder w/bottom pockets (not side)
-box of 8 thin basic crayons (child name on each)
-box of 8 thick markers (child name on each)
-1 plastic 5x8 crayon/pencil holder
-box of 12 avery glue sticks
-1 large box of kleenex
-girls bring one bottle of Purell
-small ziploc baggies
-1 spiral notebook
-1 pack of yellow pencils
-1 pack of large lined index cards
-1 pack of (Expo) dry erase markers
-1 small sock
-tennis shoes for gym days
-large towel for rest time
-drawstring bad to hold towl - no plastic, pillowcases work well

Ok. Now they are detailed to a point. But what exactly are yellow pencils are they #2 pencils? And the baggies-are small baggies the snack size or sandwich size or what? And correct me if I am wrong but if you want a drawstring bag for the towel why are you telling me to use a pillowcase. OH and the small sock-is that her size which is very small or a small adult size? I would have been better off if they either really told me what they wanted or not at all.

As for your pipsqueak markers-they are made by crayola and are just short ones. You should be able to find them at Target, Walmart, or anywhere that sells crayola products.

Sorry this is so long. Obviously you touched a sore spot...

8:36 AM  
Blogger Stepping Over the Junk said...

You can make great paper mache bowls the same way and paint them and keep jewelry and little things in them (or give as gifts)

8:44 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Pipsqueak marker? What the f---? I'm an avid fan of all writing utensils (you should see my drawers!) but have yet to run across this mystery of the universe. Odd.

Yea, boys have it easier in school.

4:31 AM  

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