Case in point: grade school Valentine's parties. I have twin daughters in separate 1st grade classes. Ruthie's teacher said her students would decorate sacks in class for their Valentine's. Perfect. But Audrey's teacher kept sending e-mails about crafting "optional" Valentine's boxes at home. I didn't think much about it (because I'm clueless). After all, when I was in school, we decorated shoe boxes, and it was all good. In lieu of a shoe box, Audrey decided to deck out a gift bag with Valentiny bling.
When I arrived for the party, I quickly realized that "optional" was code for "everyone's doing this." With the exception of my daughter and one other kid, every single classmate had a tricked out Valentine's box. And I'm not talking construction paper-laden shoe boxes. I'm talking a life-size re-creation of Olaf from Frozen, an authentic-looking soldier complete with camo and Disney princesses. No jokes. I politely asked the teacher about this phenomenon, and she said she received tons of parent e-mails about creating the boxes, adding that this was the first time in her 15 years of teaching she had witnessed anything like this. (As a side note, my daughter was a happy as a clam with her bag. She couldn't figure out why anyone would want to carry a big 'ol box around. Love that girl. Takes after her mama.)
And then here comes St. Paddy's Day. I was thinking a little corned beef and cabbage for dinner, possibly some wearing of the green, and we'd call it good. But just the other night I found out that families trick out St. Patrick's Day, too. WHAT? The girls started talking about Leprechaun Traps and how one girl got "gold" chocolate coins and a boy caught a squirrel. (I didn't ask.). So, I did what I always do when I find I'm out of the loop: I went online. Holy Mother of Four Leaf Clovers! Turns out, Leprechaun Traps are a thing!
So we built one. Actually, it's a house, not a trap. The girls didn't want to build a trap. Here it is in all it's glory. As you can tell, we are minimalists, as in "we're not taking time to wrap green construction paper around anything. It features an oatmeal-container tower with a trap door, a Reynolds Wrap ladder and bridge, a snowy mountain range with a path (cardboard slats decorated with strip of glue covered in green sugar sprinkles), and a garden (three plastic fruit cup containers.)
While researching, I did come across a few ways to mess with the girls, which is always fun. Before I picked them up from school the other day, I put green food coloring in the toilet.They couldn't believe a leprechaun peed in our house! The next morning, I put a few drops in their milk. They were almost too scared to drink it!
And we've exchanged written communications with the little dude.
|From the leprechaun|
|From Audrey to the leprechaun|
|From Ruth to the leprechaun|
Even though he stole the coins the girls put out for him, our leprechaun left a little present behind ... Leprechaun poop (green M&Ms)! It was a hit! If you knew our house, you'd understand.
Even though I still think these celebrations get way out of hand, I will admit that I had fun with this one.
Now ... where's my Guinness?
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Happy St. Patrick's Day!