February 26, 2007

School Vacation Week

It's Day One of school vacation week, and I was going to get you all to feel sorry for me about that--but then my parents came and took all four children out to lunch with them, and here I am alone in the house, and how am I supposed to make you feel sorry for me now? I'm going to go back to working the school vacation week angle. I can always delete this first paragraph, and you'd never even know I had this time By Myself In The House.

School vacation week makes me wonder why I ever had children in the first place. Of course, if I hadn't had children, I'd be at work right now, probably doing twice the work because I'd be covering for all the people who had children out of school, and I'd be wondering why I hadn't had any kids yet and oh my god I'm in my THIRTIES and TIME IS RUNNING OUT.

I took everybody to Target this morning. Smart move, dumbass. I was thinking it would be fun to let Rob and William each choose something they don't usually get to have (fruit snacks shaped like Legos! thrilling and bound to disappoint!) to celebrate school vacation week, and also we were running low on diapers. I did get the diapers, and the gummy Legos, but I also felt like everyone was noticing how poorly I was controlling my roiling cloud of children. A clerk I didn't recognize said, "Hey, you've got an extra kid today!," which made me realize how often I use Target as an escape. They probably all know me there: the woman with twins, who can't seem to keep it together and is always buying tons of clearance crap and candy, and is so distracted she never even looks at the clerks' faces. "Did you see her today?," they probably say to each other in the break room. "Does she not understand about birth control or what?"

We also bought a 10-pound bag of bird seed. I'd mentioned casually to Rob and William that you could put peanut butter on a pinecone and then roll it in birdseed and then hang it on a tree like an ornament, and that the birds would come and eat from it. To me, this was an interesting story about crafts that happen to other people. To them, this was the most amazing idea they ever heard and CAN WE DO IT RIGHT NOW?? So when I saw a sack of wild bird food at the store, I bought it. But now we have a problem, and it is pinecones. I am not even sure this is the right time of year to find them, or if we have pinecone-shedding trees in our area. Now we are going to have to go on a walk to find pinecones. Hey, can this craft be done with something other than pinecones?

Edited to add: I forgot to tell you about my gigantic find at Target! Simply Shabby Chic sheets, 75% off. I bought three sets of twin and one set of king. I would have bought more king, but it was the only set left.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"William" has a pine cone collection you could start with. Otherwise....dixie cups maybe? Seems like it would be hard to peck something so lightweight, but then a pinecone has the same problem.

desperate housewife said...

I laughed really hard at the "crafts that happen to other people" line. That is so gonna be me in a few years. Addy will be like, "Can I make a paper mache pinata for my birthday party?" and I'll be like, "You sure as heck can- at Grandma's house!"

Anonymous said...

Oh also: I'm very, very glad that when I have to take care of the "roiling cloud of children" I'll be able to bring them to the park.

Swistle said...

Paul, you might as well just comment as "Paul." Otherwise it seems creepy, like you're a call COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! Like there's an intruder in my basement who knows that William has a pinecone collection (he has a pinecone collection?).

Anonymous said...

This comment is coming from INSIDE THE INTERNET: Yes, he does. We were reading about Fibonacci numbers and it said "examine a pinecone and you'll see that....". He ran to his closet and got one. I said "Okaaaay, this one is a little crushed, but I think we can..." and he ran and got a less-mangled one. Several.

Trena said...

Oh you're too funny. Yeah, I'm all over the heading to Target thing as well. Hmm, it's Friday night, my husband is out of town and I'm bored? Well, let's just pack up the boy and wander the aisles at Target for a bit.

As for the birdfeeders--have you thought about styrofoam? You might have to layer the peanut butter on a bit thicker than you might with pinecones, but I vaguely remember a peanut butter/birdseed craft involving styrofoam shaped bells.

Tessie said...

I have to go with the styrofoam on this one, too. I don't really get how you roll a pinecone in peanut butter. I mean, it's not like a pine cone is a solid surface which can be covered in pb...they're kind of...holey, right? Does the peanut butter just stick to the ends of the cones? And doesn't the bird seed fall all through the...pineholes?

You can tell that crafts definitely happen to other people in my house.

jen said...

I told my mother this.. that we wanted to do this but we didn't have any pinecones. She said.. direct quote.. "pfft! you can BUY pinecones at Rag Shop, you know."

You can also dab glue on select tips of pinecone.. leaves? and roll it in glitter.. red and green for christmas.. nothing like decorating a poor dead tree with its own entrails.

Anonymous said...

My mom is the crafty one...not me! BUT, when my kids were at Grandma's house this winter, they made the pb bird feeders WITHOUT pine cones. My mom mixed the pb with the bird seed and then the kids filled plastic cookie cutters with the mixture (note: it needs to be well packed into the cookie cutter) Then they tied a ribbon on the top so we could hang it from the tree. So, to fill the time for your vacation week, you need another Target run to buy plastic cookie cutters. The kids can even pick out the shapes that they want. See, I helped !! :)

Swistle said...

Tessie-- I think you let the children smear the peanut butter on the pinecone tips with plastic knives (*deep breathing,trying not to think of how much peanut butter would end up on clothes, hair, table, etc.*). Then you roll the sticky messy pinecone in a bowl of birdseed, and the birdseed sticks wherever there's peanut butter (presumably on EVERY POSSIBLE SURFACE OF THE ENTIRE HOUSE). Also, "pineholes" is candidate for Best New Word Of The Year. I think it might make a good swear word for those of us who never seem natural using actual swear words. "You pinehole!," we can say.

Jen-- I was eating a Twix bar when I read what your mom said and also your comment about decorating a tree with its own entrails, and now there are Twix crumbs all over my keyboard.

Anonymous (not Paul, but the actual Anonymous)-- Great idea! And purdy! And an excuse to go to Target again!

spryngtree said...

I would use the peanut butter for sandwiches and just convince the kids that birdseed in a bowl is the way to go. The birds would probably prefer it. I think the squirrels get most of the pine cone and peanut butter birdfeeders crafty people make.

You can also make a birdfeeder out of two paper plates glued together. I used to be a pre-school teacher so I can make anything out of two paper plates. If I was on project runway for that challenge where they had to make a dress using stuff they found in the supermarket I would have made my dress out of ductape, paper plates and glue. Ok and maybe those little googly eyes. I like those. Sorry, off on a tangent.

Cam said...

you can use bagels for that project as well. tie a string on half a bagel, let them spread the peanut butter on it and sprinkle it with birdseed and viola!
hmm...what an unusual thing for me to delurk about...