The Lady of Snotland

It’s turning into One Of Those Days.

We had plans. Plans to Leave The House. We were even going to meet up with real people and play.

Instead, we’ve made a return to Snotland.

On top of that, I found Alpha in Zulu’s cot 45 minutes after I put Zulu down for a nap. Nap over, baby not rested. Mummy not impressed.

Then Alpha showed me how much I need to lift my game in the child proofing department by handing me a spanner and a mini flamethrowercandle lighter. After I padlocked the toolbox, he promptly jammed his fingers underneath.

So we’re off to a brilliant start, really. The dust has settled a bit, so I thought I’d share some more observations on having sick kids (because it’s more productive than pulling my hair out one strand at a time).

– don’t make plans to leave the house when your kids are sick. You know you’ll just have to cancel them, so why bother? Stay home in your pjs.

– don’t attempt to introduce weetbix to a sick, snotty baby. Just don’t.

– if you ignore my sage advice above, remember that weetbix is an appropriate substitute for concrete and must be rinsed of all surfaces immediately.

– ‘all surfaces’ includes the baby’s face.

– if you decide halfway through to switch to pouch food (because you think you have a chance of it being eaten), don’t select one with blueberry in it – unless you want to see just how far the droplets of your child’s snot goes when they sneeze.

– bibs are useless when your child is sick. Just stick it all in napisan and be done with it.

– some days there just isn’t enough coffee.

– frozen milk in your coffee an affogato doesn’t make.

– my new best friend Frida is nowhere near as gross as you’d think.

– Glen20. Hand sanitiser. Tissues. You can never have enough.

– actually, don’t even bother with the tissues – your baby will only consider your sleeve as an appropriate receptacle for his beloved snot snakes. Your face is also acceptable.

– if you run out of ideas for new games/tolerance for ABC2, there are hundreds of blogs with ideas for games. One of my favourites is Toddler Approved. I found the inspiration for these soft drink bottle skittles there and they’ve been a real hit today. 20140626-152721-55641385.jpg
That’s it for now…anyway, I’m trying my best to remember that every cloud has a silver lining.

It’s just that today that lining is snot.

Getting Crafty

The other day I told you about watching Finding Nemo with Alpha.  In the end I resolved to stick with shows like Peppa Pig and Play School.  Play School is Alpha’s current obsession, and I can’t say I’m upset.  I love Play School for so many reasons – one of them being that I watched it as a little girl.  It’s a locally-produced show using Australian talent (mostly drawn from Home and Away, it seems).  It’s all focused on early childhood learning – everything is done deliberately.  There’s plenty of singing and dancing, and it’s a great way to discover new books to read.

All of those things are great.  The main thing I love about Play School is that it isn’t perfect.  Sometimes the singing is a little out of time.  Sometimes the costumes they make for themselves out of newspaper fall apart.  It is very obvious to an adult that it is done in close to one take.  I love that.  I’d much rather they focus their time on what they present, rather than how.  Sometimes things get a little weird (like the episode they sang Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?”), but I haven’t seen a single episode that I object to.  I’m very much looking forward to the Play School concert that I have tickets to in October.

Another element that is far from perfect is the craft activities they do.  Some days they look like one big Pinterest Fail.  They don’t paint things completely – or they go way outside the lines.  The colours don’t match.  Patterns are out of whack.  Edges are far from straight and some things fall apart almost immediately.

I love it.

Why?  It’s achievable.  I can do that.  Pretty much anyone can do that.

I’m from a ridiculously creative family (seriously, half my family have works in galleries). Me? Not as talented. I’m not totally hapless, but I’m pretty average when it comes to the creative side of things. I watch home improvement shows and read craft magazines and know what I make will never wind up looking the same. So it’s an enormous relief to see the professionals making stuff that I’ve got half a shot of replicating.

I’ve come to realise that craft doesn’t have to be perfect or even complicated to enthral a toddler.

Seriously.

I recently stuck some pom-poms on a cardboard roll. Alpha instantly announced it was his rocket and has been carrying it around proudly for a month.

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The Rocket – clearly my son has an impressive imagination.

After realising this, I’m trying to challenge myself to do more craft at home with the boys. To keep myself accountable, I’m going to try and post about one no-talent-required craft project a week. I can almost guarantee they won’t be perfect. The aim is to keep them uncomplicated and achievable – just like Play School. I hope you enjoy them as much as I intend to.

Here’s today’s craft activity to kick us off.

Stained Glass Windows

This was fun. I had some contact left over from another project that I’ll post about another day, so I decided to try something new.

To start with, I stuck a piece of contact (adhesive side up) to the window with sticky tape, then pulled the backing off.

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I put some torn up crepe paper, small pom-poms and cut-up coloured paper in a box and gave it to Alpha…

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…and pretty much left him to it.

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He had a blast and it kept him occupied for a good hour. One of the best bits is that it’s pretty much mess-free – everything I gave Alpha to play with would be easy to vacuum.