I hate to use the word hate. There are very few things in this world that are worthy of the word. And yet, I do reserve that four-letter word for a few items that somehow find themselves into my life on an all-too-regular basis. Easter Grass is one of them.
You know the thin, pastel colored strands of cellophane that serve no purpose but to wrap themselves around the internal mechanisms of your vacuum cleaner, rendering it useless for the season? So then you try to sweep up the Easter Grass that has–guaranteed–been strewn about the living room by your children who, frankly, couldn’t care less about the Easter Grass so long as it is surrounding chocolate bunnies and jelly bean filled eggs. Only, when you try to throw it in the trash, you find that the Easter Grass comes super-charged with static electricity, and manages to hop back out of the trash can and follow you around the house. Sometimes, I’m still discovering bits of Easter Grass wedged between couch cushions at Thanksgiving.
I think it is fair to say that I truly hate Easter Grass. As such, I have a strict policy–no Easter Grass in the baskets entering this house. That is easier said than done. I can only control the baskets I fill … the rest that come from grandparents, aunties, and friends is usually filled with Easter Grass. My new tactic is to immediately take the baskets to the trash and empty the grass there, but then there are always the rogue jelly beans that my kids insist on picking out.
This has gotten me to thinking. Again. About the volume of sugar we throw at our children for every possible holiday on the calendar. Look, I’m not the sugar police. My kids will still receive a chocolate Easter Bunny and more jelly beans than they know what to do with. It’s not like my children are on a sweet-free diet. But must we find more reasons to fill their bellies with … ahem … [insert another another four-letter word that I also hate]?
Well, like I said, I’ve been thinking … I had the immeasurable pleasure of visiting the toy store with my children the other day. Where Easter is blooming all over the place. My daughter would like one of every stuffed bunny she can find … to add to her collection of every stuffed bunny she gets every year during this time, but fails to play with for the other 51 weeks of the year. My son just wants more brightly colored plastic eggs to add to our collection of the last five-years worth of mismatched plastic eggs that we already have sitting in our holiday closet.
That’s when I wandered down this aisle and realized that we are running dangerously low on art supplies. And, because my children have artist in their blood, I guess it’s time to replenish the art cupboard. Not to go overboard, mind you … we’ll just be minimizing it again in a couple of months. But the tangible, messy process of creating art with little hands is an invaluable pass-time for young children. (Or at least I think that is what their teacher would say.)
I don’t know who is going to be more excited … them or me. But I do know that this idea addresses a myriad of issues:
– It provides my kids with an experience (of creating) rather than just more “stuff” to be minimized.
– I can find all of these supplies at my neighborhood toy store, so I am supporting my local economy.
– These products are non-toxic, so I don’t have to worry about my children’s health. April goals: Check.
I do believe this is a plan that I can love. That’s a better four-letter word, right?