Thursday, April 4, 2013


I love making toys and games out of garbage, or scraps, or bits. My son has an inspiration and I try to facilitate. "My Nutcracker man needs a lady robot to play with, mama!" Well, I've got Styrofoam, coffee stirring sticks, and bubble wrap...let's spend the afternoon making a robot in the sunshine because I'm a "great mom"!

Her name is Mrs. Andromeda Robot and she's pleased to meet you.

However, when it comes to living things...eesh. The track record isn't great. "Hey mama! At school they grew a bean into a sprout! Can we do that?" I'm game. Two weeks later we have stagnant, mushy, bean water in a sandwich bag taped to our window. He was so optimistic even named the poor bean.

What the hell kind of mutant bean makes water look like that?? Perhaps I over indulged him with water. I confess, I'm a giver. Stanley took a quick trip to the compost bucket during school one day and he was never mentioned again. I can't even sprout a freaking bean; I'm a terrible mom.

And how many times have I tried the cut-the-top-of-the-carrot-and-it-will grow project? Oy. Three times, that's how many. I'm pretty confident in my abilities to cut a carrot and place the top in water. My four year old would wake up each day and peer, on tiptoe, over the counter to check on the tops. "Where are the greens mama?"

Do they know they are being tricked? "Hey...this is just water guys, just water, no need to make the effort to grow. Let's just go ahead, wrinkle up, and get slimy." Again, to the compost bucket.

My son believes in my skills with objects so whole-heatedly that one day he broke a glass and asked me, nonchalantly, to fix it for him. But when I mentioned the carrot thing again, he just looked at me for awhile and said, "Um, no thanks." But I believe in trying and trying and trying. It paid off! I showed this single, brave, leaf to my little man. With a flourish I revealed The Sprout. "Look! We have brought forth LIFE!"

He shrugged. "Okay. Now can you build a rocket ship for me?"

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