Monday, May 04, 2009

Little Green Icebergs

Just before Christmas I heard the happy sounds of my children playing together downstairs as I began to ease out of the light sleep I was still trying to hold onto in the morning. We'd all already kissed our good-mornings, and I gave them my traditional, "Just five more minutes," plea, as they skittered off to find five minutes of fun before breakfast. Only, the familiar sounds I heard told me to cut that cat nap short--the children were playing in a box downstairs.

When it arrived, full of fully-wrapped Christmas gifts, my children and I shared in the giggles over removing one box after another, reading the tags and placing each present beneath the tree. The box which had come to our door from UPS was quite large, so I told my children, as we unpeeled the tape, that it would make a good playbox--a ship, perhaps. That was before I pulled back the flaps to find, under layers of Sunday comics, hundreds of green styrofoam packing peanuts.

Styrofoam peanuts. I set the box aside after we emptied its more important contents, and promised myself to gather those, somehow, before giving the children that box. Only I'd gone to bed without doing so, and the next morning, I paid the price.

Oh, yes, they found that beautiful brown cardboard cube, and they decided it really ought to be a ship. Hey! Green foam! That looks like fun! From upstairs all I heard were occasional words like, "get in," and, "look," and "ok, get out."

Deliberately, slowly, and patiently, I pulled myself out of Logan's loft (where I'd fallen asleep with the children the night before, reading us all to sleep), taking each step carefully. With the same purposeful plodding, I took our stairs to the landing, and down. I was considering them, not myself, and it helped to keep me calm.

What I saw was everything I dreaded and more. They had been breaking the peanuts into smaller bits, as if the litter itself wasn't enough of a challenge. I asked them, "Well, what do we have here?" and Logan excitedly told me how this is the Atlantic Ocean, and these are icebergs!! How could I do anything other than marvel at his creative mind!? They were thrilled!

I had to hit them with a little reality check--this is a BIG mess. A really BIG mess. And, by the way, YOU are going to have to clean it up. Oh, and let me share a new piece of information with you. Peanuts like to stick to you with static electricity, so, good luck with that!

I put a little soapy water in a shallow bowl, encouraging them to start with damp fingers, so they didn't find boomerang piece returning to their hands on every attempt to drop them into the paper bag I had propped open in the middle of the chaos.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because that day was a MAJOR victory for me. I think most moms would understand how I could have gone wholesale ballistic on those two, sine there was a thirty minute clean-up job just to put the green devils into bags, plus a vacuuming session for the tiny pieces...but I did not lose it. God gave me great peace, patience & understanding.

But, for the record, I thought you might enjoy a video of the situation, to fully wrap your mind around it:

Green Peanut Icebergs from lisandrea on Vimeo.


(December 19, 2007: Logan was 4 1/2; Teagan recently age two)

1 comment:

mamazee said...

Hi Lisandrea - loved your thoughts on TAGMAX re: religious education - you should make it a blogpost :)
I'm trying to find how to subscribe to your blog - love your writing and i love meeting another mom who thinks in a lot of the same way as i do...