Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cheap Thrills

I mentioned in my post the other day about receiving some packages in the mail containing birthday presents. Well, I left those boxes out a little too long and Roo asked if she could play in the popcorn (she meant the styrofoam packing peanuts). Since I had two special meals that I needed to prepare for a party we were going to the next day, I said "Sure." I was thinking a couple of things when I gave the go-ahead: 1.) I needed an uninterrupted block of time in the kitchen to cook, and 2.) This was part of that goal I mentioned -- saying "yes" more often.

You know the old adage about kids wanting to play more with the empty box a toy came in than the toy itself? Add some styrofoam peanuts to that empty box and you have yourself a goldmine of fun! Almost an hour and a half of fun, I might add. Not only did I complete the dishes I wanted to make, but I started a load of laundry and decluttered a kitchen cabinet.

The kids were a sight to see. At one point, Roo stood up in the box and turned in a circle, stomping as she went. Round and round, faster and faster. Heaving her knees up higher and higher. The faster she went in her tiny circle (after all, it was a tiny box), the more she started slipping and sliding on the peanuts. The scene reminded me of that "I Love Lucy" episode when she's stomping the grapes in that big wooden barrel. You know the one I'm talking about?

Rascal was happy to sit in the box and kick and squirm, slip and slide around on his bottom. The look of sheer joy on his face was indescribable. He's not one of those toddlers that will sit and stay with one activity for any length of time, so I was amazed that this kept him occupied for so long.
As I cooked, I noticed that my instruction to keep the peanuts contained to the box was disregarded. But, since I needed more solo cooking time, I ignored the fact that Roo was making it look like a ticker tape parade had come through our living room.

Before long, even I couldn't stand the peanuts strewn from one end of the house to the other -- and I have a high tolerance for chaos and disorder! I insisted on cleaning up (especially since my husband would be home in less than an hour, and, I've said in the past, he hates messes).

All in all, a fun and cheap little sensory activity. However, it was not one I was looking forward to repeating. So, the next day, when Roo saw the box of peanuts on the staircase and wanted to do it all over again, I had to quickly think of another activity with which to bribe her. And then, the first chance I got, I hid the box of peanuts when she wasn't looking. I'm all about saying "yes" more often, but I don't necessarily have to say yes to the peanuts!

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