Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tooth Fairy Pillowcase

Let me just say that I hate the person who came up with the Tooth Fairy. I try not to do that, hate a whole entire person like that, but this one deserves it.

I mean, Santa Claus has it bad enough, having to sneak around after the kids have gone to sleep and set up pleasing displays of presents in the living room very, very quietly, but the Tooth Fairy! Good grief, the Tooth Fairy has to actually enter the sleeping child's bedroom, lift the sleeping child's head and trade a tiny, eensy, weensy, little tooth for money. And if the Tooth Fairy is caught in the middle of the trade, then that's it, game over, all childhood fantasies are ruined forever and child will probably have to have years of therapy to get over the fact that their parents lied!

Stress. Ful.

Plus, my kids always make sure to lose a tooth on days when I have done something really dramatic, like vacuum, and am completely exhausted and just want to go to bed at nine o'clock at night for the love of God! What will happen is, they will wiggle the tooth at 8:55 and wiggle it at 8:57 and wiggle it at 8:59 and then as soon as I pull the covers up to my chin, they will run into my room, triumphant, tooth in hand.

I will feign excitement over the lost tooth while secretly cursing my ruined early bedtime. Now, I have to stay up, wait for the kid to get over their excitement of loosing a tooth, wait for the kid to finally lay back on his pillow with the tooth underneath, wait for the kid to get up three more times to show me how he can now stick his tongue in the empty space between his teeth, wait for the kid to get up three more times to tell me how he can no longer say, "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," wait for the kid to get up three more times to tell me that he has another loose tooth . . . and then once child has finally gotten to sleep, I will forget all about my role and go to sleep too only to awaken in a panic at three a.m., run to my wallet to discover that I have no cash, take cash out of my kid's wallet, stumble all over my kid's bedroom, search for fifteen minutes under the kid's pillow for the tooth, find it, lose it, find it, make the switch, and return to my bed, now too flustered to go back to sleep.

To help with this (somewhat) I made a handy tooth fairy pillowcase for my kids and it has been a godsend. It has a Velcro removable pocket for the tooth and a pocket sewn onto the pillowcase to put the Velcro pocket in. Each pillowcase is also treated with fairy dust that makes the kid go straight to sleep so that the Tooth Fairy can come.

My nephew's birthday was coming up so I made one for him because what does a four-year-old want more than anything in this world? That's right--a pillowcase!

Since this was for a boy, I had some difficulty finding material that he would like for several years. As usual, I found tons of fabrics that would have been so cute for a girl, but boys are tricky, so I went with blue and green because it's bright and fun and I was sick of walking around the fabric store with my shopping cart with the squeaky wheel.

A pillowcase has to be the easiest thing in the world to sew. It was the first thing that I learned how to make, but whenever I go to make one, I always forget how to do it and have to drag out a pillowcase, turn it inside out, measure it, sniff it, and take out a few seams to figure it out. I mean, seriously, I made this lovely dress for my daughter with layers and layers of tulle and chiffon, but I struggled with how to make a pillowcase. And I've made TONS of pillowcases!

I was going to do this whole cool tutorial on how to make a pillowcase, but I tried and I quickly discovered that I suck at tutorials. So, go here to figure out how to make a pillowcase, 'kay. Since this is my blog, I must make one small modification--between steps one and two insert the instructions, "Pour a glass of wine." When  you're done with the pillowcase, cut a piece of fabric 7"x8" and turn under the ends and sew onto the pillowcase and then cut a piece of fabric 11"x5", turn under ends on each narrow side and sew Velcro strips to each narrow end, then pin wrong sides together, sew the seams, and turn inside out.

See. I told you I suck at tutorials.

And here's what you get!

Fun! Yay! Now we can all find the tooth! If someone can help me find some cash to give to the kid (because my kids don't accept debit card payments from the Tooth Fairy yet) and a way to stop banging my head on the top bunk, I'm open for suggestions.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Awards Day

I wrote this a few years ago when First Son was in first grade. After going to Second Son's awards day this morning where over half his class made all A's for the entire year, I was reminded of it. It's the whole, all-the-kids-are-above-average and if-everyone-is-special-no-one-is thing.  

Welcome to awards day! 

Can we please have every single child in first grade line up on stage to be recognized for their achievements. First we will hand out awards from our twisted reading program that strives to help children to learn that reading is first and foremost about the number of points that one can accumulate. As we all know, children hate to read. Hate it. All children. They hate to read. Didn’t you all know that? So what we do, is give your children points for the books they read and this my friends insures that they will not pick up a book based on an intrinsic love for reading, but instead for the point value associated with it. And we’re all okay with that, right? Good. Here’s an award for every child for participating in the twisted program. 

Next, let’s move on and honor all of our average students. Here’s your award and a medal for being average. Stand up and take a bow. We are all so, so, so proud of you for your mediocrity. Can we give a hand for the average kids? Great! 

Okay, next we move on to the kids who aren’t quite average. Yes, you too get an award and a medal because you did come to school and you did try hard. Or maybe you didn’t try too hard, but I’m sure that you all meant to try hard and that my friends deserves an award and a medal. Because meaning to try hard some of the time sure does make you special. 

Our above-average students will also receive the same award and medal as our average and below average students, because we don’t want to make the other kids feel bad. What we want to do is make sure that all of these kids feel good about themselves because an over-inflated ego will take them far in life. 

And while we’re on the subject, aren’t you so proud of us for not handing out ribbons on field day? I mean, first place, second place, third place, does it really matter? Field day is just about having fun, we don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think that some kids are better at some field day events than other kids. That might cause hurt feelings and no one wants that. 

That’s it for awards day. Thank you all for coming out. If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix the education system in this country, let us know, because we can’t figure out why it’s not working. I mean, the kids all feel great about themselves, they just can’t show that on the tests. What could we possibly be doing that’s not working? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?

I got up early this Sunday and marveled at the stillness of my house. Husband had an early game of sand soccer at the beach and kids were sacked out, exhausted from our busy Saturday.  I thought about going back to sleep, spending the morning in bed, but then I thought about that huge, luscious Sunday paper—crossword puzzles (not one, but two) and Sudoku  (not the easy one’s that appear in the paper Monday through Saturday that I can do with my eyes shut, but the challenging one) and Cryptograms. I thought about the ads, slick pages full of stuff I wanted to buy. I would save the Target ad for last, like dessert.

I slid out of bed, tiptoed down the stairs, poured a cup of coffee, quietly opened the front door, and retrieved the paper. I sat at the kitchen table and readied myself for some quality, uninterrupted newspaper time. As soon as I slid the paper out of the plastic sleeve, six little feet clomped down the stairs and demanded food, drink, and entertainment.

After the tenth request to play the wii, I had a moment of panic. Husband and I don’t allow video games at all for First Son during the school year and very little for Second Son. But they are both allowed to play during summer vacation and it’s starting next week. I cannot listen to “Can I play the wii?” ten thousand times a day for three months. I cannot! So, instead of reading the paper and doing puzzles, I opened up Excel and made these flyers for First and Second Son because the newspaper keeps and sanity does not.

They can play the wii twice a day for forty-five minutes, but first they have to tear off the little forty-five minute tag on that day of the week and give it to me so that I can set the timer. They can’t play wii without tearing off that tag. And once their two tags are gone for that day, they are done playing wii, no argument (yeah, right!), no exceptions. I know—ingenious!  

I made First Son’s tags yellow because he is a huge Steelers fan (Ugh! Gross!) and Second Son’s tags red because for some odd reason that I don’t recall, he is a huge Arizona Cardinals fan. Hopefully, this will be a small step towards making my summer more peaceful. If someone has an idea on how to make them stop saying, “I’m bored,” or “I’m hungry” ten thousand times a day, I’m all ears!