Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Little Things All Over

When I wrote a while back about doing origami with my kids, a friend of mine offered to come to my house and give us all some lessons.  She's a Suzuki violin/viola teacher who visits Japan when she can, and she wanted to share some of the tricks she's learned over time for folding things like paper cranes.  Schedules being what they are, that meeting didn't finally become possible until this month, but it was fun.

My kids each made a crane, and then we moved on to jumping frogs.  But here's the thing about my kids making things:  They always end up accessorizing with a million extra bits.

So before my friend even left my kids had already laid out pieces of blue paper to make a pond for the frogs and broke out the scissors to make lily pads.  Then little water lilies.

Then after she left, out came the aluminum foil (Aden's go to material for small, sculptural expression) and the frogs got bowls of food and goblets and laptops and phones and money and I'm not sure what all.  But there is a lot of it.  And it's all little stuff but it takes up a lot of room.

There is a game involved with all of this with too many rules and Quinn is looking over my shoulder as I work on this post telling me, "That frog owns the shop!  And my blue frog has this symbol to put on things he makes and he lives on three lily pads."  Etc.




So there's that.

The girls tend to leave stuff from this kind of play all over the place.  I have trouble telling the leftover scraps from what they are doing from the things they want to save since it's all mixed together.  Quinn is at least highly organized, which makes having a million little things on the table or floor look less messy.  Here was something he set up the other day with a variety of toy fish he collected for his stuffed penguin.  (I don't know if this is a feast or some kind of marketplace, but this type of arrangement is common in Quinn's room.)
And I came home from work recently to find Quinn had collected everything he could find on our shelves by Stephen King and stacked them.  I don't know why.  But when he's tall enough to reach all the books and can alphabetize do I have an awesome day planned for him!


In any case, the piles and bits and pieces and scraps and tiny paper laptops are the kind of thing that on a bad day could get on my nerves with the constant struggle to keep things in order enough that we can function and be able to find what we need.  But more often than not it makes me laugh.  It's evidence at every turn that I get to share my home with these creative and interesting (not so) little people.  I can too easily envision a day when the only things lying on the dining room table are the boring things my husband and I set there, and I'm not ready for that.  So we keep Aden supplied with aluminum foil, and let Quinn keep his rows and piles out for a couple of days before we tell him it's time to put them away, and just nod and smile as Mona dulls another pair of scissors cutting wooden skewers into little bits for who knows what.  Other parents might be happier with trophies around to show what their kids can do.  I'm good with a paper pond and some highly networked origami frogs.

8 comments:

  1. I love it! Isn't it fascinating what kids come up with when left to their own devices? Yesterday, Elsa started making what I think she intends to be a life-size likeness of Harry Potter out of cardboard boxes.

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    1. You once posted a crazy picture of dolls your girls had creatively tied up with strings or something weird. Looked a lot like things my kids do and I had a feeling right then if they ever all met they would get along very well. (Hope that happens one day!)

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  2. I love when the kids do this sort of thing! Mine once spent an entire year (we had moved to Rhode Island for 11 months) amusing themselves with duct tape, craft sticks, and jute. I couldn't believe what they created.

    Also? Aluminum foil - I have a picture of my then-12-year-old wearing an entire suit of armor crafted out of that stuff. Boredom is the mother of creativity, sometimes...

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    1. That's my kind of kid. I still want to make an entire suit of armor out of aluminum foil.

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  3. I need to bottle this attitude! See you Saturday; I'm so excited.

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    1. Can't wait! Hope you have fun at BlogHer.

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  4. the origami village of animals is cracking me up. I also love Quinn's organization...it bodes well for his future college roomate and spouse :)

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    1. Either a really great person to live with or incredibly annoying. Time will tell.

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