Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I have a seven-year-old daughter. I also live in a town small enough that the LCBO doubles as the beer store, but it won't accept the empties. For that I have to drive to Stittsville. You might be forgiven for asking what these things have in common with each other and with the title of this posting. I'll get to it eventually.

Meet my oldest daughter, Craftzilla Leah. Not a day goes by without her bringing home artwork from school. Not an after-school evening goes by without something being coloured, cut out, molded, or attached to a piece of yarn. Not a single recylable escapes her steely eye. Everything is fair game to be taped, stickered, glued and markered into something else. Toilet-roll binoculars. Cereal-box televisions. Shoe-box Little People apartments, complete with furniture.

It's worse when her friend Alora comes over, as the visit will inevitably produce a truly frightening number of crafts that I can't throw out. At least not right away or during daylight. I'm not sure if this is normal seven-year-old-girl behaviour, as she is the first seven-year-old girl I have raised.

Leah knows that the black box (paper and cardboard recyclables) is fair game. I don't mind if she fishes a box out of the black box for one of her little projects. On the weekend, it was making a guitar. You know, you take an empty kleenex box or cut a hole in a rectangular box, put rubber bands around the box so that they can be strummed over the hole, attach a paper-towel tube for the neck, and voilĂ : a guitar. Big deal, you might say. Well, Leah loves the creating part, but the finishing and prettifying -- not so much. She's too eager to move on to the next project. So the painting of the box or covering it in pretty paper; it doesn't happen.

Which is why we have a lovely Tampax-box guitar in the living room.

I guess it could be worse. She could have rounded out the string section of her little orchestra with a Trojan-box violin complete with the Canesten-box neck. It could have happened.

Oh, but I digresss. The beer bottles. Right. Last night after dinner, I left the girls doing a jigsaw puzzle in the living room and went to the bathroom. I was in there ten minutes, tops. When I came back into the living room, I stopped dead. My living room, which I had just vacuumed before dinner, was awash in rice. Yup, uncooked parboiled rice. It was on the floor, and it was all over the coffee table. As were a butchered Kraft Dinner box, several bits of cardboard, and two tape dispensers. When I finally was able to form words, I asked Leah what was going on. "Look, Mum," she said proudly, "I showed Rachel how to make maracas!" And from behind their backs they produced beer bottles half full of rice, with discs of cardboard haphazardly taped over the mouths.

After a decent interval, the maracas will be returned to the beer store. And I'm thinking of leaving them just the way they are. Beer store guys deserve a little artwork in their lives too.


  1. Riley is the same way, always wanting to make something. Her big thing is scrapbooking. My biggest problem with it is that she never cleans up after herself. She used an entire bottle of glitter one day and made a huge mess. It took me over a week to get it all vacuumed up off the carpet. Plus she left the damn picture on the floor to dry and I stepped right in it. My whole foot had glitter glued to the bottom of it.

  2. Anonymous6:59 PM

    Ha! Your kids are awesome. Messy, perhaps, but awesome!

    My boys don't care much for crafting...it requires too much patience. They may color a picture or something, but they'd much rather be racing hot wheels or battling transformers...

  3. Anonymous10:28 PM

    I heart your girls.
    Boys don't craft - they come home needing stitches, peroxide and an ice pack.

    A pic of the Tampax guitar would have made this complete.

  4. HA! i once made a caterpillar house out of a maxipad box much to my mother's chagrin....

  5. A Trojan box???? I'm jealous... :)

  6. HAHA! Tampax box guitar! Too funny! And those maracas, oh man I would have flipped my lid with rice all over the house. Logan definitely takes after me when it comes to crafting. He's always asking me to set him up with a project.

  7. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Tampax box guitar - too funny! Surely there's a punk band somewhere that needs one of those!!

    My boys are not so much on the crafty, but they'd be all over the chaos and mess and noise associated with beer-bottle maracas.