Kallan swoops into the room, “Can I use some stuff out of the craft cupboard?”
“Yeah, sure . . . just put everything away when you are done. Try not to make too big a mess this time!”
“What? I never make a mess.”
“Remember the papier mache’d dog?”
“He wanted to be papier mache’d!”
“Remember the scented markers?”
“How is coloring my chest with sniffy cinnamon brown not a genius idea?”
“Remember the colored-sand debacle?”
“I asked you to help me make a funnel to pour that sand into the bottles. You said you were busy.”
“Remember the tragic clown make-up incident?”
“What’s your point, Mom?”
“Just clean up when you are done, OK?”
“Got it,” Kallan turns to yell for her sister, “Maj! Good news! Mommy says we can run craft amuck!”
“You know that’s not what I said.”
Kallan giggles and burrows into the craft cupboard. She leaves the room with her arms laden with supplies. I try not to focus.
All is quiet for a few moments and then both girls walk into the room, hands waving high in the air. I watch them for a moment, “Why are you waving your hands? You painted your fingernails? I thought you were doing crafts.”
“We are making hand peelings!”
They step close enough for me to see that they have painted their palms and fingers with a thick oozing layer of Elmer’s glue.
I issue panicked orders, “ACK! Do not touch anything! Go sit at the dining room table and do not touch anything until that dries.”
Neither girl moves and Kallan reassures me, “We are not going to touch anything, Mom. We don’t need to sit at the table. We’ll let the glue dry and then peel it off! Hand peelings! We have this under control.”
But as she talks, she sweeps her hand across her forehead and through her hair.
Her eyes go wide.
She stares at me, her hand stuck in her long blond hair, “OK, this was an accident.”
Maj laughs hysterically and slaps both of her hands against her thighs.
Her eyes go wide.
So then there is washing and rinsing and wiping and discussion of how this might not have been one of their most genius ideas ever.
Kallan turns to Maj happily, “Guess what? I have the best idea!”
And they run off together.
There is quiet for a few moments, and then they are back.
And here is Kallan . . .
I laugh, “Kallan, you are gorgeous, but are those all sticky-backed jewels?”
“Weren’t those for a craft project? Aren’t those really sticky?”
She agrees happily, “Yup.”
“So, babe? Isn’t it going to be pretty painful to remove those jewels?”
“Don’t be silly, Mom. They’ll come off easy,” and she reaches up to demonstrate by plucking one off of her forehead.
I watch as her eyes grow big and tears swell, “Mom, they hurt!”
I offer to help, but Kallan and Maj run off into the bathroom to handle things.
Kallan sounds like this against a giggling sister background . . .
“Ow! Ow! Ow!”
“Stop laughing, Maj!”
“Ow! Ow! Ow! I said stop laughing! It’s not funny!”
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!”
“Now I wasted all of these jewels!”
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Oh, I know! I’ll just stick them to my shirt!”
“Ow! Ow! Ow! Maj, did I get all of them? Maj, stop laughing!”
Kallan decorates her shirt with all of the sticky-backed jewels.
She is a master-crafter, that girl.
Of course, at the end of the evening, she throws the white shirt into the laundry without removing any of the jewels.
Which means that several days later, Mark is holding up a pair of his underwear.
All bejeweled and sparkly.
I laugh, “You are all undie-bedazzled!”
He pulls out several more pairs of underwear, all similarly adorned, “What the heck happened here?”
I giggle, “OK, Kallan was doing crafts, and . . .”
He snorts, “This should be good.”
And so I tell him the story of the jewels.
I am Kris of Pretty All True . . . easily located at www.prettyalltrue.com. I have been married for more than 20 years to Mark, and we have two incredible daughters. Kallan is 9 and Maj is 11. I write about everything, and sometimes that everything includes my children.