Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Musings: Out Of The Minds Of Babes

The Opportunity (sounds corporate and creepy doesn’t it? - it is getting close to Halloween after all): Come up with a craft that 5 and 6 year old girls can do in about 15 minutes. Now, this may sound like an easy task, but it is not. Should it be coloring - boring. Construction paper things - boring. Finger painting - you have got to be kidding. Hey, how about making a spider! Cool - but how?

The How: Take some black yarn wrap it around a square of cardboard cut the ends, tie it up, glue on eyes and - holy crap this is hard, even for an ambidextrous origami master adult to do, so - ditch that design. Um, prepacked spider kits from the Dollar store. There we go - how hard can they be?

The Trial: Prepacked spider kit open - okay, glue this red fuzzball to that black fuzzball - next, hey wait - how in hell can you glue a straw to a ball of fuzz? Oops, now the fuzz balls have unglued. How, what the, crap, - this is some insane torture toy developed by China to shave years off North American’s lives. It’s not really possible to do without extensive Zen training and crazy glue. Yeah, crazy glue and 5 to 6 year old girls - see a problem here? Medic!

The "Easy" Version: Okay, here is my solution. Get a small white Styrofoam ball, color it with a crayon, stick in pipe cleaners, glue on eyes and lastly glue on cute little fuzzy pompom feet. Voila, cute colorful spider that is easy to make even if you aren’t 7 yet - right?

The Reality: Craft time arrives, balls are being colored, some pipe cleaners are being inserted, some eyes make it to the Styrofoam ball glued in place. Many hands and voices raised for help, but that is always expected for any craft with a large group of young children. This is fun, no? All is going sort of smoothly until - (Insert Psycho theme here!) - fuzzy feet time.

The Disaster: Pipe cleaners ends and fuzzy pompoms do not easily attach. Well maybe for me, but I am 41, not 5 or 6. Trouble in little paradise. Many pleas for help, not many spider feet being attached that don’t immediately come unglued. Alone, sits one girl, thinking so far outside the box as to not even notice a box at all. Dad, Mom, no other girl in the place finds the solution but one. And it is just so simple. Once seen it is amazing that it wasn’t thought of before.

The Solution: All you need to do is twist the pipe cleaner end around the fuzzy pompom and it is attached. How hard can it be, Dad? This elegant solution escaped twenty other kids and eluded six adults, but not my daughter. Sorry for the proud daddy rambling, but it was so sweetly and innocently and elegantly done that I had to retell it here in cyber-space.

Out of the minds of babes.

Sometimes you have to just sit back and admire it.

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