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Monday, April 4, 2011

Outside the box

Once in awhile I will surprise our children with something out of the blue. Today it was those elastic band arm bracelets shaped as different objects or animals. Fun bands I think they're called. It's the craze lately around here. A simple cheap idea turns someone into a millionaire! While I was purchasing these bands I thought, bad mistake on my part. They will be all over the house, used as weapons by flicking, probably will be stuck in the washing machine, in the vacuum cleaner, all over the yard, trapped in hair more likely, flushed into our septic system, possibly cutting off circulation, a choking hazard and an argument while trading back and forth. Sometimes my great ideas turns into a money pit for us. For example, I found these earth magnets I thought our children would enjoy. I didn't realize these magnets would kill two computers! Some of our children thought it was a great idea to stick these magnets to the computer while this buzzing noise was completely entertaining them, our computer died. "Oops" I'm still learning what to purchase and not purchase for fun. A few years back I took our children and one lady friend over to Hornby Island. A day trip. I probably wrote about this before. It's a fond memory not only for our children, for this other lady too! The last ferry was leaving at 6pm but there's me stopping to buy some chocolate cake along the way. Well first off, don't buy chocolate cake for a vehicle ride. So I had to stop and clean off my children. We missed the last ferry. Oh yes, tourist season, no where to stay but my van. All the seats came out, we parked next to the ocean and we tried to sleep with our towels. It was the longest night ever! I watched the stars come out, the tide go in and out, the stars disappear before leaving that Island. But a fond memory worth writing over and over again. Once in awhile I have these moments where common sense has left my body. Like purchasing products that might add extra supervision. After all most children would just wear these simple little arm bracelets right? One of our rules is no toys at the dinner table. So who knows what's lurking in your child's pockets. Tonight it was these fun bands. While eating spaghetti, a favorite once a week traditional meal for our family, I rolled up my spaghetti and chewed on a fun band. What fun it is. This band supposedly was flicked from across the room onto my plate. So while these millionaires are getting richer with their inventions, we're getting the frustration of teaching it's purpose. Like the craze with the Pokemon cards.....a year ago it was this trading card game. Collect and collect these cards. I'm afraid that our money went into the washing machine because they would bundle these cards, place them in their pockets, then into the washing machine! So not only do I have to endlessly pull out sock balls, I have to search every pant, shirt and coat pocket always! Like Halloween, it's fun, I used to enjoy taking our children out trick or treating. I don't anymore. I don't like the candy, I don't like the candy wrappers but it's a once a year fun event. So what's a Mother to do? I'm learning. Our children aren't allowed guns, knifes and weapons. They do have Nerf guns that come out on occasion, some lazor lighted toys that have been purchased by friends on their birthdays and my husband made marsh mellow blowers, other then that, we're sticky but safe. Another toy I don't particularly like is those small hard rubber balls. They are a choking hazard and when they bounce, look out! Unfortunately there has been gifts given that I sneakily hide away, it seems every year someone wants to give our girls makeup, hair products, shampoo, body oils and toys that are inappropriate for their age and cognitive abilities. Even when I explain, come Christmas and Birthdays there is items that I have to take. It's understandable because like me, it's a good idea at the time of purchase like these fun bands! Also when purchasing for our children, many people don't understand at the time that body oil can be harmful because we may drink it, rub down the dog with it or pour it all over ourselves like water! The intent with such an item can be most interesting. Like today, I thought it would be "cool" for our children to wear these fun bands, trade them with their friends at school (like most of the public school aged children are doing these days).......they might do that if I don't eat them first! Oh well, it could be worse. My husband at Christmas wanted to buy our boys these flying helicopters. Good idea once again except that they lasted one hour smashing into each other falling to the floor! For our daughter's birthdays I found these beautiful princess baby dolls, they giggle, laugh and kick their feet. I bet you can imagine how annoying that is after hours of noise especially when their feet are banging repeatedly on the hardwood floor! Pretty funny alright. That's my great thinking again! I'm getting to the point that I analyze every product, it's use or how it could be used; I think I'm starting to think like our children which is actually excellent thinking! After all a little rubber ball is not only for bouncing, it's an item that can fit into exhaust pipes, down little holes to plug drainage and what's better then watching a toilet overflow!? My husband is great for thinking outside the box because his vacuum cleaner solves every problem, it cleans belly buttons, built up ear wax, rocks or toy box car tires out of noses, you name it and an attachment can be made for it! One thing I know, it's never dull and there's always a lesson to be learned either from the product or thinking outside the box like our children do! Smart I'd say!

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