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Bet you’re wondering when my new book is coming out. I know I am…

Don’t worry, it will be soon. Since I published my first book, I have become the free or cheap activities person, and readers and new and old friends have been sending a library’s worth of ideas my way!

Today, I wanted to share some of my own bright ideas that did not make it into the book. I’m sure you’ll see why, especially if you have children of your own.

YES, I'm still working on it!

YES, I’m still working on it!

Snack Cabinet In the interest of being a “nice mom,” I was giving my kids whatever they wanted to eat, whenever they wanted it. Can’t let them go hungry, can I? They were playing Grocery Store with boxes and cans in the dining room cabinet, and I thought, hey! I’m wearing my legs down to nubs fetching snacks all day. Why don’t I just keep the snacks in the “store” and let them be free range?

Here’s why. It took them all of twenty minutes to open every packet of snacks and leave them scattered all over the house. Ants moved in, and I was out about $40 in healthy organic crackers.

Flatulent Balloons I repeat, this is NOT in the book. Unfortunately, it is an entertainment mainstay here at chez van Lier. You see, it was one of those moments of desperation. I was trying to decorate/clean/bake/dress for a birthday party, and my pesky young (whom I LOVE, don’t get me wrong) were underfoot.

Knowing a good bodily function gag never fails, and secure that they wouldn’t inhale balloon rubber and render all future birthday party preparation moot, I showed them how you could release an inflated-but-not-tied balloon and it would fly around the house like a trapped squirrel making crude noises until it ran out of “gas.”

Oh, it went over BIG. I had the spit droplets all over the coffee table to prove it. Don’t worry, guests, the cake and crudites were safely in the refrigerator.  If you haven’t made this mistake already yourself, don’t try this at home.

Bake a Cake Rent a sandblaster and stock up on Xanax. If you turn your kids loose to make a cake in your kitchen, it’s not going to end well. I don’t care how exceptional they are. This just isn’t worth it. No longer is the road to hell paved with the best intentions, it is now blacktopped with cake batter from my weeks of attempts. (We’re going to family counseling. Thanks for your concern.)

Here’s what WILL be in the book – lots of other fun activities for children ages five and up. No meds required!

 

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