Posted by: Kate | February 13, 2009

Because Nothing Says “I Love You” Like a Good Headgame

(Many apologies for the lateness of this post; most posts, it really doesn’t matter when they happen, or even if I skip a day altogether… but this one – you’ll see – really would have been better posted much earlier in the day.  Three straight nights of miserable insomnia – less than 8 hours sleep in the last 72 hours – created a vaguely Katelike zombie for the morning, and then a sudden and octuplely intense GI bug assaulted Jacob for the evening.  Alas.  Maybe you can file it away for next year…)

Many years ago, in a land far, far away – I think it was 2001, in Salem, Massachusetts – I was in the waiting room of a pediatrician’s office, thumbing through a cute, perky parenting magazine, when one of their Valentine’s Day suggestions caught my eye.  “What a great idea!” I thought, because sometimes cute and perky magazines become contagious and lead to cute and perky thoughts.  “I’ll have to remember that for when Emily gets a little older.”

I promptly forgot all about it, which is actually somewhat unusual for me.  I have a pretty good memory for craft ideas and projects, though I often would lose my children’s names, my home phone number, and my car in the haze of new-baby sleep-deprivation.  However, this particular idea disappeared into the ether, and now I wonder how many other things have escaped my memory unnoticed.

Then, the other day, I landed upon Fairly Odd Mother’s blog*, and there it was.  The great idea that had fallen directly out of my brain seven or eight years ago.  She, being a nicer blogger than I, posted it with enough time that I was able to hit the grocery store the next day and get the project going right away.  But I’ll share now, because it really is quite cute, and I plan to continue the tradition for, oh, say, ever.

It’s to plant lollipop seeds, so as to grow a small crop of lollipops.  (See?  Cute!  And perky!)  I diverged a bit from FOM’s directions, but the heart is the same.  For this version, you need: a bag of Double-Stuf Oreos, a freezer bag or two, a few crushing-type weapons, a package of cake toppings (sprinkles or similar – the ones I got resemble small jelly beans), several dozen lollipops, several dozen lollipops, a pair of sharp scissors, children with appropriate levels of gullibility, and a husband willing to eat a bunch of lollipops without sticks (can replace husband with self, coworkers, or even inconspicuous garbage can, as needed).

First, arm the children with blunt, heavy instruments – a meat pounder for Emily, his own hammer from the full-sized toolkit my mother bought Jacob for Christmas – place several Oreos in a freezer bag, and have them work out their frustrations on the cookies.  Set several whole cookies aside and save for later.  Pour the “dirt” into the bowl, and explain to the kids how of course you couldn’t plant lollipops in regular dirt, because then they wouldn’t taste as sweet.  Convince children that there is enough moisture in the Oreos that watering is not necessary.  Pretend to freak out when you catch them eating dirt.

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Then, have each child plant several of their seeds into the soil.  Set out someplace where they can check for growth, but not where the bowls will get jostled around.  Lollipop plants are delicate things, after all.

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Each night, after the kids are asleep, get out the lollipops and snip the sticks off at varying levels – short on the first night, longer on the second night.  We decided that lollipops will take three days to grow all the way up, so tonight is the second night of stick growth.  As it were.

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The last morning, the kids should awaken to a bowl of fully ripened lollipops, cultivated without the use of pesticides or growth hormone in the comfort of your own home.  (The reason you bought Double Stuf Oreos, and the reason why you saved several of them for Valentine’s Day morning, is that sticks stand up just fine on their own in dirt, but full lollipops are trickier; if you pull one of the sides off a cookie, you can bury the rest, Stuf-side-up, in the bottom of the bowl and then press the base of the lollipops in that for a bit of stability; you can also make little stands by sticking two cookie-and-Stuf bits together around the base.)

All together, now: Awwwwwww….

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* I have to share her wittiness, because it only just now, after several years of reading her blog, occurred to me: note her username, and then think of “fairy godmother.”  Tricky, no?  And now you can nod knowingly in advance, unless I’m the only person on the planet who didn’t instantly make that connection.

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Responses

  1. I am joining you in the lack of sleep- for all sorts of fun, dramatic reasons- but am now having your thought–I’ll remember this for when I have children old enough- and the thought that I will surely forgotten it by then. Remember it this time so that I can ask you!!! 🙂

  2. That is such a cool idea!

  3. That is very cute.

    There’s also a show on Nick called “The Fairly Oddparents”, which is really annoying and cute at the same time. I don’t let the kids watch any regular Nick shows yet… but grandma gets to make her own rules about TV so we’ve seen it a couple times there.

  4. That is a really cute idea. If you go to the cake decorating/candy making section of craft stores or Wal-mart/Target, you can buy lollipop sticks. But then you wouldn’t get to eat the ones you cut off, so that might not work.

    Sera’s attention span is little short for a 3-day project, but I definitely want to try this next year.

  5. That is such an awesome project! I kinda want to do it just for myself. BB’s too old to buy it, but he might play along for the humor.

    Isn’t there a cartoon called Fairly Oddparents? That’s what I thought when I saw that name.

  6. I love this idea and am promptly running to the store to purchase the lollipop ingredients – Easter is just around the corner.

  7. […] I don’t have a problem with my kids enjoying the day. Obviously, we planted our lollipop plants, and I’m pleased to report it was a big success despite the fact that I collapsed, exhausted, […]


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