Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sherry 300

I'm the official Irish member of the family, being at least a full quarter Irish and being born Sherry Ann Brannen. But the St. Patrick's Day spirit is running more strongly in my kids this year. The picture of above is James in his St. Patty's Day finery, complete with welding goggles (yes, welding goggles, he's mighty proud of those welding goggles, not that he welds, he just has the goggles.) I'm in the middle of a huge excavation of my bedroom, pulling out years' worth of outgrown or otherwise unappreciated clothing from a family of four that have been cluttering up the joint. It's been a daunting task, but one that is long overdue, and my husband is out of town going to a medical conference, so I dug in. Being preoccupied with this I didn't do my duty as family leprechaun this year.

About 10 years ago James had a preschool teacher who celebrated St. Pat's by having a mischievous (but unseen) leprechaun visit the classroom. The leprechaun would pull pranks like dying the milk for snack and the water in the toilet green, put green paint in all the paint pots, move things into unusual places. I thought it was a marvellous idea, and the leprechaun started visiting our house. I snuck around in the wee sma's and put green food coloring in the toilet (and the tank, too, so it would flush green,) I put bags of green M&Ms in the kids shoes (when they had cute little-kid feet, not when they had stinky big-kid feet,) I put bricks or rolls of toilet paper in their backpacks, I replaced their white shoelaces with funky ones with clover on them, and once I filled the mail slot with peanuts, so when it was opened they flooded into the living room. It was all fun, and the kids looked forward to "Leprechaun Day" so much that I caught all kinds of grief last year when we were out of town for the big day. Sigh.

Unfortunately, with a pre-teen daughter it really doesn't take much for me to catch a whole lot of grief, and this year I'm in big trouble. I didn't do anything. I mean, there were no rooms filled with green balloons, no shamrocks drawn on yards of the toilet paper-----none of it. Audrey got up at 3:00 AM and put green crepe paper streamers around the house, and did a few things like wrapping the computer monitor in aluminum foil and writing "Happy St. Patrick's Day!" on it in green Sharpie. She painted her nails green, and sprayed her hair to match (discovering later that it rubbed off on her sheets and pillows---but I wasn't up at 3:00 AM to tell her this.) I got up to the streamers and messages and thought "Hmmm. How nice that Audrey is carrying on the tradition." Then Audrey got up and said "Where is all YOUR leprechaun stuff?? Apparently once a mother starts a tradition, she's not allowed to mess with it, or heaven-forbid, do away with it, EVER. So let that be a lesson to me.


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