A Dum-Dum In A Smartie World

There are times when I get a little smug and overestimate my intelligence.  I’m flying high, until I hit the inevitable brick wall of truth and realize that I’m not that bright after all.  Yep, the truth does hurt; it is painful when I realize I’m at the low end of normal, at best.

Regular readers of my blog may be a bit confused.  I can hear it now.  “We’ve never compared you to Einstein or anything, so where’s the big news flash?” and “Geez, you really are dumb if you thought you were that smart.”  <followed by uncontrollable laughter>

Here’s the deal:  Last weekend, I was faced with two situations that shined a 500-watt spotlight on the fact that I’m not nearly as smart as I (sometimes) think. 

First Not-So-Shining Moment:

My husband woke me up at 6:18 Easter morning and posed a question that made my heart skip a beat before leaping into my throat.  (Not in a good way, either.)  He nudged me and asked, “Did the Easter Bunny come?”

Those five words sent a panic through me and I suddenly felt like a six-year-old girl who just set the bathroom trash on fire and needed a way to hide the burned carpet.  (Oh…uh, hypothetically speaking, of course.) 

I hadn’t been out to the family room to check those baskets on the couch, but I was sure the kids had awakened at the crack of dawn and discovered the awful truth.  Even though I hadn’t gotten out of bed, I knew they were empty because I had inside information that the Easter Bunny had indeed skipped our house because the Easter Bunny had too much fun blogging and writing the night before and <gasp> forgot.

Lucky for the Easter Bunny, we were able to cover his little white cotton tail.  Yes, we placed the goodies in our plastic lawn chairs on the back patio and then crawled back into bed.  When the kids came in ten minutes later to tell us about their empty baskets, we assured them there must be a mistake.  We searched inside the house before following our older son’s suggestion to check outside.  We were unsure whether he knew of the Bunny-Gate cover up, so, we ate chocolate and jelly beans and no one spoke a word of it.

Second Not-So-Shining Moment:

Last year, Hubby got the crazy sweet idea to color Easter eggs with the kids on the day before Easter (while I spent a “girls’ day” with a friend.)  I came home late that afternoon to find a dozen brightly colored eggs.  I also discovered a countertop, two children and two sets of clothes dyed in the same hues.

Deciding that was a bad idea, my husband and I searched our brains for an alternative activity.  I don’t know which one of us thought of it, but someone suggested decorating cookies.  We both agreed that frosting and decorating cookies with colorful sprinkles would be a fun activity.

As the kids eagerly jumped into the art of decorating with sugar, we soon realized the error in our judgment.  Brightly colored sprinkles migrated from the waxed paper squares on the countertops, onto the tile floor, and then to the bottoms of my bare feet.  Frosting was not content with staying on the knife or the paper towels.  No, it snuck onto hands, clothing and cabinet doors.  (My neat-freak hubby made himself scarce during this debacle.)

Cookie decorating joins decoupage, finger painting, glitter art, pine cone decorating, and anything made with liquid glue in the “What Was I Thinking?” category.  Even with all of these messy choices, I still believe we will come up with a less-mess idea for next year. 

A Smartie would realize that this will never happen.  I guess being a Dum-Dum has its advantages 😉

Do you have any fun, but not-too-messy ideas?


28 thoughts on “A Dum-Dum In A Smartie World

  1. suzicate April 26, 2011 / 6:57 AM

    Ah, those memories are much funnier and sweeter than those hours I spent cleaning up those messes…and you can add finger painting, play doh, and even drum sets to the not so bright moments of parenting!

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 8:22 PM

      Oh, I almost forgot about Play-Doh…we just got the last of that stuff out of the house a few months ago. And it’s funny you mention drum sets, because my husband has been trying to convince me that the boys need that. No way!

      At least the floors got a good cleaning after the “fun”!

  2. carldagostino April 26, 2011 / 6:58 AM

    Next year do crayons or colored pencils. Have fun intricate designs. Print out faces and do famous people cut outs. Anything but messy cups and dyes. Have Kids write Easter poem of their creation on eggs to exchange or draw animals.

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 8:23 PM

      By next Easter, my younger son should be able to write better, so the writing and coloring idea just may work. Thanks for the suggestions, Carl!

  3. Debbie April 26, 2011 / 8:21 AM

    Oh, I empathize with those glitter-and-glue projects! They rank right up there with door-to-door selling. Maybe it’s a “rite of passage” of sorts for moms, though — ya think? Anyway, what a cute solution to the basket problem. See? That shows you’re not dumb at all. Forgetful, preoccupied, maybe. Certainly not dumb!

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:03 PM

      I remember growing up, my grandma let us make glitter pictures at her house, but my parents never ever allowed glitter at home 🙂 They still don’t have glitter for the grandkids to use!

      Thank you, Debbie for trying to make me feel better about the baskets! Maybe next year the Easter Bunny will stay off the computer…

  4. Tori Nelson April 26, 2011 / 8:28 AM

    Best title ever. Hands down. I have “Wow, I thought I at least wasn’t THAT dumb” moments a few times a day. I’m learning to laugh about them 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:06 PM

      Glad you liked the title! The upside to laughing at our dumb moments is that people around us just think we’re happy people 😉

  5. dorcas April 26, 2011 / 8:36 AM

    OH Janna… the second para is hilarious.. 🙂 messy or not… sure sounds like you guys had fun..

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:07 PM

      Thanks, Dorcas! It was a bit stressful, but things did work out in the end. *Whew!*

  6. TimW April 26, 2011 / 8:41 AM

    I would have stayed in bed, then when the kids got the bad news of empty baskets, gently tell them that the Easter Bunny had been run over the day before while preparing for today’s deliveries, and that I got the news in an email sent to all parents, but didn’t want to tell them until it was necessary.

    Then I’d say “now, go back to bed, I am still sleepy.”

    Of course, since I don’t have kids, this is all just a wicked fantasy of mine. Reality would probably be different.

    Maybe. 🙂

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:11 PM

      Thank goodness you don’t have kids, Tim! I have to admit that I’ve had a few ‘wicked’ thoughts like that, but I never followed through. (For instance, when my older son was four and was convinced there were people hiding in his closet, I thought it would be funny to hide in there one night and jump out when he went to check the doors. Like I said, I didn’t do it…)

  7. Carol Ann Hoel April 26, 2011 / 9:16 AM

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think your ideas for good things to do with the kids at Easter are great. You need only find ways to control the disaster-prone aspects.

    I used to let my children finger paint. First, I purchased huge rolls of paper to spread over the dining room table and underneath it. I provided smocks made of old sheets to protect their clothing. They made their messes, but cleaning up was not the problem that it could have been. I think you and your hubby are great parents. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:26 PM

      Wow, finger paints, Carol? You are brave. Just saying the words “finger paint” cause me to break into a cold sweat! You are right though, it’s not nearly as bad if you’ve got damage control in place.

      Thank you for your kind words. We hope they grow up well-adjusted, despite our own hang-ups.

  8. nrhatch April 26, 2011 / 10:32 AM

    For ideas:


    It pinpoints 100 picture book stories every young child should hear.
    It offers a story summary and a gentle parenting tip for each recommended title.
    It provides a simple eco-friendly arts and crafts project that ties in with each story.
    It gives an easy healthful child-friendly recipe for each suggested picture book.

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:37 PM

      Thanks for the link, Nancy. She has a very kid-centered blog and her book does look interesting.

  9. widdershins April 26, 2011 / 2:05 PM

    In spirit I’m with TimW … heh, heh, hehe

    … however there’s nothing ‘dumb’ about having messy fun with little people … just make THEM clean up afterwards (and when they’re asleep you can clean up their cleanup!)

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:46 PM

      Naughty, naughty 🙂

      Oh, they do clean up their messes (and I often have to redo what they’ve done). The problem is that I dislike housework immensely and prefer to avoid anything that causes me to have to do more than the normal amount of it.

    • TimW April 26, 2011 / 11:00 PM

      Naughty? Hardly. The world would be a better place which mischievous folks like me around and Widdershins around.

      Well, at least funnier.

      For us.

      • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 11:13 PM

        Well, there might be a surge in the need for therapists 🙂

  10. SAS Fiction Girl April 26, 2011 / 2:32 PM

    I think the coolest thing my mom ever taught us kids (and we could only do this under adult supervision – or so she thinks) was melted crayon pictures. We’d light a candle, hold a crayon over the flame, then drip the melting wax on paper. We usually did this at Christmas. I still remember liking the scent of the heated crayons. Your boys would love to mix fire and crafts, right???

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:50 PM

      Oh, Jen. You are so not helpful. Hilarious, but not helpful at all 😉 I’m sure my boys would love to mix fire with just about anything, so I must make sure that they are never lured by the scent of melting crayons…

  11. clarbojahn April 26, 2011 / 6:08 PM

    My grandson and I made cookies. While he dumped sugar and flour and choco chips and stirred, I put on trays. When he got tired I finished up. He had a friend over while the two of them made cookies. I guess I’m used to messes. We all had fun.

    • jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 9:52 PM

      You gave me a terrific idea for next year, Clar: take them to grandma & grandpa’s house! Ooooh, I love it!

      I’m glad you had fun baking with your grandson. It sounds like you had a nice Easter 🙂

      • clarbojahn April 27, 2011 / 6:16 PM

        yes we did and mom of both boys were happy with with a whole bag of good cookies. Oatmeal, raisin, pecan and choco chip. Lots to stir and dump in. They loved it. and of course tasting it was part of the fun.

        • jannatwrites April 27, 2011 / 9:31 PM

          Yum. Now I want some cookies! (Thank goodness I don’t have any because it’s the last thing I need.)

  12. pattisj April 26, 2011 / 11:02 PM

    I also like your clever title. Bunny-gate cover up–good description! I try to avoid indoor messes, too, like you, regular cleaning is enough. That’s why God created the outdoors. 🙂

  13. jannatwrites April 26, 2011 / 11:16 PM

    Thanks, Patti! The Easter Bunny had better get it together for next year, because I can’t handle going through that again!

    I’m all for outdoor stuff, too. That’ll be in next year’s plan, for sure. If ants didn’t love sugar so much, those cookies would’ve been decorated outside 🙂

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