St. Patrick's Day for slackers

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday that, like many other holidays, has become completely overgrown from the casual thing it was when I was a child. When I was a kid we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by wearing something green. THE END. I have noticed that over the past few years, our kids were getting some grander ideas from school. But I didn’t think that we needed to replicate these experiences at home.

Apparently, the children believe that we do.

Last year we had completely forgotten about St. Patrick's Day until Jafta started bugging us about the leprechaun trap. “Can I help you guys hide the gold coins?” he asked. The WHAT?  “The gold coins. I know the leprechauns aren’t real. I know it’s you, like Santa. So I want to help you. I can make the leprechaun trap, too.”

We told Jafta to go to bed and then looked at each other with exasperation. Gold coins? A leprechaun trap? Is he serious?

All of them woke up and came into our room like it was Christmas morning.
Did a leprechaun visit?
Can we search for him?
Did he leave a pot of gold?
Let’s go find the gold coins!
I bet he left chocolate!
So. Many. Expectations.

All of which were dashed.

I had four seriously disappointed and grumpy kids on my hands. At one point India went into full-blown meltdown mode, kicking random items in her room and yelling about what a LAME HOLIDAY this was.

And in my overly-tired impatient state, I might have yelled back, “YOU’RE RIGHT. This IS a lame holiday. It was never my favorite. All we did was wear green. That’s all we’re doing today. I’m sorry if you do more at school. That’s not what we do here.”

This is how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. A $3 box of cereal. Green shirts. The end.

St. Patrick’s Day is supposed to be a “phone-it-in” holiday. I refuse to acknowledge the leprechaun as some new iteration of the Easter Bunny.


Meanwhile, this year, Karis comes home with instructions on making a leprechaun trap for school. Which we all know is code for "mom homework" because no kindergartner ever could effectively fashion a leprechuan trap without major adult help. This is the picture of the "plans" for her leprechaun trap:

Completely realistic and doable! I asked her what the trap should be made of, and her response was CANDY. Okay, cool. I'll get right on that.

I am not a crafty person so these kind of projects always stump me. Like, what if I don't have a box lying around? What if I don't have some kind of green paint? What if every glue stick in the house is ruined because of someone leaving the cap off? What if I realize I need supplies and I've missed my 2-day Amazon prime delivery window and had to drive to an ACTUAL STORE! (cue horror music.)

I turned to pinterest for inspiration, which was a bad idea, because it only made me even more overwhelmed. None of these things looked like something a child had even touched. And really, I hate this whole culture of moms making showy crafts for their kids' homework.

So I decided, that's it. I will spray paint a box green (because that's the only green decor I could find in the house) and the rest I will leave up to Karis. And this is what she did:

It looks nothing like pinterest and the "trap" function is really just a door, but you know what? She actually made it herself and thought it looked great. I'm seriously tempted to start a tumblr where we can all submit photos of school projects that were ACTUALLY MADE BY CHILDREN so that we can remind ourselves that pinterest is drunk and that generally, projects made by children should look like they were made by children. 

I tried to keep St. Patrick's low key again this year, but my children were not on board with my slacker plans. Last night Jafta insisted that we let him put food coloring in the toilet to make it look like a leprechaun had used it.

To which I was like: Whatever, man. You're doing it yourself.

A child stirring food coloring in a toilet. You can pin that if you want.

Then this morning, they were unable to let it be. They started searching the house for signs of a leprechaun visit, and resorted to pointing to dirt marks on the floor to prove he had come.

Sure kids. That's a leprechaun, and not a sign of mommy needing to swiffer.

Finally, we had our Lucky Charms, and I sent the kids off to school hoping that their dashed expectations would not cause too much damage to their fragile psyches. And if it did, we can just have more sugar cereal after school.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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