If there’s anything I’ve learned about having kids, it’s that they have made me do things a little extra. I am loving any excuse to make a day special in little ways! Obviously, the biggie holidays like Christmas, Easter, and birthdays are going to involve goodies and special activities and you bet I’m going to decorate to make it fun. But why not do it in small ways for the little holidays, too? For example, in the past, St. Patrick’s Day meant a reason to wear green (don’t get pinched!) and maybe drinking a green beer at a bar (barf). I even had to Google who Saint Patrick was. John isn’t Irish and neither am I, but we talked up the tricky leprechaun to Oden, anyway. I did things that I remember from my childhood and targeted the fun stuff toward my toddler. They’re only little for a short amount of time, so let’s blame it on the kids.
Leprechauns and rainbows and good luck and gold coins…these are a few of the things that I think of for St. Patrick’s Day. We started on Saturday by making a cute rainbow necklace made of Fruit Loops cereal. My mom reminded me that I did this as a girl scout! Oden is big enough to string the cereal himself, and – BONUS- he loved nibbling on sugar cereal! He kept saying, “These are SO GOOD.” I’d picked up some window cling decorations at the grocery store, clovers and rainbows and even a pot of gold. Oden had fun decorating our glass door, counting the gold “poins” while I told him how tricky leprechauns can be.
On Sunday, Oden started the day with a real treat- Lucky Charms cereal! We don’t do sugar cereal at home, so I think it was something fun to set the day apart. Mo, Oden, and Mama wore special St. Patty’s shirts and the whole family circus made it out for brunch. By some miracle, Oden was sweet and mostly quiet, content to read a Paw Patrol book from the library while I munched on (green) avocado toast.
Lunch was a peanut butter shamrock sandwich. A cookie cutter is not just for cookies, and again, these kiddos will only be little for a short time! After Oden’s nap, the real fun started. The leprechaun we’d been looking for and reading about in a couple of Oden’s sweet St. Patty’s books had paid us a visit. When Oden came wandering into my bedroom, all sleepy-eyed with bed head from his nap, I told him I thought the leprechaun had left something on the bench at the foot of my bed.
Oden is barely three years old, but as soon as he understood that one clue led to a new location and a new clue, he thought a scavenger hunt was a blast! Each clue was attached to a different color balloon, in places Oden would know like the fridge, the dryer, under the sink, under the bed. The hunt I used was from a cute kit, so all I had to do was blow up a few balloons and hide the clues…and the “pot of gold,” of course. It was a couple of candies, a bell for his bike, and a learn-to-write board with his name on it. Kids are easily charmed at this age, so Oden thought his little treasure was just amazing!
My BFF warned me to be careful about going BIG each holiday because it sets a precedent for the future and it can become a lot. I think that’s great advice. As my (two!) boys get older, expecting some kind of extravagant activity or present on every random holiday just isn’t what it’s about. Fun doesn’t have to take a lot of effort or presents. But these kids will soon outgrow Santa or the Easter Bunny or even that tricky leprechaun. I have wonderful memories of my own childhood, believing in that magic, and I know that smile of Oden’s is worth the small effort I made that day!
More about life with our kiddos.