When I laid Toby down for a nap on Saturday I noticed a pea-sized hole in his threadbare crib sheet. Apparently, after four-toddler's-worth of wear the T-shirt soft sheet couldn't hold its threads together any longer. When I retrieved Toby from his nap the hole was large enough to swallow the child. I suspect he had something to do with hastening its demise.
Today I nearly tossed the sheet in the garbage, but then I reconsidered. Three little girls eagerly set to work snipping the sheet to bits of cloth useful for jewelry, doll-clothes, and old-fashioned head-gear. My girls can spend day after day on craft projects now. Almost all of the toys are kept in the kids' bedroom, but we have an entire room downstairs devoted to homeschooling and crafts. Lately my girls have seen craft material in just about anything I try to put in the garbage. Empty toilet paper rolls, food wrappers, cereal boxes, and egg cartons now go into a giant craft-supply box, and I do my best to keep the girls supplied with construction paper, glue, and scotch tape. Last week Naomi spent three days creating an elaborate ship (the "Dawn Treader" from C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia) from two egg cartons, a few cereal boxes, and some yarn. They are their mother's girls. I seem to remember keeping a craft supply box myself and spending many good hours in creative play.
Today, after an hour of snipping and taping, Emma came to me proudly holding a mangled mass of old-sheet, elastic edging, and cardboard pieces scotched taped together. She held it up, grinning, and waited for my approving words. "Wow, Emma," I began, searching for the right praise, "you sure worked hard on that!......What is it?"
"I goh yo, (I don't know)" she answered pensively, "buh I in ih migh gur ouh goo be a gor-ay-oh! (but I think it might turn out to be a tor-na-do!"
"A tornado?!" I laughed. "You're making a tornado?"
She giggled and I giggled, and then we just laughed together. And to think, I almost put that sheet in the garbage.