Friday, March 25, 2011

Parenting: April Issue

I’m busy. Really, really busy. And so when I received this month’s Parenting I crossed my fingers that there would be no material for my monthly post, thus sparing me the time I’d have to spend writing it. Alas, here I am, compelled by a few choice nuggets to continue this monthly tradition. Let’s dive in.

I’ll turn first to the FAMiLY section, to an article called “Finders Keepers: Resurrecting the lost art of the scavenger hunt.” Nothing inherently wrong with scavenger hunts; but there is something inherently wrong with this suggestion for a “cool, kid-friendly theme for the hunt”:

“Knock, knock. Include everyday items like pennies, paper clips, and sandwich bags on your list and ask kids to ring neighbors’ doorbells. More often than not, folks will happily give you as many as they have on hand. Sure, you may bump into a Scrooge here and there, but at least you’ll know whose house to avoid next Halloween when it’s time to trick-or-treat.”

COMMENTARY: I almost don’t even have to write commentary for this, you know? I’ve never heard a worse idea. First, though, welcome back, overzealous copyeditor! We missed you last issue. I knew you were here by your red-flag addition, “More often than not…” As a parent myself, I can’t help but wonder: in those situations that are “not,” what on earth happens to the poor, scavenger-hunting kid? A door slammed in her face? A rude “get outta here”? Or worse—a rough grab of the arm so the kid is never to be heard from again? What, exactly, will these occasional “Scrooges” do? Maybe you can have your kid knock on random strangers’ doors in some idyllic towns; but I’m not going to rush out to put this on Lucia’s summertime itinerary.

I’ll turn now to the LET’S EaT section, to an article about creating a spring bouquet out of lemon muffins. This is supposed to be a project kids and parents can do together to form a “festive centerpiece,” so you’d imagine it would involve baking simple muffins and then using everyday household objects to create a bouquet. This is not the case. I—a crafter myself—was taken aback by the supplies list (which, FYI, is never given; you have to read through the entire instructions and tease out the needed supplies. Woe to the person who starts without reading all the way through). You’ll need:

yellow muffin liners
green construction paper
toothpicks

Okay, we’re fine so far. Check, check, check.

floral foam
skewers
green straws
green floral grass
5.5-inch-tall flowerpot

Floral foam? Green straws? I’d never turn down an excuse to head to Michael’s—unless I had a carful of kids with me.

Anyway. I digress. As I mentioned, I am a crafty sort, but I was completely clueless about how to execute on the following instructions for creating the flower:

“To create the petals, fold a regular-size yellow muffin liner in half. For the first petal, cut two wide V shapes, with the point of the petal in the middle of the liner’s bottom edge. Then, on each side of the first petal, make one more angled cut alongside the original two, for a total of three triangles. Unfold to reveal six petals.”

COMMENTARY: What? Where art thou, overzealous copyeditor, when thou art needed most? Thank goodness a (tiny) diagram was included.

With that headache-inducing tidbit, I will conclude this month’s post. Until next time…

1 comment:

Sara said...

I have never done a craft project from a parenting magazine. I have a LOT of craft supplies here, but somehow never the ones needed for their "simple" projects.
And that scavenger hunt is a terrible idea. for so many reasons. sheesh.