It seems like every time we turn around there’s a new holiday “tradition” designed specifically to irritate already stretched thin moms. Christmas comes with elves and shelves. Valentine’s requires decked-out boxes filled with “punny” homemade cards. Even St. Patrick’s Day has come far from when the main activity was scoping out your friends’ outfits, in hopes of spotting a lack of green, and administering the dreaded pinch. Who keeps making these decisions? Why haven’t we given them a stern talking to? And how in the world do we keep up in the meantime?
Not to worry! There is a way to feel like Super Mom while, in reality, you’re Super Tired.
March 16: The Night Before
Search good old YouTube for the book How to Catch a Leprechaun. That’s right. You don’t have to buy it, check it out, find it on the bookshelves, or borrow it from a friend. Heck, you don’t even have to read it! Load the video, call the kids over, and take a break for a few minutes while the book tells the story of a leprechaun who will never be caught by all the traps kids have laid out for him.
When the book is over, challenge the kids to make a trap of their own (we have several ideas here!). If they are younger and don’t understand the idea of “you put back what you use tomorrow,” you might want to take a few minutes to gather things for them to use. The beauty of this activity is that is entirely kid-lead. They are challenged to make the trap, NOT YOU!
Once the kids are in bed, the trap is sprung with a box of Lucky Charms in it and gold coins thrown randomly about. This does require a bit of pre-planning for the Lucky Charms, but let’s face it, most of us are at a grocery store about once a week anyway. The plastic coins can be sent to you but if you have kids old enough to not stick things in their mouths, you could just use regular coins. If you’re feeling a bit more energetic, dig out food coloring and turn the water in your kids’ toilet green. On the other hand, if your “leprechaun” gets distracted, falls asleep on the couch, or simply surrenders to Netflix, all of this can be “discovered” the next morning.
March 17: Saint Patrick’s Day!
Wake up to excited kids and happy faces! Your family can inspect their trap, search for coins around the house, and theorize on what exactly happened. Ten minutes in and you’re already Super Mom! And guess what, breakfast is already taken care of. Lucky Charms come through for you. I know every house is different, but I’m pretty sure my kids are more surprised and excited to eat that for breakfast than any fancy thematic meal I could make.
While they contentedly munch on their cereal, you could search for a Leprechaun name generator online. You’ll find about a thousand. Pick one and give the kids their names for the day. With that and pretty much ANY clothes with green on them, everyone is set for a festive day.
At this point, take a few minutes to stick a pre-prepared Corned Beef into a crockpot with water. If your family likes them, put in mini potatoes that you don’t have to cut. Dinner- thematic and yummy-DONE.
If you feel like adding to your Super Mom legacy, fetch a CD or DVD and show your little ones how to cast rainbows onto the wall with the sun, or make rainbows with coffee filters. Color a filter with markers and then spray it with water. Watch the colors blur into a tie-dyed rainbow!
When it’s time for dinner, pop on some Irish tunes courtesy of YouTube again, raid that crock pot, and accept all of the appreciation your family will give you for a magical day … You know the appreciation I’m talking about … in their heads … while complaining about something … or throwing something … or grunting answers at you.
You know, the usual.