Monday, March 18, 2013


Or 'cheers' for you non-Irish speakers... 

So, St. Patty's Day.  I love St. Patty's Day.  Always have.  As a kid, we got to hang out at the Clover Island Yacht club with my dad and his drinking buddies - who always did something incredibly stupid jolly and festive like dye their winter beards orange, then shave them off, or make sure that the keg o' beer was green.  Mom always made her traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, and we got to eat in the dining room with little golden chocolate coins decorating our plates.

As an adult of true drinking age (and not one day before - promise), I came to enjoy the festivities of the day, hanging out in Irish pubs in locations across the globe, toasting good friends and good times with big glasses of thick Guinness stout (the best pub experience was the year I lived in Scotland.  By far.)  Later, after I moved to Columbia, I came to relish the fun of St. Pats in 5 Points - and the complete crazy chaos that takes place in a four block radius.

But now that I'm a respectable MOM, I've come to appreciate the kid fun of St. Patrick's day - the non-alcoholic appropriate fun that doesn't involve orange facial hair or green beer.

The kids are at that magical age where they are filled of the wonder of the holiday.  Jack's preschool class tie-dyed t-shirts, made green paper-bowl hats, and painted flags to carry and wave in their traditional St. Patrick's Day parade.  That would be little Jack O'Long you see below...

So.  Stinking.  Cute.

This year, we got to hang out at a friends house on Saturday afternoon - for an Irish themed three-year old birthday party.  It was full of fun things, including a scavenger hunt to try and find a pot of gold and treasure left by a sneaky leprechaun, rainbow coloring, and shamrock-hand painting.  All to a background of Irish music and dancing - which Jack O'Long thoroughly enjoyed.

Before we went to the party, however, we decided to try our luck at catching a leprechaun.  We'd heard about making leprechaun traps from a few friends, and thought we'd see if we could make one ourselves that would entice the little fellow ... so we could trap him and take his treasure.

Anna created the doorway and entry into the trap... which was a clementine box that we decorated then propped up on cardboard dowels.  Anna and I taped a golden coin to a ribbon that would trigger the trap to fall if he took it.

If I were a leprechaun - I'd want to go into that cool little place - hang out under the little rainbow, and play with the glittery beads....

Anna was a little bit worried about our construction.  She told me that we didn't properly cover the sides of the trap - so the leprechaun could sneak in and steal the coin without getting trapped.  I told her it was fine - he'd go in through the door she made - then pick up the coin - and WHACK - be trapped.

Unfortunately, she was right.  When we came downstairs the next morning, the trap was closed, the sign she'd made had fallen, and the ribbon pulled out to the side.  Golden coin was gone.  No leprechaun had been trapped.

She was really upset with me.  'I told you MOM.  We needed to put something on the SIDES of the trap.'

Oh well.  I told them that next year, when we're together in Virginia, she and her daddy could put together a better constructed trap.  He is the engineer in the family and all ....

However, even though we tried to catch him (unsuccessfully), that sneaky little guy still left a pile of treats.  In addition to a trail of shamrock confetti, he put golden chocolate coins in Anna's slippers, made a castle out of paper cups in the kids bathroom, made a smiley-face of coins on the boys' bedroom floor, and a trail of coins leading to the TREASURE of all leprechaun treasures.  A big green box filled to the brim with all sorts of cool green things - from fluffy weird writing pens, to silly string, beads and necklaces to MORE chocolate coins, green candy dispensers, and green pinwheels.

The kids were excited.... well, except for my negative-ninny son - who kept wandering around the house looking for other things that the 'leprechaun was supposed to mess up.'  Sorry kids.  I guess the leprechaun that came to our house was a bit of a dud this year - perhaps he was just tired and didn't have the energy to turn toys and books upside down, or unroll rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom.  

It was still a great St. Patty's day - complete with a bit of afternoon baseball at a friend's house and mom's traditional corned beef and cabbage.


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