Friday, February 8, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Global Play Day, Things You Shouldn't Throw in the Toilet, and Keeping Birthdays Simple

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


On Wednesday, my kids' elementary school participated in Global Play Day. In an effort to recognize the importance of play for kids, no academics were scheduled for the entire day. All students were supposed to bring toys and games (but no electronics) and just play at school.

Ironically enough, my kids complain about Global Play Day because 7 hours is a long time and they run out of things to do. So maybe it would be better to add one short recess every day instead of going crazy once a year. (School administrators take note.)


Kids were also encouraged to "walk, ride, or roll" to school on Global Play Day, and of course my 7-year-old latched onto that idea.

She normally rides the bus but begged me all week to bike to school with her on Global Play Day, which would've been completely impossible. We live on the opposite side of town and would need to ride 40 minutes down a busy highway. In February.

After trying to sell me on various iterations of a plan involving me hauling her two little brothers 4.3 miles in a bike trailer at 7 AM, she asked "Can you just drive me halfway and I'll bike from there?"

I appreciate your enthusiasm, dear, but no. You are the reason they invented school buses.


At the pediatric cardiologist's (don't panic, my son was born with a small heart murmur that isn't problematic and they just want to keep an eye on it) I noticed this sign in the restroom:

Big family antics, toddler messes, funny elementary school writing prompts, and more in this week's edition of 7 Quick Takes! #7quicktakes #7qt

I didn't even consciously read it because signs above public toilets always say the same thing, but something weird about it caught my eye. Toys??

Look, if you can read this you're way too old to be throwing toys in the toilet. So who exactly is the intended audience of this sign? Do the parents of toddlers really need to be reminded that the staff is not cool with periodically fishing the waiting room toys out of the commode?

It occurs to me that it would have been really ironic if, while I was lost in thought over the meaning of the sign, my 2-year-old launched a toy into the toilet.

But he didn't. This time.


No, our disaster of the week occurred a few days later, when we were leaving home to pick up my 4-year-old from preschool.

The 2-year-old had been playing upstairs for about 20 minutes, but weirdly enough, when I went to go get him he wasn't in his room.He wasn't playing in the girls' room, either.

I finally found him in the bathroom, sitting in the sink smearing an economy-sized tub of Eucerin everywhere. It was all over him, his clothes, the faucet, the mirror. It was even smashed into the bristles of the toothbrushes.

Phillip happened to be working from home and knew I was about to be late, so he told me to just go and he'd take care of it. (He didn't say "stop by CVS before coming home so you don't have to help with cleanup" per se, but I think it was implied.)

I'm not even sure how you'd go about taking care of a mess like that, honestly. My 2-year-old mentioned something about Daddy cleaning him with paper towels and a spatula, so I'll just assume I don't want to know.


As we sat down to do our family gospel study, Phillip asked the 4-year-old to help out.

"Can you draw a picture of Jesus getting baptized by John the Baptist?"

My 4-year-old looked doubtful and said "I don't know how to draw that," but Phillip said to just do his best and it would look great.

We were not disappointed.

Big family antics, toddler messes, funny elementary school writing prompts, and more in this week's edition of 7 Quick Takes! #7quicktakes #7qt
Jesus and John the Baptist, who are clearly competing in a "world's most vacant expression" contest.

Seriously, this is quite possibly my new favorite piece of religious art.


I'm in the brainstorming phase of planning a birthday party for one of my kids, who requested an emergency rescue-themed party.

I went online to see what was out there, and while I didn't get a lot of helpful ideas I did come to the conclusion that people are legitimately crazy.

Some of the ideas were so over the top. Several bloggers had their police department send over a squad car and some officers to meet the birthday boy or girl, and one more decorated to the nines and casually parked an antique fire truck (she neglected to mention how she came to be in possession of an antique fire truck) behind the cake table in the driveway.

Like, we are literally just going to have cupcakes and play pin-the-badge-on-the-policeman using a kitchen towel as a blindfold. Is that okay? I feel like I'm going to get arrested by Pinterest if I even try something like that in this day and age.


Judging by this composition my 1st grader brought home, her class must be learning how to structure a paragraph with an introduction, supporting sentences, and a conclusion.

Big family antics, toddler messes, funny elementary school writing prompts, and more in this week's edition of 7 Quick Takes! #7quicktakes #7qt
The most serious essay including the words "pocket" and "wocket" that you'll ever read.

As a writer, I basically love this.

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NutHouse said...

Where we live there is a company where 5 retired firefighters bought an old fire truck and take it to birthday parties. The kids can explore it, they spray the hose and at the end they birthday child and kid guests get a ride around the block. I looked them up and it was only $50 for that basic package.

Diana Dye said...

I let my five year old plan her own party this year. Aside from having to draw a unicorn for a game 2 hours before, it was the lowest stressed party we've ever had. She wanted to watch a movie and eat popcorn with her 2 little friends. Done. Who are we planning these elaborate and expensive parties for?

Katie said...

My daughter requested a "rainbow unicorn princess" party this year. So, that will be fun.

Rosie said...

If you accidentally lock a child in the car with your keys, the fire department will come get them out for free. Not that you should do that for the party, but it *would* be convenient timing...

AnneMarie said...

I've never heard of Global Play Day before, and while I do appreciate the thought, I also think it perhaps is a bit dramatic to go from no play to an entire day of play. I'm with you that it would be much better to instead integrate play in every single day of the school year! That sign in the restroom is so funny, and the picture your child drew of the Baptism of Jesus is adorable!

Jenny Evans said...

Well, that sounds freaking awesome. Where can I sign up for THAT?

Jenny Evans said...

The best birthday party we ever did was a doll birthday party when my daughter was 3 and super-into baby dolls. We literally just got all of her baby doll paraphernalia (high chairs, strollers, crib, etc) and put them all in the living room and the kids all brought a baby doll and played for an hour.

Jenny Evans said...


Jenny Evans said...


Jenny Evans said...

I agree. With all three.

Unknown said...

A whole day of play isn't really a good idea for a whole classroom of kids. Yikes they will get restless. First grader has really absorbed writing structure. Proud of her

Rachel said...

I feel like I'm a staunch "medium" on the party scale. There would be no antique fire trucks, but current plans for Cyrus's birthday party include making a pinata from scratch (because 1. you can't buy pinatas in Malaysia and it's really cheap to make a pinata anyways 2. Angel insists that it is simply not a birthday without a pinata, even if the birthday boy is one year old and can neither hit a pinata nor eat candy and 3. Photos of Angel's first birthday party and his pinata exist and I was won over because how cute is that that both daddy and son can have similar photos.) I recently went to a birthday party for an eight year old which consisted of singing happy birthday, cutting the cake, and opening presents, and that's all. And the refreshments offered were crackers from a box, and no drinks or water. This is why I'm a medium. I may not spend a ton of money or have the prettiest photos...but I'll have some really tasty food for my guests, at least a little bit of decor, and actually do fun stuff because I think a "party" should feel "partyish." Our guest list for Cyrus's birthday is all the people here that really love Cyrus and are involved in his life, which means it's a handful of teenagers (since Angel and I lead youth group and Cyrus is our assistant, he has a lot of teenage friends), our family, some neighbors, some of the kids I it's gotta be fun for them.

Kath said...

My Mother-in-law (whom I ADORED) always insisted on having a family bday party for her 4 adult children and their 8 children (and great-grands but I have exceeded my demonstration of math skills so lets just call it a "few"). This resulted in waaaaay too many birthday parties Every. Single. Year. in my opinion. Naturally each family would also throw a party for their own child which, annoyingly, all the rest of the family would also be invited to attend.

In self-defense I instituted a policy of one annual bday party for my kids at my choice of venue (McDonalds was popular, fun, cheap, and they cleaned up the mess). I did NOT invite the whole family and told them their gift from me was one less frenzied kid party and one less gift to buy. My Mother-in-law was faintly horrified. She genuinely believed I was bordering on committing child abuse or, at the least, neglect. I did invite her to the parties though, as she truly loved them. (I could have just let her throw the one party each year but she lived far enough away that friends of my kids would not attend. And, given the large number of family, it would have pushed us over the top in terms of numbers. Finally, my Mother-in-law, who was besotted with her own kids and grandkids, was not particularly charmed by unrelated children).

My kids, incidentally, never noticed that everyone else in the family had two parties and double the gifts while they "only" had one.

I did enjoy having the parties at anywhere but home. Over the years we did a few at McDonalds (easily the favorite of mine and my kids), one (ONE) at Chuck E Cheese (chaotic, loud, my least favorite and the kids did not seem to enjoy it more, or even as much, as compared to anywhere else) and, one that was really fun, our local bowling alley. We still have the bowling pin that was given to the b-day boy and which was signed by all the attendees. We use it as a bookend on a dining-room shelf. Cuter than it sounds.

I also had too many at home. Pinatas were always wildly popular. I never had a "theme" really. Just cake, ice cream, a pinata, and too many screeching kids who all seemed to be having the time of their lives.

And, for the record (because I could, clearly, write about this all the-live-long-day) I mildly ( "mildly" = deeply and forever, amen) resented "theme" parties requiring a specific type of costume that we never had, and that would result in additional expense and preparation for the party-goers. If you are throwing a six year old a party that costs me more, in terms of preparation and expense, than the parties I throw for my own kids, then you have just cost yourself a friendship and have made yourself the topic of unpleasant conversation by virtually every parent of the invited children. No one likes a show-off, particularly one that they are required to assist. Just saying...