I’ve just finished crawling out from under six (6!!) loads of laundry. Ahhh, my soft comfy cotton bikinis! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways! You are cheap; you cover my bottom; you do not wedgify me (yes, that is a word, because I made it one); you are soft and stretchy and do not cut off my circulation. I love you, and you love me; and I promise not to let the laundry go so long, next time.
There is something gratifying about cleaning and folding and putting away what feels like every piece of clothing in the house. But still, it’s not really a festive way to spend Saturday night. Especially when you’ve had the grueling day that I had.
The kids and I managed to stay busy, inside, today. They watched a movie while they ate lunch and I tended to some chores. Afterwards, we decided to break out Chickadee’s crayon maker. This was a birthday present that she received months ago. Somehow we’d never gotten around to using it. But it seemed like a fun rainy day activity. C’mon, guys, let’s whip up a batch of crayons! After that, we can churn some butter and maybe pull some taffy! I’m all about being rustic.
Out came the box, and mere hours later I had wrestled the crayon maker from the packaging. First, I read the instructions in French. Then I remembered that I don’t know French, and found the leaflet that had the instructions in English. The first thing I noticed is that this contraption does not include the lightbulb. Not that you really need the lightbulb… unless you actually want to use it… to make crayons. But no matter! Because I am ever-prepared! And it takes… ummm… a 60 watt bulb! No problem! Wait. A 60 watt “small base” bulb. A chandelier bulb.
For whatever reason, I actually had a chandelier bulb. Phew! Crisis averted. So we got the bulb installed and read the directions and dug out the baggie of broken crayons that I have been saving for just this occasion. Chickadee carefully picked through the bag and assembled her chosen pieces in the melting tray. We consulted the directions again, closed it up, and started the timer.
Nothing happened. Well, the timer ticked, but the bulb didn’t come on. My daughter gave me all sorts of helpful direction while I tried to troubleshoot: “Mama, maybe I didn’t put enough crayon bits in!” “I think maybe we should hit it a little?” and my personal favorite, “You must have done it wrong!” It turned out that she was correct; while wrestling with the bulb, I’d unplugged it. Whoops. Okay, we plugged it in, and there was light!
The kids stood there and stared at the apparatus expectantly. After about 30 seconds, Monkey wandered off, while Chickadee whined that it was taking too long. I agreed to sit and watch with her. It wasn’t long before we spotted some melting. How exciting! But, hmmm. There are three slots for making three crayons at a time. One of the slots was filled with liquid crayon. One was about half melted, and the other remained stubbornly solid. I flipped through the instruction manual again, where it clearly stated that only Crayola brand crayons should be used for their superior melting ability, blah blah blah.
Marketing ploy, right? Alas, no. My baggie of broken crayons? I have no idea what’s in there. Some of the crayons are Crayola. Some are RoseArt. Some are generics from restaurants. Some probably aren’t crayons at all (old, petrified candy?). I have no idea. And Crayola was not joking about wanting you to use Crayola crayons in their spiffy crayon maker that runs on a high-tech chandelier lightbulb.
The timer indicated that it was time to crank up the melting platform to allow the wax to pour down into the waiting crayon molds. We cranked; it poured. Sort of. One of them poured. One of them poured a little. And this little piggy went “wee wee wee” all the way home. No, wait, that’s not right. (But I’ve always wondered about that. Does that mean the pig peed all the way home? And if so, why??) No, the last one didn’t pour at all, because none of the crayon bits had melted because by gum they were not Crayola brand crayon bits, but inferior unyielding crayon bits made by devil-worshippers.
Chickadee’s chin started to quiver just a bit. I rushed to assure her that this was just our first try. We’d wait til the wax cooled and see what we had, and of course we could try again and the second batch would be even better. She nodded, trying to be brave. I sent her off to play for a few minutes, and then she returned and we opened up the mold, together. The one successful crayon broke as we took it out. Chickadee picked up the halves–one in each hand–and intoned, “This was quite disappointing.”
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Kinda sucky.” It was a teachable moment, but as you can see I didn’t really learn from her mature example.
I felt we all needed a little pick-me-up after the crayon debacle, so I made bacon for dinner. I mean, I made whole wheat french toast for dinner. And a little bit of bacon to go with it. Please note for the record that although my son has been known to elevate picky eating to heretofore unknown heights, his father has somehow taught him to adore bacon. I’m so proud. He is truly my son. I got a little teary, watching him sway back and forth in his seat in pork fat rapture, humming just a little, as he stuffed bacon into his little face. Chickadee made sure that every molecule of her bacon was coated in syrup before it went into her mouth, pausing every now and then to say, “This is really yummy.”
All in all, an acceptable day. Thank goodness for the healing power of bacon. I mean, sure, it would’ve been nice if the crayons had worked out. But I have clean clothes, I have bacon, and I’m not complaining.