Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't let the Internet kill your Creativity

On the way to the bus stop this morning, my nearly-seven-year-old was telling me about a design for a squirrel feeder she’d devised. I was struggling to visualize her idea involving two strings and a “plastic thing shaped like a boat” and thought to myself “I would just google ‘squirrel feeder’ and see what other people have already come up with.” And then I paused for a moment and realized: the luxury of the Internet has made me mentally lazy. Rather than come up with my own, innovative solution, I sometimes simply refer to the ideas of other creative people and use those as springboards for my own design. It saves me time and effort. But at what price? Could I be more innovative if I were forced to get by without access to the wealth of human history that the Internet provides? Probably. Which is why I kept silent and didn’t tell my child to just google it. Maybe she really could “build a better mousetrap” if she’d never seen one before.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fun with Disney Princesses

When Ravenna turned four everyone decided to give her Disney Princess everything for her birthday. But since my kid has never seen a Disney Princess movie (by her own choice, I can't get her to watch hardly anything), we still can't name a lot of the princesses. This makes it difficult to play the Disney Princess Bingo game, because the spinner will land on a princess' face and then you have to say "B - Cinderella" or whatever the princess' name is. If you don't know the names you have to make them up. So we say things like "I - Brown Haired Girl" or "N - Girl with the Red Bow." My favorite though is one that Ravenna came up with..."Cheese Head Girl" named for the princess with the blonde hair whose tiara looks like a Swiss cheese.

Rice Krispie Treats

You may find this hard to believe, but Ravenna and I both made and ate Rice Krispie Treats for the first time yesterday. I'd always avoided eating them in the past, because I was suspicious of them and what exactly they might be glued together with. I had visions of Crisco and sugar melted into some gummy mass and mixed with the cereal. Ick. Turns out the truth of What a Rice Krispie Treat Really Is is only slightly less disgusting than that: the "glue"is butter and melted marshmallows.

Ravenna and I enjoyed watching the marshmallows melt down in the pan with butter. In true child fashion, she likes eating them more than I do. I find them disturbingly sweet and the butter aroma is kind of overpowering. But still, I can now say I have checked off one of those "mom" things.