Monday, August 6, 2012

squashed flowers

Tonight Clem asked me to go outside in the cold and dark with him and a torch, to "look for flowers to squash". Sometimes it's actually easier to be the good creative parent who says yes than convince a four year old of all the reasons this isn't such a good idea. So we went, and found a surprising variety of flowers for the end of winter.

We took them to the "flower squashing book" which is a Webster's Twentieth Century Dictionary that belonged to my Granny. Clem laid the flowers between sheets of paper (after unceremoniously shaking off the previous squashed flowers that were in there) and duly squashed the flower sandwich with all his might. Checked them - no not ready yet - so I suggested we turn the book upside-down so its weight was all on the flowers, and leave it on the shelf for a couple of weeks.

He was happy.

Not such a bad idea after all.

In another episode of "why not?" parenting, I helped Charlie make chocolate eclairs on the weekend. He wanted to cook something he'd never made before and I let him choose from a book of sweet treats. Of course he chose what was probably the most complex recipe in the book and something I'd never attempted. But we had all the ingredients and, deep breath, oh heck, why not?

Splodge. They were small and misshapen, the pastry cream curdled slightly and the icing never achieved the desired state of molten glossiness. But they were pretty tasty! And we learnt a bit. For one, we need a more accurate set of kitchen scales. Cooking like this can be as much chemistry as art, can't it?

In more successful cooking, Jasper had a couple of friends for his rescheduled birthday sleepover (postponed due to flu). Andy made pasta with all the boys and demonstrated patience in the extreme with this many helping hands.

Wow, we look like we're all about facilitating children's creativity here at the moment, don't we? Did I mention the number of times we had to say "no!" to Jasper's requests to play more Skylanders on Wii with his sleepover friends?

So now. To finish off a fairly random post, how about some silliness from the big boys?

(No children were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

- Jane x


  1. That is one massive book! And that last photo is hilarious (if I spelt that wrong it's because I didn't consult the massive book).

  2. It always looks like such good fun in your house Jane. I've wanted to make pasta with our girls for ages, must get to that soon...

  3. Yeah, this post does make you look like the most awesome parent ever! Pasta making parties, baking and flower squishing? Sign me up. Actually, I love the part about the flower squishing. I used to love doing that as a kid and it sounds like the perfect activity for O. Isn't it grat how blogs can remind you of all the things that you used to love but somehow forgot about?

  4. Saying yes when you can is one of the best parts of being a parent. Especially when you end up with a happy kiddo. That dictionary is awesome! I love getting these glimpses of your home. You guys have so much fun!

  5. Fun times.I still open books and a load of squashed flowers drop out. My children were very keen on the picking and pressing but obviously lost interest after that.

  6. I love it when I can be a "why not" mom. Sometimes I feel like all I do is say "no" all day long. I´ve actually started planning "why not" moments in the schedule.

  7. I try to say yes when I can, but it's not always that way here either. Sometimes we can only stretch ourselves so far. Your photos show that it can definitely be worth it. Pressing flowers looks like a lovely craft for them to do. I usually walk past those in the op shop, but I will grab the next one I see I'm thinking. Hope your weekend is a good one.

  8. Thanks for your lovely comments everyone! Previously the boys have later glued the pressed flowers onto paper and put in cheap little Ikea frames, which they found pretty satisfying. I guess if you did lots you could really create pictures, characters etc with them. As for the saying yes part, I know if I did it too often the behaviour around this place would deteriorate... when Clem had the flu recently for a week I said 'yes' to most of his requests and his behaviour was completely hideous when he started feeling better! He thought everyone ought to do exactly what he commanded. We've only just wrangled him back into reasonable human being-ness again. So actually the idea of scheduling 'why not' moments is probably a really good one because there would be special times when the child knows he can call the shots, but it's a privilege just for that time. Food for thought!

  9. I used to squash flowers in a giant Websters dictionary too! I wonder where that dictionary ended up? People don't really have giant dictionaries anymore, do they? It's awesome that you do.

    I've been trying to involve Joe in some baking here and there, and he loves it! I'm a little afraid he's going to lose a limb to the stand mixer, but he has a wonderful time "helping." Here's to saying "yes"!


Hey, I would really love to know what you think. Go on!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...