I get the Elmo colouring book. Sit at the table. No, in this chair.I colour this page and you do it with me, okay?
You got it, bud.
It’s okay you can’t reach the page, Mommy, just hold your arm really benty. Yes, just like that. But don’t stop colouring. (Big Bird needs to be half-complete by the end of this, just like every other page in this book.)
You use the pink. Axshly, you all done with pink. I use that. Here’s a blue one. Why are you stopping? Move your colourer like this. Kay, I do this page – you do the grass. Blue is fine. BLUE. IS. FINE.
Move over, but don’t leave. I do it. Why aren’t you colour? No, I do it myself. I do it myself. I DO IT MYSELF.
Dinner time, please put your colouring things away, Little.
Before matching storage containers were a thing, before IKEA became famous for it’s storage solutions, before pinterest, parents stored toys in whatever reusable vessel they could find. Our parents were “green” before “green” was even a thing.
Did you ever store your marbles in a Crown Royal bag? Then you had such a parent. A mom who bought margarine in the gigantic tub and then stored your barbie clothes inside. A mom who kept shoe boxes that were just the right space for your Rubix cube and Monchichee.
We didn’t question these storage choices, it was just the way things were done. I even do a bit of that now with our crew. The oldest stores his Pokemon cards in a gift box that once held lavender soap and foot lotion and he doesn’t bat an eye.
I do wonder about some of the choices (not the Crown Royal bag, that was the result of sound reasoning).
What could be inside this tin of wonder? Crayons? Glamour Gals? Marbles? (no, of course not marbles, those are in the Crown Royal bag). Maybe some Little People accessories? Legos?
No, silly. Isn’t it obvious? The tin that at one point held my grandpa’s pipe tobacco was the perfect vessel to house:
When I discovered this gem in my parents’ basement, my first thought was, “Who would use an old tobacco tin for their kids’ stuff?” which was followed quickly by, “Who keeps it for almost forty years?” But now I think it needs to be hermetically sealed as a tribute to all the craft projects my sisters and I never finished. Right beside all the partial rug hooking kits (don’t worry, they kept those, too).
We spent many a Saturday night together in the basement rug hooking while we watched “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island”. I don’t think any of us thought ahead enough to contemplate what we would DO with those hooked rugs once we finished (we never did. Not even one rug. So maybe even then we knew we lacked follow through). My favourite part was squishing the yarn packets, so there’s really no doubt as to why I never finished a project. Somewhere in my childhood home I bet there’s a pickle jar full of half-finished yarn bracelets, right beside a bunch of partially-knitted leg warmers.
It doesn’t hold tobacco anymore, but it does hold memories. I call dibs.