The “Beauty Salon Launcher”
You might be asking yourselves right about now, dear poopies, what in the hell is a “Beauty Salon Launcher?” Please allow me to enlighten you, as I’m now the world’s foremost expert on the subject and quite thrilled that its creation inspired today’s blog.
Sometimes after school, when we don’t have gymnastics or a play date or errands to run, the girls can go a little stir crazy. We have been nap-free for quite some time in this house, so some afternoons can seem like they go on forever. If it’s nice out, we go to the park, take the dog for a walk or play on the deck or in the backyard. If the weather isn’t cooperating then we try to busy ourselves indoors with art projects, reading, movies or games. And then there are those wonderful days, like today, when the kids completely entertain themselves with their imaginations and invent something far better than any game we have or activity I could plan. Enter the “Beauty Salon Launcher!”
When we got home this afternoon, I was busy putting groceries away, starting the laundry and unloading the dishwasher. Usually, I need to prompt the girls into an activity by saying something like, “hey girls, why don’t you go in the living room and practice writing your letters and numbers together and see how many you can each do?” Or, “hey ladies, if you guys go tidy up your room for awhile and make it extra neat then I’ll pop some popcorn.” You get the idea. I suggest things for them to do that can buy me a little time to accomplish my immediate tasks. There’s always a small window of time where I can try to squeeze in a bunch of things, but generally, I never finish them because one or both of the girls interrupt what I’m doing and complain about something the other one did and they have had enough of my little suggestions and want me to come join them or find another activity for them.
But today has been one of those magical days where they stumbled upon something themselves and had so much fun with it that it occupied their entire afternoon. And the best part? No fighting or name calling or wrinkles of any kind. In fact, It has been so peaceful in this house the last few hours, that for awhile, I almost forgot the girls were home. They had gone upstairs to get A’s Polly Pocket collection (which was recently added to after her birthday yesterday) and they were going to come right back down and play with all her new stuff in the basement. But the plan quickly changed and they were up there for hours inventing their new product featured in the picture above. This is what I love so much about this incredible age: their wondrous sense of imaginative play! They transformed their flower-shaped piggy banks into this cool new apparatus which they dubbed “the Beauty Salon Launcher.” Apparently, after several prototypes (and adding every last gadget they could get their hands on) the launcher was ready for business. They would put their Barbie dolls under it and pretend that it magically gave them a make-over…everything from a hair wash & dry, to nails to styling their clothes! (yes, it’s still hard for me to believe that they are mine, as around this same age during my own childhood, I was playing with my Millenium Falcon Star Wars Spaceship preventing Darth Vadar from destroying Hans Solo and Chewbacca, who were hiding out in Yoda’s Swamp). Girlie girl I was definitely not!
However, the idea of creative play is the same. And their fantastical imaginations are too. As a parent, it is a phenomenal thing to observe! I am so glad I took a picture of the launcher, because I will love being able to show the girls what they created one day when they are much older and hope that they’ll remember how awesome it is and what it represents to me. Every childhood should be filled with tons of “launchers” – original creations built from the minds and hearts of these fabulous little people who are never more imaginative and passionate about these cool projects they become engrossed in that provide so much fun for them and instill in them such a sense of pride and satisfaction. I love that despite all of the toys, books, games and dvd’s in this house, my remarkable gals spent their afternoon magically transforming Barbie with their cool, styling invention. It really reminds us as grown-ups to spend our free time doing things we love and partaking in activities that we’re passionate about too.
I’m no longer surprised by how much my kids inspire me. I come to expect it and rely on it! They are simply awesome. And if I can write a book one day with half of the passion, focus, ingenuity and determination they exerted with the “Beauty Salon Launcher” then I am sure to have a best-seller on my hands!