October 9, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
I am a huge fan of Magnetic Poetry. You know, the little bitty word magnets that you put on your fridge? Fun at parties (especially when there is alcohol involved)? My Mother-in-law was about to yard sale her set until I threw myself down in front of her and stopped her. She placed a $1 sticker on it (the nerve!) and had it in a sack of stuff to sell at the YEARLY YARD SALE EXTRAVAGANZA and I pleaded with her not to sell it, since it had been such a hit at family gatherings. I know she thinks I am insane (don’t you?) but I have this nostalgic side to me and the magnets were priceless, bringing back memories of Christmas and New Years before the kids were born at my Mother-in-laws “cozy” (read: freakin’ claustophobic) and “charming” (read: Can’t let Bugaboo loose in here, not never, not no-how) converted-stable apartment. It’s like a storybook cottage and the kids ain’t getting close. Anyways, when no one was looking I swiped the magnets. They have been hidden for just the right moment. Yesterday was that moment.
The kids were a wreck. Bugaboo was off and decided to test the absolute limits of my sanity by stripping nekkid, playing with a water and then personally finding out how shock therapy works on young autistic children. Lucky us! He found the MAIN SWITCH! Wahoo! Hours of my trying to set up all the clocks in the house (didn’t know we had that many! I never look at a clock!) made me more frustrated. He fried the computer and modem (we got the computer up and running, can’t say the same for the modem. Staples is open until 10pm, did you know?) and emptied the contents of a toasted oats cereal box on the kitchen floor. The make such neat noises falling on linoleum, you know! The big kids got off the bus cranky and tired and hot. They snuck food to the basement (OH NO YOU DI’INT!) called my name about infinity times (MOM! MRS. H! MOM! MRS. H! It was like a bloody competition!) and argued over whose pencil was sharper than the others and who erased the spelling words more cleanly. Middle child didn’t talk, just screamed and whined. While digging through my junk drawer for the film eraser (these work sooooo much better than the old pink ones!) I came across the box. The magnet box. The MAGNETIC POETRY BOX. Sitting in its original location for a year.
Do you know how much FUN a group of primary students can have with Magnetic Poetry? We had things like:
Shine my death peach
Manipulating finger sausage
Incubate those smooth eggs
The symphony of my apparatus
Enormous chocolate mother please stop it (Bug Boy’s charming contribution)
There was more. Oh, so much more. They were laughing, tears pouring down their faces as they made up silly, nonsense sentences. They were falling on the floor in stitches and hearty laughs. My sanity was preserved for another day.