It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Because Mary is a devious, devious woman

The older children have been making something for their parents for the last week and a half. We’ve spent a little time each day adding another layer, building up the tissue and glue. Yesterday we added the sparkles on the outside, and we’re done!


Beautiful tissue-paper bowls! (From my latest blog crush, Kids Craft Weekly.) Then we made a trip to the dollar store for things to put in the bowls, with the stipulation that they be light. Sturdy these things are not, though they’re not quite as delicate as you might think, given the materials.

And through all this the parents have not discovered what it is we are making. The children have not spilled the beans, they have not once uttered the word “bowl” in their parents’ presence.

I know this with utter conviction.

Know why?

It’s not because I’ve told them “Shh! Don’t tell! It’s a secret!” Ha! It is to laugh. Anyone with toddlers knows how utterly pointless that is. To anyone under the age of six, near as I can make out, a “secret” is something that, when you tell everyone about it? You WHISPER.

It can be a stage whisper, audible to THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, but if you whisper while you’re telling it, it’s still a SECRET.

So. I have not attempted to get them to keep a secret. Though the very thought of someone attempting to do so does bring tears of Christmas mirth to my eyes. Ho, ho, ho!

No. What I have done, see, is to mislead and divert.

We are not making bowls. Nope. Not at all. See that first pictures? Do those look like bowls? Of course not! Bowls are not bumps! Bowls are dents. We are not making bowls.

No, no, no! We are making igloos. Lovely igloos made from purple, pink, and yellow tissue paper, respectively. Igloos decorated with sparkles, then turned ‘upside-down’ and filled with (variously) Christmas crackers, shiny ornaments, star-studded garlands and/or popcorn. Mary has never, ever called these things anything other than “igloos”. And neither have the tots.


We have looked at pictures of igloos. We have tried to build some out of snow. We have talked about the Inuit, and how they mostly live in regular old houses now.

And the children, they have told their parents ALL ABOUT IT. Of course. Their parents know EVERYTHING about IGLOOS.

And nothing, nothing at all, about bowls.



December 22, 2008 - Posted by | Christmas, crafts, parents | , , , , , ,


  1. It takes a lifetime to build up to that level of deviation. I bow to you in respect and admiration.

    Comment by Z | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. You are brilliant.

    Comment by Bridgett | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. You’re just too crafty, Mary. *g* And I’d love to be a fly on the wall when this conversation happens:

    “Thank for this beautiful bowl, darling.”

    “Bowl? That’s not a bowl. That’s a igloo!”

    LOL Which actually makes it even more adorable, I reckon.

    Comment by Kat | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. I thought they were scoops of ice cream in the first photo. I guess I’d be disappointed.

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  5. Sneaky woman. 🙂 Great way to keep the secret.

    Comment by chosha | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  6. How wonderfully devious!!

    Comment by Dani | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  7. Buahaha indeed! I salute ye!

    Comment by Suzi | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  8. Ha. Brilliant way to dodge!

    Thus says the woman who knew what was in her present from the 4yo girl (a nightgown?) before it was even under the tree. (Husband did palm-forehead in the background as she informed me what I’m getting.)

    Comment by Allison | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  9. You’re good.

    Comment by Bethany | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  10. igloos looked like ice-cream to me, too! continuing on your igloo theme, last year my daughter made a igloo out of a white styrofoam cup, paper plate and cotton batting. the kids tore a small u shape to make the opening of the igloo/cave and inside was a brown pompom to be the hibernating bear. too cute! we still have it and regularly check to see if bear has woken up!

    Comment by Dana | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  11. Hehe, I had the exact same thought as Kat.


    Comment by Zayna | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  12. Very clever indeed. Just have to remember to use different vocabulary.

    I know kids can’t keep secrets, and I’ve been trying to get Ian to tell me what he made and wrapped and put under our tree. I cannot figure it out, the boy just isn’t interested or really doesn’t know himself what it is.

    Comment by mamacita tina | December 23, 2008 | Reply

  13. Oh, you are one smart lady!

    Comment by Ms. Huis Herself | December 28, 2008 | Reply

  14. […] once again proving my gift-giving acumen, the children have not spilled the beans to their mothers. The mothers know they are getting a […]

    Pingback by Mother’s Day Craft « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | May 7, 2010 | Reply

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