Sunday, March 6, 2011

undomestic goddess

Geekygirl was given a box of "hama beads" as a birthday gift. For those unfamiliar, as I was, these are little plastic cylindrical beads that you use to make a pattern on a shaped, spiked frame. They can then be melted together using an iron to make a two dimensional plastic ornament. They are Danish in origin and Geekdaddy recognized them instantly from his youth. He loved them.

They make a wonderful rainy day activity, and we have had a lot of those this winter and spring. Geekygirl pulled the box out a couple of weekends ago and busily removed all of the contents. She looked at the back of box then over to me, seeming worried "Mummy, we can't do it. We need to buy one of these". I inspected the contents and the instructions, ready to be annoyed that a critical component had not been supplied with the kit,  but everything seemed to be there so I assured her that we had all that we needed; the beads, the frames, and the ironing paper.

"No, Mummy, but we need one of those irony things" she insisted, pointing at the picture of the iron.

Apparently, my daughter, in her five years of life, has never seen anyone in our house use an iron. This is actually not all that surprising because I have hardly ironed anything since she was born. When two people work full time and have two kids, something has got to give. For us it was ironing. We quit.

The first time Geekygirl saw a play iron in a pretend kitchen she had no idea what it was a facsimile of, but since then, thanks to books and television, she is at least aware that some people use a heated metal device to smooth wrinkles from clothing. In our house, instead of ironing we wear a lot of cotton jersey and have a healthy relationship with the dry cleaners.

I found our iron buried underneath a pile of wrinkled shirts in a plastic basket in the basement. The shirts were gap circa 1994. Items that I haven't worn since becoming a mother and had forgotten that I even owned. Fortunately the iron still functioned, so I was able to use it's hot smooth power to put the finishing touch to Geekygirl's carefully constructed masterpiece. I'm in no hurry to rebuild my relationship with the appliance, so that is probably all it will ever be used for from now on.