Thursday, March 29, 2012

St. Patrick's Day, 2012

I gave Ally a copy of The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing last month and she promptly decided that she wanted to set up a leprechaun trap, just like the kids in the story. This is apparently a rather new thing for parents to do with their kids and I'm always trying to encourage her creativity, so we made a leprechaun trap while visiting my parents over the weekend of St. Patrick's Day this year.

Mom has a big pot of oxalis growing on her sunporch that seemed like the perfect place to set a leprechaun trap, plus it was sufficiently high enough to keep the dachshund out of it. Ally drew a couple of pictures of shamrocks, rainbows, and other images she thought a leprechaun might like, and then we placed them in a white wicker basket. We put the basket on top of the oxalis and left a stick for the leprechaun to climb up. But our choice of bait was ingenious.....we left a handful of Lucky Charms cereal inside the trap to tempt the leprechaun.

Ally was very eager to check the trap on the morning of St. Patrick's Day. So eager that she was knocking on Papaw's bedroom door at 5:22 am to see if he was awake yet. I convinced Ally that she couldn't get up just yet in case the leprechauns were still running around, but that only bought me another hour or so of sleep before Ally insisted that we check the leprechaun trap.


Lo and behold, it had worked! Well, sort of. The leprechaun had visited the trap but had managed to escape after all. No matter. He left Ally a handful of shiny "gold" Sacagawea dollars in exchange for all the Lucky Charms cereal he had eaten.


So here's what I've learned from this experience:

1. My mom pointed out to me that Ally will expect us to do this each St. Patrick's Day from now on. That's okay with me. Childhood is short enough that I don't mind an extra yearly parental obligation. Mind you I won't be going over board like some moms out there, like Not Martha who made an extravagant leprechaun trap cake.

2. I suspect next year Steve might get involved with Ally and build a more elaborate leprechaun trap with her like this Lego trap seen at Tips n Tidbits.

3. Since St. Patrick's weekend, Ally has assumed that any penny or dime she finds on the ground must have been dropped by a leprechaun.

4. This year Ally will likely get up before dawn to check her Christmas stocking.

5. I sincerely hope she's not planning to trap the Easter bunny next month.

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