You may have read my litany of reasons why I should hate Costco, but can’t. This week, Costco made that juuuuust a little easier — and I’m here today with a warning: The next time you go, you too will likely encounter a villainous, lying item: “The Giant Craft Jar.”
You will be there without your 3-year-old, and The Jar will lure you in — whispering to you about the hot summer temps, the indoor preschooler containment, the screen time guilt, the lack of 1:1 mom:kid guilt. It promises craft time enjoyment.
It begs: “Come now. You can weed through me and pull out the real mess-makers before he sees me…”
It assures: “I am fun and not half as frustrating as I appear!”
It proposes: “Take me home. I am the magic solution you are needing. He will sit quietly at the table and you will discuss all of life’s dearest lessons with him while you coach him through a lovely and creativity-freeing craft whose pieces will remain perfectly contained and will not pose a choking hazard to the baby.”
It pokes: “He is bored and you are stifling his development.“
And you will believe it. But heed these words: unless the recipient is – say – 8 years old and can sustain this endeavor alone, the Jar is Satan Incarnate. It is a parasite, bent on making your house its next host.
Your 3-year-old will spy it in 1 hot second, despite your brilliant hiding place. For a bright but fleeting moment, you will be the Earth’s most wonderful mother – his joy and intrigue unmatched in your recollection. He will eagerly seat himself, eyes wide with wonder, creative juices flowing. “This is so sweet!” you think.
And then the lid comes off.
And you slip into the depths.
……and you cannot climb out.
You see, the Jar holds in its belly the beads you couldn’t see. Along with the glitter glue pen. And the sticky jewels. And the scissors your left-handed preschooler cannot maneuver.
It is a labyrinth of construction paper squares, google-eye stickers, shimmery plastic cutouts, and twine that begs to be employed as a noose.
And your life becomes “Mommmyyyyyy couldju help meeeee?” And “Mommmmyyyyy couldju open this??” And “Mommmmmyyyyyy couldju cut this??”
The helpful “project idea book” only heightens the anxiety. Your preschooler will scatter popsicle sticks far and wide, while you plead in pursuit, “We’ll need ALL of these to make that photo frame in the book!!”
And the cleanup will be unending, and the projects will be aimless, and the glue stick’s lid will be lost in 2 minutes, and your TypeA-hood will show and Daddy will come home and reel, incredulous: “whaaaaaaaaat have you done?“
With pipe cleaners tangled in your now glue-matted locks, you will whisper as did Eve with Eden in her rear-view:
“It lied to me. I can’t believe I fell for it.”