I never quite know what books, hobbies, music, movies or television might suddenly become an obsession to Elena. I’ve tried guessing, and 99.8% of the time I’m wrong.
Take Perler beads. When Elena was a preschooler, my sister Suzan sent us a package containing a lifetime supply of Perler beads. (Side note: Aunt Suzy sends the best, most random packages. Nothing elicits more excitement in the mail than a package from Aunt Suzy. You just never know what it might contain.)
If you’re not familiar with Perler beads, they’re these tiny, plastic beads that you place on pegboards in a variety of shapes and patterns. After you’re done with your design, you iron them. They meld together and you have yourself a plastic masterpiece. Now, I’m all for kids crafting over sitting mindlessly in front of the TV, but setting a preschooler up with a bucket of 6,000 tiny beads is a recipe for disaster. They will either a) eat them b) spill them, after which the baby will eat them c) try to do it themselves and end up in a puddle of tears.
And so the Perler beads were put away for awhile. I got them out again when Elena was a few years older, and she was kind of into it for a week or two. After that they were relegated to the craft bin graveyard, where all good-intentioned, screen-free activities go to die. As we packed up the house to move, they didn’t make the cut. I had visions of them spilling in the move, and cleaning up thousands of beads sounded about as appealing as a root canal.
So naturally a few days ago, Elena wanted to know where all the damn Perler beads were. And once she realized they were living in someone else’s crafting graveyard, she wanted to go to Hobby Lobby and buy more. Like NOW. She bought a giant bucket and some pegboards with her own money, and spent the next few days holed up in my bedroom with the iron, crafting away.
The result is this stop-motion movie, which she casually showed me the other day. I was floored! When did she learn to do all of this? I spent hours on iMovie once, trying to figure out how to shorten a video clip, and had nothing to show for it. Not only is it awesome, but it nicely highlights all of her latest obsessions … most of which I could never have predicted she’d love so madly. Enjoy!