Notes to Self

house1When constructing a gingerbread village with a three-year-old, keep the following in mind:

  1. Assemble all five houses the night before and let them dry fully before even letting said three-year-old know that there are gingerbread houses to be decorated. He will want to crack open the candy packets immediately. Can we do the candies now, Mommy? … Now? Can we do the candies now? Is the houses dry … can we do the candies now?
  2. Despite what the instructions tell you, only mix up enough frosting to join the house parts together. Then mix up fresh batches of white, green and red frosting just before you are about to decorate. That stuff dries FAST and squeezing half-set frosting out of a skinny piping nozzle is HARD work.
  3. Alternately, have a backup bag of frosting in the pantry.
  4. Said frosting dries tough enough to crack your teeth. Keep some handy in case you ever need to hang heavy pictures or re-attach a side mirror to your car.
  5. Any resemblance of gingerbread house pieces in the box to those in the picture on the outside of the box — or to drawings in the instructions for that matter — are purely coincidental.
  6. House components in the box are WAY smaller than they appear on the outside of the box. Fleas would feel comfortable kicking their feet up in these houses.
  7. Shroud all dining room furniture with heavy sheets. Dishtowels are not big enough to keep said nasty frosting off your seat covers.
  8. Next time, choose the single house kit … or the single gingerbread man to decorate. One item = quicker to decorate = the length of time a three-year-old can focus on any one project.
  9. And definitely choose a design that doesn’t require using tweezers to get the minuscule candies onto the already small roofs.
  10. Let your three-year-old put the “lights” on the tops of the trees any old how he likes. Yes, uptight perfect-design Mom, a tree can have a white light on top of it. Had to control the urge to swap it out for a red or yellow one but then remembered how grateful I am that he has the motor skills to maneuver the tiny bauble onto the top of the tree and have it stick there!

4 responses to “Notes to Self

  1. For all the challenges, they came out beautifully! I’m sending this blog post to my mom because she got us a gingerbread house to put together with Lane while we’re with her on vacation. Fun fun!!!

  2. Yours is WAY better than ours!

  3. Ohhh classic!!! Well done…I am lost in admiration….Lovely post.

  4. And making the connection over to Christmas…. Unbox ALL toys prior to wrapping, take off ALL those annoying little twisty ties, cut all tape, undo all tabbies, assemble, add batteries THEN wrap gift – trust me, on Christmas you will be patting yourself on the back and wondering why no one else ever thought of this! Oh, and Santa doesn’t wrap any gifts, he leaves them out (assembled and with batteries) for children (and mommies and daddies) to enjoy RIGHT AWAY! We did this from her third year through her sixth and it helped soooo much. This year, at seven, she will actually be “into” the disassembly and reassembly portions!

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