Saturday, November 10, 2007

perler beads are taking over my house

For the uninitiated, Perler beads are these little plastic cylindrical beads that you use to make designs on a little pegboard. Then you iron the whole thing so they melt together and you have a lovely little objet d'art. They look like this:

Boy they sure are tiny. And we've got a bucket full of 8500 of them sitting in my kitchen like a plastic vacuuming-disaster time bomb.

The thing is, Little Brother is obsessed with them. He wants to play with nothing else. He wakes up in the morning, sleepy-eyed and bushy-haired (really, his hair is like an entire separate entity), and asks if he can "do Perler beads" as soon as he is done with his breakfast. My iron has never seen so much use. I asked the boys to make Christmas lists (my family starts bugging me about such things early) and Little Brother's consisted of "1. Perler beads" with "please please please" written around it in red.
It amazes me the things that will suddenly catch his interest like this. A couple months ago he spent an entire afternoon organizing rocks he had collected outside into an elaborate "rock museum." They were all categorized and laid out neatly on the top of his bookcase, but if he had turned around, he would have seen the scary mess that is the rest of the boys' room. This is the same child who, throughout first grade, had to enlist the help of the kids in his class to clean his desk every few weeks. Sometimes the kid is an utter mystery to me.

This is in sharp contrast to Big Brother. I have always been able to have a pretty good idea what he's thinking; we're just on the same wavelength. We'll be talking about a book, or have just seen a movie, and he'll come out with something that sounds completely random, except I know just what he's talking about, because that same line/image/phrase stuck out for me too, and in just the same way. He shows me the little shortcuts he's devised for himself in math and I remember doing just the same thing. He doesn't always laugh at my jokes, but he always gets them.

This makes it sound like I feel a stronger connection to Big Brother or something, but no. You parents know, it's just different from one kid to the next. Little Brother has an unparalled ability to surprise and delight me, sometimes with a thoughtful gesture, sometimes with a silly noise. It makes me curious and excited to see Baby Sister's personality emerge more and more.

So, yeah, I was talking about Perler beads. I can't end this post without showing you some of Little Brother's masterpieces.

Kaffe Fasset, watch out.