Earlier in the week, I had just finished cleaning the kitchen when the kids asked if we could make a gingerbread house. To be fair, it wasn't a regular kitchen cleaning but rather an epic deep clean after many busy weeks of hardly cleaning at all (no, really). Like, a 'pull out the appliances and clean behind them' kind of cleaning. A 'treat the butcher block with oil' kind of cleaning. A cleaning just shy of alphabetizing the spices because I was too tired to do any more. It was that kind of cleaning, and it felt so good. And I wanted - for just five minutes, maybe an hour, maybe even an evening if I was pipe dreaming - to feel that sweet reward of a clean kitchen. A gingerbread house? A messy, sticky, gingerbread house? Oh, bother. I wanted to say yes, but I just couldn't do it.
"I have a better idea!" I told them. And I steered them towards rolls of duct tape, our giant pile of cardboard (opening a shop has some benefits in that department!), and a box cutter. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. That I was putting my children's safety at risk for the sake of keeping my kitchen clean, but Harper is a safe and experienced guy with the box cutter, I swear!
The cardboard gingerbread house was a huge hit, pulling in nearly everyone into its construction, decorating or play at some point in the day and night. There was elaborate play around it, and they're talking about making curtains today and a door that opens and closes. There's also a pulley they rigged to the ceiling beams for lowering all the candy into and out of the house.
Oh right, the candy. It wasn't until this morning at the breakfast table talking about that pulley that it dawned on them that this version of a gingerbread house involved no actual candy. Yeah, that. I was so busted. So today - now that the kitchen is back to it's normal state of chaos (I only got about thirty minutes of clean bliss, but it was a very happy thirty minutes), we can make that other kind of gingerbread house and embrace the mess fully. Though I still think the house made out of duct tape is the winner!