What to do When Desperation Sets In

No one told us that Morocco had a rainy season.  I figured that since nobody mentioned it, it must be relatively benign.  By about the 10th afternoon of staring blankly out the window, the soundtrack of a continual whine in the background, it dawned on me that the rainy season had arrived.  I knew there was a reason I should have kept those houndstooth galoshes.

Then William’s layette shipment arrived.  It was supposed to be our salvation.  I had sworn there was an abundance of toys for Carolyn in there.  But no.  Just a few.  I looked into shipping a play kitchen.  It was too large, too expensive.  I thought about having one built from wood by a local artisan.  That territory seemed too hard to navigate without French/Arabic.  And that’s when this genius idea hit me:  use the boxes from the layette shipment to become the most awesome mom ever.  So at risk of becoming a mom blog, check this out:

Daddy dressed me.

I’m just now realizing that she looks like one of those kids you sponsor in a third world country.  Maybe a haircut will be our next project.

I calculated $10 spent on both of these combined.  Feels sooooo good to be a cheapskate.

Pizza Cardboarda anyone?  What’s that you say?  You’d rather have the chunky chocolate corrugated cookies?

Ok, so I know it looks like I spent hours upon hours on each of these, but not so.  I invested in a box cutter and sliced them up in no time.  Truth is, I’m not sure why it took me so long to come up with this idea.  We played in boxes all the time growing up and I remember it being a grand ole time.  Now the idea of buying toys seems ridiculous.  Rabat can be difficult for young kids (read: moms of young kids).  There are few safe places to take them, and in the rain, almost none.  But going inside a cardboard box is like going some place completely new.  Completely toddler-sized.

Ok, so this one did take a while.  And it wasn’t a bit hit either.  But I think I had the most fun making it, so it’s a wash.

I’m not afraid to admit that for me, those first few joyful months with a newborn also bring fear, uncertainty and feelings of inadequacy.  Add that to moving overseas; a colicky, napless baby; an active toddler with sibling issues…all the sudden, I feel like a useless mom.  This one put me back in the win column.

“Mommy, you are so great for making me all these toys.  I appreciate them fully.”

I’d like to thank my moving company for using those extra-large, heavy duty cardboard boxes.  I’d also like to thank Dora the Explorer and her comrades (Boots, Swiper, and The Map) for posing motionless with unrivaled self-discipline while I sketched them.  Special thanks to Matt for indulging this, and the long line of previous creative endeavors (as you well know, it’s not the last).  Oh yeah, and I guess some credit should go to Pinterest as well, but just a little credit because I totally thought of the floor puzzle all by myself.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge that we do, in fact, have a second child and we love him equally.

I considered making him a cardboard rattle, but that didn’t seem like it would meet infant safety standards.  It probably wouldn’t pass the drool test either.