Sometimes Perfect Family Plans Don't Go So Perfectly After All + A Tee Pee Giveway | Life Love and Hiccups: Sometimes Perfect Family Plans Don't Go So Perfectly After All + A Tee Pee Giveway
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Monday 9 March 2015

Sometimes Perfect Family Plans Don't Go So Perfectly After All + A Tee Pee Giveway

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Love, with four kids ranging in age from 15 years to 10 months not one damn thing goes to plan in our house. The first time we tried to go on a family outing as a family of six ( to the eldest kids footy game) I went to put our brand new baby girl in the car & she projectile vomited down my top. My boobs were literally SWIMMING in baby spew! I quickly aborted all plans of leaving the house & sent the biggest family members to foot while I cleaned my boobs & bra.
I can't even call it controlled chaos, it's just plain chaos. But we always end up laughing about the mishaps. Sometimes it might take a few hours to laugh, sometimes a few days but it always ends in laughs.

When the lovely people at Clever Patch contacted me and asked if I would like to try out one of their tee pee kits with my family, I had images flash through my mind of Carl and the kids and I all gathered together in the garden building a tee pee and then sitting under the star roasting marshmallows and telling spooky stories.

It's a pretty image right?

So of course I said "yes please, I would love that very much thank you" and I sat back and waited for it to arrive.

Oh me and my gentile fantasies.

The experience didn't turn out quite as I had imagined and the perfect family plan didn't run quite as perfectly as it did in my head... although that had nothing to do with the lovely tee pee kit we were sent, but more to do with a whole lotta chiefs and not enough Indians kind of thing.

It started out well and everyone was keen as mustard to take part... but then it went down hill pretty quickly from there.

I probably should have put a little more thought into the when and how of my plans, because as it turns out - picking one of the hottest days in the past year to make memories in the garden with the kids was kind of like inviting the devil for dinner... you just don't.

We let the kids take the lead on the project. 

"Here's your kit now go forth and build your castle" we said whilst we sat in the shade and umm re-hydrated. 

After a five minute debrief, they decided that tee pees were for wusses and instead they were going to build some kind of Taj Mahal with the supplies we were sent. 

I smiled smugly at my husband as if to say "look at what imaginative children we have raised".

But before too long, the alarm bells started dinging and the smug look was replaced with a grimace. 

Things weren't exactly panning out how they did in my head and so I sat there smiling somewhat less serenely than earlier whilst desperately hoping this was just a hiccup and we could salvage my idealistic afternoon of wholesome family fun.

The older two took over and with nothing left to do but tie himself up in rope, the youngest midget started to annoy his older brothers by whacking them in the head with the roll of mesh we were supposed to cut leaves out of.

The middle child decided to use the scissors to stab holes in the grass and trim my roses and the oldest kid lost it at everyone and declared the afternoon as "dog".

And so the nerves began to fray.

After thirty minutes of building the basic structure the frustrations were bubbling at the surface.

It seemed building the Taj was much harder than originally anticipated and the collapsing of the structure was the ultimate 'as if that wasn't going to happen" moment when everything kind of just fell apart.


Watching my dream of a peaceful afternoon of memory making slip through my fingers I leaped into action.

"Help them" I said as I kicked the hubby from my spot under the tree.

"YOU help them" he shot back. "Your the one who calls herself Martha"

And so it was all hands on deck as we ripped everything apart and started to build the tee pee we should probably have built in the first place.

After making me promise to include Garlic bread with dinner, there was a renewed air of determination from the troops.

We were working together surprisingly well, so much so that when an older couple walked down the street they smiled at our family unit being all creative together in the front garden and I proudly fluffed my feathers and made out as if this was just a normal day in our house.. which trust me - SO isnt.

And then the middle child threw a skateboard at the youngest child and just like that ... my perfect oasis was gone.

We did get there in the end. 

And by end I mean after a very loooong afternoon of biting my tongue and muttering under my breath.

We found a spare pole, which probably wasn't actually supposed to be spare but it kind of became one after someone used it as a javelin and then forgot about it - but it came in handy to act as a weight pole for the gym outside the man cave. 

Yep that's what the tee pee was officially christened. Not the Taj Mahal but - The man cave. 

And with that I went inside to make garlic bread.

Although our afternoon of outdoor crafting is probably not the picture perfect afternoon I had originally envisioned, I did love seeing the kids think creatively and that's pretty much what Clever patch is all about.

In fact that's totally what they are about.

"We're not about pipe cleaners and beads. We're about the growth that comes from exploration and freedom of creative expression. We also care about the experience being great. We have a commitment to on-hand inventory and sharing our craft knowledge."

So the kids choosing to build the Taj Mahal over the humble tee pee was exactly what they were supposed to do - use their imagination.

Suddenly that disastrous family afternoon seemed.. well less disastrous.

CleverPatch have over 1200 craft and play activities available to order on their website. That is a whole lotta hours for kids to spend doing something constructive rather than wasting the day on some kind of screen.

The fact that I thought my boys had perhaps outgrown crafts and I was proved wrong - was totally worth the hours spent wilting in the heat.

I have CleverPatch to thank for that.

Now I have a *'Taj Mahal / Man Cave' tee pee kit for one of you guys to win thanks to the clever clogs at CleverPatch. 

All you need to do to enter is; 

Leave me a comment telling me about a time an activity with your family didn't quite go according to plan.

The competition is open now and closes on Friday 20th March at 7pm AEST at which time I will pick a winner based on who makes me laugh, or feel sorry for them or kinda makes me feel better about my own afternoon of memories not going exactly how I planned it in my head.

This competition is open to Australian residents only sorry. Good luck!

You can follow CleverPatch on their Facebook page to keep up to date with loads of fun activities and ideas for playing with your kids.

I was gifted a tee pee kit for my family to review. All opinions expressed are clearly from my own sometimes wonky point of view.

*Taj Mahal / Man Cave isn't the fair dinkum proper name of this tee pee.