Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Never work with children and donuts

I often have grand visions.  I recently had a grand vision that I would invite three extra children over after school (in addition to the three I own) and make a video of them getting in and out of a cardboard cubby house.  I had a grand vision that I could make it like those clown car videos: where about 100  clowns pile into the clown car and then come back out the other side.

Then even more ambitious was my idea to get them to make a pillow fort AND an under-the-table-cubby.  All while a camera was pointed at them. 

It was all part of an even grander vision: a video series on cubbies and tents for Kidspot (see my post 'What do you do?' for clarification of why I call this sort of thing a 'job.') I spent about two glorious weeks filming the construction of various cubbies and tents: in the backyard, in the living room, under the dining table, through the dining room chairs.  My children helped me, but if you must know, it was mainly me. I've always loved a cubby house, ever since my mother bought me a yellow Wendy House way back in 1978.

So the cardboard cubby video was going to be the grand prix of cubby videos. I was going to peak with a clown-inspired classic.

I prepped all day. I made my cubby house out of Kennards storage boxes. I made sure there was a front door and a window and there was even a little annexe at the side.  I 'rendered' it with gift-wrap. It was a masterpiece.  Once or twice during the day I wondered guiltily what all the other adults were doing at their real jobs while I was mucking around with boxes and masking tape at home.

Next I arranged some catering: (a.ka. bribery) a dozen donuts and a packet of Allens snakes.

I picked the kids up from school.  I brought them home. Then the fun really began. Or didn't. 

If you have ever tried to get six kids to do what you ask them to do, when you ask them to do it, you must be a school teacher. In which case, I think you deserve every 'extra' holiday you get.

Guess what? Kids don't listen. Especially when you hype them up on sugar and donuts.

I recall specifically requesting that they not consume donuts or snakes 'on camera' as it was not a great example to set on the Kidspot site. I think my exact words were:

"There is no junk food on Kidspot!"

About halfway through I realised one of my own charming children had been waltzing in and out of the cubby house munching on a donut the whole time.

And because I did the 'going into the cubby' in a separate take to the 'going out of the cubby,'  when I cut the footage together, it looked like he'd gone into the cubby house, found a donut cart and come back out again munching on it.

Oh the shame.

 If you watch the finished videos on Kidspot  it all looks like good, wholesome, Amish, home-crafty mum fun. But rest assured the reality was quite different. The reality was mainly a lot of yelling from me, mostly of my favourite phrase:

"Don't bump the camera!"

 So if you are a regular viewer of the Kidspot activity videos and you imagine that some happy home-crafty, jolly mum is behind the camera being all 'quality time' and cuddly-wuddly-goodtimes with her kids, please be corrected.

Here are some choice cuts and outtakes:

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