I’m a grown 44-year-old man, so most of my life is taken up by doing grown-up stuff. I work; I pay bills; I tote my three kids around to all the far-flung places they need to be on any given day. But every March 16th, after I tuck my young ones into bed and let them drift off to La La Land, I turn my attention towards my true calling in this world.
See, this is the one night of the year when I’m allowed to create a toilet bowl full of leprechaun pee.
I’m all caught up in creating a house full of leprechaun signs. And I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it too, if I may so myself.
So I figured I ought to help spread the gospel of leprechauning your own home to the point where your kids go bonkers running around, uncovering the clues that PROVE beyond the shadow of a doubt that leprechauns are real.
And that they were all up in your home last night.
I don’t care what anyone says: green pee rules. I’ve been dumping a bit of green food coloring in my hopper right before I go to bed on March 16th every year now for the last four years. It never fails either; it’s become our unofficial kickoff to knowing that the leprechauns were here.
In the predawn quiet of St. Patty’s Day, I’ll be drinking my coffee downstairs in the kitchen when I hear the pattering scramble of Violet, 7, and Henry, 5, making for the bathroom together.
I’ll take a swig of joe, and listen closely.
Their voices will inevitably erupt and sail down through our ancient heat vents. They can’t contain their excitement.
“They were HERE!” I’ll hear my daughter holler.
“Look! They even dripped some green pee on the floor!” my son will shout.
And then I’ll hear them pounding down the steps, the two of them racing each other to be the first to explode into the kitchen and tell me that some leprechaun made #1 all over our bathroom tiles.
It’s real. It’s raw. And it gets them every single time. Which, I’ve got to be honest, is all I really care about in this world. Making them smile. Making them believe in the wildest things.
Now before you get all uptight about my pee and boogers fetish here, remember one thing: kids like crazy stuff. They just do. So if you drop a few leprechaun-tracking clues into their world in the form of semi-gross stuff, well, you’re probably going to make them ecstatic. You might be a bit reticent at first, but trust me. Kids dig boogers and pee when it comes from a tiny Irish leprechaun who’s evidently traveled across rough and raging seas to just visit your family.
I leave the boogers in tissues scattered around the house. A few shakes of green cookie sugar is all it takes. Don’t overkill it, maybe four or five “used” tissues tossed in easy-to-spot places like the stairwell or on the living room couch.
Last year my son Henry was literally shrieking with unabashed joy when he found a leprechaun tissue right at his spot on the kitchen island. But he really lost his mind when I leaned into his prized find and gave a big theatrical whiff right before I placed a few of the leprechaun boogers on my tongue and declared, “Oh yeah! They’re leprechaun alright! Leprechaun boogers have a real sweet taste to them on account of all the flowers they sniff in the forests where they live!”
Then Henry ate some leprechaun boogers too, fascinated as any kid could ever be by the notion of eating something so insane and cool.
Leprechaun Shoes, Footprints, and Clothes
Each year I seem to be getting more and more caught up in setting the St. Patty’s scene. I suppose maybe I’m trying to outdo myself. I don’t know, I’m sure it’s a bit of a lot of things really, but I definitely seem to be getting well caught up in the whole deal. I can’t help it though. I dig joy, and like so many single parents, there are many times when I go long stretches without too much overt happiness in my everyday life.
Two years ago I started chopping up green balloons. Then I strategically place tiny slivers of the green rubber under our kitchen cabinets and over on the stove, and sometimes in the fridge or up by the microwave. These are little shreds of Leprechaun shoes. That’s what we’ve figured out through the years now.
And they’re always accompanied by what are unmistakably leprechaun footprints. I take a paper towel or a cotton ball, get it all gooey with green magic marker, and lightly touch it to any surface where Leprechauns have been rambling around.
A few tiny strips of green felt or an old green sock or T-shirt and boom: shards of leprechaun pants or jackets that must have fallen off while the busy little fellas were scrambling all over your pots and pans last night.
I make about five or six scenes of shoe/footprint/clothing clues. Sometimes I make more. Okay … I always make more. But that’s just me. And we’ve already established that I might have a wee problem, no?
That’s right, I said it. I’m an expert on this leprechaun thing … don’t forget that, okay?! You want to do this right? You want your kiddos to still be talking about the leprechaun visit at the Fourth of July? Then heed my advice. Don’t skip the poo.
Teeny tiny balls of green Play Doh, gently placed at sensible locales. Right by the cookies/milk/whiskey you left out for the leprechauns is a fine spot.
Life is short.
Make ’em shout and smile.