there is a mostly naked Leprechaun running back to his rainbow right about now!
Our annual project to trap the Leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day expanded this year to include three separate entries, one from each little Irishman here. Liam has LITERALLY been planning his attack for WEEKS. He's been saving boxes (yes, those ARE wine boxes. And yes, I did have to make an emergency stop on my way home on St. Paddy's Day eve with a fourth and final Bota Box to finish out his evil plan. And no, we did NOT drink the whole thing that night, luckily you can just extricate the bag of wine and leave the box undisturbed.) Liam, as usual, did not accept one tiny iota of help in any way. It was completely his vision and execution all the way. He cut the boxes himself, duct taped them together and I only BRIEFLY stood in with an extra pair of hands to help him make a duct tape ladder. The sign was all his own concoction too. As a clever, mischievous little boy himself, he knows full well that the Leprechaun could NEVER resist a sign that says "Do not go up the ladder!" And the little sprite did go up and fell down onto the sticky duct tape floor. Unfortunately, he wriggled free, but left his pants behind!
Colin also concocted his own plan with no help from parental units. The difference is that he was far less decisive than Liam and switched up his idea a dozen times before finally settling on something also duct-tape related. This is actually a very strange turn of events for the big boys. Usually it is Liam who spends agonizing hours trying to decide what prize he wants at the Chuck E Cheese counter or which $1 treat he can pick out at Target. But for St. Paddy's Day, Liam was 100% self-assured that he WOULD get the leprechaun. Colin was a little less confident in his idea, but was uncharacteristically magnanimous in his open admiration of his little brother's design. I also had to chuckle at the VERY characteristic taunting signs he made to lure the Leprechaun to his stash of gold (Colin had made a collection of yellow-painted tin foils balls to use as decoy gold, but was thrilled by my last-minute addition of some Pyrite I found at the Ecotarium store that he thought was more realistic.) He also got a kick out of wondering what a "fool" the leprechaun would be to be tricked by our "Fool's Gold". Like all seven-year-old jokes, he'd repeated that one a thousand or so times in the week prior, always sending himself and his brothers into ecstasies of laughter. In the end, he did catch a little bit of orange thread from the Leprechaun. Chris and I thought it might be from the clever guy's beard, but Colin thought it must be a shoelace or something similar...
Eamon needed some help from me to come up with an idea this year, but fortunately we have a huge stash of crafty items hanging around at all times. We constructed a rainbow picket fence from popsicle sticks and made a tricky tangle of rainbow pipe cleaners inside to draw the Leprechaun in to our pot of gold at the center of the labyrinth. Then we took a page from Liam's book and added a swath of duct tape to the center to solidify our trap. The hardest part of our construction involved keeping the cat away from the pipe cleaners. Casper LOVES playing with pipe cleaners more than any other thing in the house, but we figured that would only aid us in our diabolical plan if the cat was out on the prowl for the Leprechaun too. Eamon did manage to get the tricky guy into his trap, but alas, he wiggled away leaving only his little white shirt behind. Colin learned at school that Leprechauns are the official tailors and cobblers for fairies so hopefully our guy will make himself some new clothes before next year. If the Luck o'the Irish holds out, we'll surely get more than fabric next time.