Master of the Bendaroos

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It wasn’t the ShamWow or the Aqua Globes or the Snuggly that lured us in – although we were tempted to pick up the phone and dial that 1-800 number (especially after we heard that the ShamWow Guy got arrested after getting into a fight with a prostitute – ShamPow!). What finally made me cave and buy an infomercial product, something I have never done before in my life, was none other than Bendaroos, “those amazing flexible building sticks.” And my life is that much better for it.

Kaiden and Kaya had been pining over the Bendaroos commercial for months. You know, one of those cheap, film-it-yourself ads is that is the hallmark of the infomerical industry. But the product did seem pretty amazing. Bendaroos are simply thin sticks of colored wax that can be shaped into anything you want, and the kids on the commercial seemed to be having a great time making monkeys and jewelery and decorating mirrors and doing back-flips over a Bendroo doll doing the same thing. The thing I liked best about it? No crumbs to pick up like with play-doh. The web site promised, “No glue, no mess, hours of fun!” Sold.

So when Kaiden finally completed his first Chore Chart, he asked for Bendaroos as his reward. We ordered a package on-line, and then came the hardest part for children – the wait. Every day when I picked them up from school, the kids would ask, “Are the Bendaroos here yet?” This as yet non-existent gift became a great tool in my hands, i.e. bribery material. I’d tell the kids, “If you behave yourself at the grocery store, then we’ll go to the post office and check if the Bendaroos have arrived.” Worked like a charm. Did I really want the Bendaroos to arrive, after all?

Finally, after an arduous month-long wait, the Bendaroos were sitting in my mailbox yesterday. I contemplated hiding them, prolonging its use as a ‘carrot’ (much better than a stick). But like any parent, I was too excited to see the happy look on their faces, so we ripped open the box when we got home.

I have found my calling. Within about half-an-hour, I had made two watches, two necklaces – one with a heart for Kaya, the other with a bone for Kaiden (a.k.a Mr. Skeleton) – a bracelet, two spiders, a spiderweb, a lollipop, a butterfly and a dragonfly. I obviously had such amazing skill at this craft that Kaiden wanted me to play the teacher and teach the “class” about making Bendaroo art. Kaya addressed me this way: “Oh Teacher of the Bendaroos.” I like that. Has a certain Buddhist-feel to it.

I’ll have to remember to go into that Zen place when I’m picking up the hundreds of Bendaroo sticks that cover my living room floor. I didn’t see a mom doing that on the infomercial.

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