It started with a sticky note on a book that someone sold to my husband.
My son got really interested in it. I was unaware of this, and when he came asking me for “paper that’s a little paper but it’s sticky but you can take it off and on again” I’ll admit it took some time before I identified what he was talking about.
I have a wealth of sticky notes at work, but it was a Saturday. Fortunately for us, that’s also the day we go to the farmers market, and the farmers market is right next to a Poundland (yes that’s what they call dollar stores here 😏), so I suggested that we get some sticky notes at the store.
As children growing up in an era of online deliveries plus also Covid, and since we’re privileged enough to have a stay-at-home parent, my children have been present for the purchasing of things in physical stores much, much less than I had when I was their age. Going in the store for a thing feels like a big cool deal that he’s interested in.
He and I went in together and purchased one package of sticky notes. Then my daughter wanted some too so we also went back in together and purchased a second package.
Oh, the learning and discovery had only just begun! First there was much lamenting when a stack of sticky notes “broke” in half and wouldn’t really stick back together, like, now it was a stack of 60 notes on one side and 40 on the other. Then there was even more lamenting when, after pulling like 20 apart in rapid succession, they were very hard to re-stack with machine-level orderliness. There was exploration of patterns and design. There were attempts at trading notes with one another, and attempts to stick the notes to all kinds of surface textures. The stickies became loose parts in play: tickets to get on trains, money with which to buy things at stores, signs to tell little sisters of rules invented by big brothers.
Most memorably, my daughter pulled her entire stack apart to create a kind of art installation.
And then, of course, because she is 4 and art is about the process and admiring the end product is an afterthought, the art installation became a spring from which to withdraw confetti and fling it in the air for a “party”.