Now you know from my last post that we were away for a weekend recently, but came back to a lot of chaos, and a lot of germs. Sigh. But we jumped right back into the thick of it all. Well, almost.
There was one thing we (read, “I”) had neglected to remember while luxuriating in the Jacuzzi…
Before I begin my rant, I WILL say that there is no one to blame for this one but myself. Through fatigue, excited anticipation of a great weekend away, and a sprinkling of denial, I neglected to give not one tiny shred of thought to…
Ok. Here’s the deal. On the Wednesday preceding our little getaway, #2 unearthed an assignment sheet from her school folder, and excitedly jammed it into my hands.
#2: “We have to build a wigwam! With real sticks and stuff!”
Me: “Oh, sure! No problem!” (translation: There’s plenty of time! The Captain will totally handle that one!)
Now as a former educator, I will be the first to say that I can appreciate the value of interdisciplinary education; all children have different learning styles, and with a variety of modalities, it enables all children to find their educational niche.
As a parent, how about NO!
You weren’t with me as we delved into solar systems. Shoe box grasslands dioramas. And then there’s the infamous/hellish 2nd grade Leprechaun Trap Project.
Build a trap to catch a leprechaun, they said.
It’ll be so much fun, they said.
Two Leprechaun Traps later, I learned. Oh, I learned. I learned that #3 would not be building a Leprechaun Trap, because he would be taking #2’s to school instead. Because after the hours of cutting, fretting, gluing, regluing, and rushing out for last minute supplies for #1’s, I cursed the day that #2 brought home the assignment, and we did it ALL. OVER. AGAIN. And maybe #3’s remnants won’t cut it by the time #4 needs to make one, but I can tell you for sure that #5 will be bringing in #4’s. Don’t judge me until you’ve made one. Or three.
Mock now, but I’ll be thankin’ me lucky charms when #4’s turn comes…
Now lest you think I have a stockpile of pre-made projects ready at my disposal, I don’t. But not because I’m ethical. (well, I am. With MOST things.) But because by the time they actually make it back home, the project materials have been stripped clean like the bones of a Thanksgiving turkey.
So fast forward to the wigwam project. #2 was to build a wigwam, or so it appeared, but I couldn’t be sure at that point, because the assignment sheet was tacked to our “To Do” board and promptly forgotten, because, HEY, I was going away, baby! Getting the heck out of Dodge! And if the project was due Tuesday, well, that still left us plenty of time, right??
No. It did not.
We arrived home to a flurry of hugs, germs, and petitions like the serfs lining a King’s chambers. Various requests were made; some fulfilled, most denied. Until #2’s reminder. The wigwam project, remember? To be done in less than two days??
So The Captain and #2 departed with a promise to acquire the needed wigwam materials at Michael’s. This is happening, mind you at 5:30pm on a Sunday.
Ignorance is bliss…
The call comes in at 5:50pm. (For those not in the know, Michael’s closes at 6pm.)
The Captain: “Um, yeah. Michael’s has like nothing left. And what was there cost a fortune. So… she’s out of luck.”
(Translation: “I bought nothing. And that’s ok, because I’ll be at work tomorrow. )
Me: :” I…. don’t…. under…. stand….?”
(Translation: “Are you %&$^ kidding me????”)
So, a wigwam. Ok.
- Problem #1: I’m not really the “crafty sort”. Nooope. I’m more the type that secretly vacuums up any lingering Rainbow Loom bands, in the hopes that one day we will just RUN OUT. I don’t loom. I don’t sew. (#2’s glue-gunned Girl Scout vest badges are an unfortunate visual of this deficit.) I don’t knit, or bead, etc.
Not because I look down on those things. Just because I’m impaired in all things crafty.
- Problem #2: The wigwam was to be made of natural materials. As in, sticks. Bark. Roots. Pebbles. Things found outside. And these outside things were now blanketed in a thick layer of snow.
But if #2 needed supervision making a wigwam, well, then…. so be it.
We made the return trip to the craft store, where we acquired all means of tiny Native American figurines, grass paper, some bark-like wreath thing, and too many dollars later, hauled our goods home.
Now for the natural stuff… (and yes, I’ll remind you that I’m not the nature person in the family, remember?? That would be The Captain. You know. The guy that loves nature. And projects. And was.not.home.)
If my neighbors ever had any doubt about my sanity, I’m sure the sight of me carving bark off our trees with a kitchen butcher knife was not reassuring.
We peeled the root wreath into strips to create a frame. Or tried to. Over. And over.
And I was cool. On the OUTSIDE…. but internally:
For mobile users, click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZg9evqG9e0
Finally, we had a conical shape, like the diagram. Only… was that a wigwam, or a teepee? What’s the difference between them? A thorough Google search and a desperate classmate call later, the cone shape was determined to be valid.
Suck it, teepee purists. We were on a deadline.
Next was the gluing of the bark to the frame, courtesy of the hot glue gun (remember the GS badges??). Maybe the Native Americans didn’t glue their bark, but you know what? Their loss. Deadline, remember?
Then came the gluing of the pebbles. Then the gluing of the people. Then the gluing of the animals. The pond. The fire. Our fingers. Some of the table. An unfortunate sibling passing by. We even markered underwear onto the miniscule butt of a Native American baby on its mom’s back, because you know how 4th graders can be with all things naked. Finally…
We coasted on (hot glue) fumes to a finish. And #2 triumphantly carted her project off to school the next day, beaming.
… with dried bark already peeling off the wigwam.
Sigh. Let’s hope our trees grow enough bark back for next year’s wigwam….
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