My 7 year old daughter recently brought home her Easter break homework assignment, which was to build a model of a landmark that she had visited on vacation. Normally this would have made for a welcome afternoon or two of distraction in an otherwise uneventful break, particularly given her more recent penchant for the phrase “I’m booooooooooooored”. Yes I did mean to put that many ‘o’s in there!
Unfortunately we had decided to use the Easter break to make our first visit back to England in 3 years. Now, I’ve been known to bring all sorts of things back in my luggage, mostly English chocolate and pasties, but there has also been an inflatable football goal and my in-laws even once carried a baby grand piano back in their suitcase for my daughter’s birthday. Admittedly, it was a toy one, but still I think that’s pretty impressive! However, I didn’t rate my chances of getting a landmark made of toilet rolls and ice pop sticks back in one piece, too highly. So I decided that we would tackle the project when we returned home, the weekend before school started.
Ok, so on reflection this was pretty optimistic. For a start we were all exhausted. Jet lag in itself can be tough, but added onto that were the effects of a long and tiring flight home! My two year old behaved brilliantly, just so long as she was being constantly entertained during the entire 8 hours – challenging considering she has an attention span of about 10 minutes on any one activity. 8 hours, broken up into 10 minute slots, you do the math! Thank God for Barney in all his manic, purple majesty. Oh and she did take a nap, falling asleep about 5 minutes after take-off and waking up about 30 minutes later when my 7 year old announced that she absolutely had to use the toilet. NOW! Fortunately mother-in-law was travelling back with us, so she charged down the aisle like a 5ft, 130lb NFL footballer knocking everyone out of her way to get her to the toilet minutes before my daughter’s bottom exploded. (Sorry if that was a bit graphic for you, oh and sorry to everyone on the plane who had to use the toilet after her!)
So needless to say, the project did not get done that weekend, but the good news was we still had until Thursday. Unfortunately my daughter came home every day still jet lagged and exhausted. So like any good mom would, I decided to help her out a bit! Ok quite a big bit! It wasn’t the most cultural of trips home, mostly spent visiting family and friends and so we decided that we would do a model of Romsey Memorial Park, a place we had visited with my brother and his kids during our stay.
I figured if I could just help her out with putting together the major structures, she could help put it all together. Let me tell you, making a war memorial statue out of egg boxes, tape and glue is no mean feat! And I have to say my chocolate biscuit tub bandstand was quite a thing to behold. I then spent every precious moment that my 2 year old was napping to put together the elements of the play park and my daughter then painted and glued it all in place, while my 2 year old painted and glued herself, along side her.
It was tough, but finally and just in the nick of time we had the project completed. And very proud of it I was too, in fact I would go as far as to give myself a gold star. Well that is until my daughter came home with tales of the magnificent structures her classmates had produced of the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls and Ice Hockey stadiums!
Oh well A for effort, right?