Friday, February 09, 2007

Anorexic snowmen

Status report --

Weather: Still sucks (hasn't been above about 27 degrees for a couple of weeks).

Work: Busy with numerous projects. I'm very slowly teaching myself how to make an image map using CSS. Don't everyone jump up at once.

Kids: Very good. Becky is slowly learning to whine less, with the help of stickers at school (for not throwing a tantrum at pick-up time even though she's been there for more than nine hours) and plenty of encouraging shouting from her parents. Sarah lost her homework folder with two incomplete things in it, then found it again, then last night finished her written narrative on "How to Build a Snowperson" plus two weekly homework packets, which I feel VERY good about, almost as though I myself had done them and got to put two stickers next to my name on the homework chart. Pathetic. She will never learn to be unconventional with me, the parent who excels at figuring out the expectations (even when imperfectly explained on the assignment) and meeting them. On the other hand... two nights ago with her "100th Day of School" project which required students to come in with something made of 100 objects (bits of paper, Froot Loops, paperclips or whatever). A basic collage or mosaic? A hundred matchsticks with the heads broken off? No and no. Too easy. However, in an amazingly lucky coincidence, we've been getting almost daily deliveries of house things like recessed lighting fixtures, faucets, etc. and they all seem to be shipped along with a million Styrofoam packing peanuts, or many large crumpled pieces of newsprint. The packing peanuts would make a great 100-items sculpture, right? Wrong, says the child with the artistic temperament. But the paper, now... Sarah decided to use 100 pieces of this paper. Never mind that if you crumple them up just a couple of dozen sheets, you could fill our living room. So Ben laid them flat in piles of 20 or so and then rolled them up into arms and legs, and then crumpled just a couple of the body and head. The she cut out colored paper circles for facial features. The result was a life-size but structurally unsound replica of one of her friends who had a birthday this week. It was sort of unnerving. especially to Sarah's teacher, who looked "quizzical," according to Ben. A bit like an anorexic snowman who had to take to its bed due to a mental hairnet and spiritual ennui.

House: Coming right along. Ducts going in, brick-red siding on (possible photo here next week), electrician starting work. Appliances drooled over and selected. Problem: stainless steel finish resists fridge magnets. Where to file all those school notices and birthday party invitations?

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