In a previous life, I was a 5th grade teacher. As such, I got pretty good at sniffing out school projects, papers, and various assignments that were completed by parents instead of my students. At the time, I was just a newlywed and didn't know what the heck I was talking about when it came to children.
Now that I'm a parent and sit on the other side of the table, I get it.
My kindergartener came home a couple weeks ago with a big announcement: "I am supposed to make an alien out of recycled materials for school." She could not have been more excited unless we'd told her that Luke Skywalker was coming over for dinner.
This was right on the heels of the ABC book we made. I say, "we"...pretty much all she did was smile for the camera (each picture was of her with something from our nature hike that began with the diff't letters of the alphabet....acorn, bark, cactus, etc.) and then write each letter on the correct page and a Bible verse at the end. Mom and Dad took the pictures, ordered the pictures, went to the store for the scrapbook, cropped and glued each picture, and helped with sticker placement.
I handed this one off to Daddy.
And so they began, happily brainstorming and planning what materials would be needed.
At last they had a strategy. Lauren's only stipulation was that it be "big and scary enough to scare all her peers AND her teacher". Well, Daddy-0 ran with that idea. I could see the excitement building in his eyes.
I went inside.
The building and creating process began.
This was serious.
As the creating process continued, they kept getting more and more brilliant ideas. This went on for quite some time.
I kept hearing the children say, "Daddy, when is it MY turn to do something?"
Daddy was pretty into this project, it seems, but he did somewhat reluctantly allow the child to whom this project was actually assigned to assist here and there.
And finally, the alien was complete.
And then we had to have some fun with the creature.
First, we did a little spooky scaring. Because why not? We could think of no good reason to avoid putting a creepy green alien in the window and letting the 3-yr-old discover it.
I know. We are sick. And stupid. But mostly sick. Who enjoys scaring preschoolers?
Next, we positioned him around the house and dressed him in bathrobes, slippers, baseball caps, etc. We just kept enjoying seeing some unsuspecting child come around the corner and jump a mile at seeing a child-sized alien presence in the bathroom with them.
The girls were quite fascinated with the alien's hair. They just couldn't stop touching it. Couldn't stop, that is, until one of them nearly cried because the sharp toothpick points had stabbed her hand.
That would be a big "oops". Proceed snipping off the sharp tips so a class full of hyper kindergarteners do not end up suing us for injuring their invaluable thumb sucking hand.
This morning we sucked the last bit of fun out of "Red Eyes", as he is affectionally known around here (you may recall from a previous blog that my oldest child is terrified of anything with red eyes...naturally, that was a perfect name thought of by her compassionate younger sister).
I drove the kids to school and we put Red Eyes right up front in the passenger seat. The girls laughed and snorted and nearly cried at seeing wide-eyed drivers on the road clearly staring at the mini-van transporting a green man from Mars.
I'm raising a bunch of sick-humored sweethearts exactly like me.
Watch out. You never know where Red Eyes might be lurking next. Might wanna check your windows.
I know, I know. It's really kinda pathetic. But sometimes, after 11 years and 3 kids and a mortgage and termite bonds....weird things start sounding like a LOT of fun.