If the first assignment was any indication, it’s going to be a long 15 years ahead of us.
This weekend, E. had homework. Yes, homework. No, she does not have SORAS — Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome (thanks for teaching me that MinkyMoo!). She’s still 3 1/2 and we had our first official project — making a family tree.
At first, there was just a blank green piece of construction paper sent home one day with the words “E’s Family Tree” written across the bottom. What am I supposed to do with that? I know it should be obvious, but there were some obvious questions — how many family members? Names? Relationships? And given my extremely blended family, can I have another page to fit everyone?
Finally, we got this email from E.’s teacher:
Just wanted to elaborate on the Family Tree paper in your child’s file. You can include as many pictures as you would like of your immediate family, extended family, pets, etc, and arrange them any way you would like. If you can include names with the pictures, that would be great. If your child was named after someone, a picture of that person might be worth some extra credit!
We would like them by Friday or Tuesday (after) the Labor Day wknd. Don’t worry, your child will not be held back in the 3’s if you do not get it in on time!
You see why I love this woman? Now THAT’S funny.
Since this was E’s first-ever homework assignment, I thought it was important she learn a valuable lesson from Day 1 — always wait until the last possible minute to complete your assignments. How else to explain why we had this piece of paper since last Tuesday yet didn’t start it until Monday afternoon?
Since I’d procrastinated all weekend, I figured the easiest thing to do was look through pictures we already had printed around the house rather than deciding on good digital pictures and getting them printed. Twenty minutes in I realized, “Oh wait, I never print pictures anymore.” Let’s just say that it resulted in a random collection of photos from the past several years.
And it was hard to find pictures with similar head sizes. I now want to permanently remove my camera’s zoom button. After finally sorting through boxes and boxes of pictures, I had gathered at least one useable shot of all … minus one — E. What?!? This is a child who can’t stub her toe without me documenting it. Yet I had no readily available recent photos of her around the house. No big deal. It’s only HER family tree.
I finally found that picture of her in the pink tutu. Too bad it was taken about six months ago. I’m sure this will be the topic of a future therapy session.
After I’d gathered all our materials, E and I sat down to start putting the project together. It started off great (where did I put that sarcasm font?).
E. wanted to cut EV.ER.Y.THING. into a million pieces. I need to let her play with scissors more often, apparently, in order to lessen the thrill she got out of snipping into everything. Since it took me entirely too long to gather these pictures, there was no way I was going to let her cut right through Pappy’s face.
And then it dawned on me — I am turning into my father. I kept grabbing the pictures and saying, “Here, let me cut them. You can watch. Don’t worry, I’ll let you hold the tape.”
Wasn’t this supposed to be her assignment? I kept trying to remind myself that this was FUN.
It was hard work arranging all those pictures. My side was particularly heavy after I included my parents, their mates, my two brothers and my grandparents. On DadJovi’s side, we had his parents and his grandmother. E. is named for DadJovi’s mother (who died when I was pregnant) and his grandmother. They all have the same name (but different nicknames) so she’s a third generation E. Bonus points times two!
Once we got them all taped on, E. was pretty pleased with it.
Don’t worry, I didn’t send it in that plain. After E was done looking at it, I added everyone’s names and their relationships to E. I should have left her draw leaves or apples on it, though. I meant to … but it was 9 p.m.
And do you see what I’m saying about the different sized heads? My cranium looks huge (name that movie!) next to DadJovi’s.
I thought, well, I’m sure the others will be similar.
Nope. Apparently E. goes to an artists’ school and I didn’t realize it. There were some fancy freaking trees in there today.
Don’t get me wrong. I actually liked the assignment and had a really good time (for the most part) doing it. I was just surprised that we’re already at this point in her academic career — take-home assignments. I thought I had years before we got here.
Yup, she will definitely be describing this to a guidance counselor someday when she’s trying to explain why she didn’t bother handing in her social studies report.
Have I doomed her to a career of academic mediocrity? And what other fun homework projects do I have to look forward to this year?