Friday, March 28, 2008

eight year olds and long term projects

He excitedly called it his "Orbital Studies" project; where he wanted to create magnificence in the form of core board posters and paper maché. I called it long-term drudgery that would require every ounce of my patience and strength.

Now this particular child of mine has VERY definite opinions about what he wants and how he wants to do things (ergo he'll make a great movie director/CEO/dictator someday!). But in the meantime, he's a constant source of emotional terror in our household -- and as far as the family is concerned (and because I'm the weakest link) I always cave in to his strong personality. *Did I mention that I'm obviously fostering the next generation of hot-headed movie directors/egomaniac CEOs/hostile dictators!)

Anyhoo ...

So instead of surfing my favorite blogs, submitting comments to my favorite blogs or even posting to my own blog, I've submitted my time and mental/emotional/creative energies to the newly aroused enthusiasms of my second grader.

So without further ado, here's a Mollygras original, illustrating the experience I like to call "Primary Independent Studies Hell":

Get ready, set … go!
Build an ant -- a humongous ant.
I am labor: he is management.
“What,” I repeat, “WHAT do you want to make?”
That? And THAT? ALL of THAT?!
Alright, let’s get to it.
Cook sticky paste. Shred strips of paper. Blow up balloons.
Mess, mess and more mess.
Black -- paint everything black.
Not one, but two poster boards
affixed to one another like civil engineering construction.
Information, you need information.
Type. No, focus! Now type. Dude, FOCUS!
(Are we almost done yet?!)
Hot glue, packing tape, wire, paste –
we would have used the adhesive properties of spit if needed!
What about that spot?
OK, how about including this?
More glue.
Almost done.
Good - I have exactly 24 minutes of patience left.
Finally, the apparatus is trussed up and completed.
He is thrilled!
He can’t wait to show his classmates HIS project!
I secretly email the teacher:
I was labor. He was management.

Hmmm, analyzing my life, I’m seeing a trend here …


Mya said...

Molly! That's where you've been...struggling to cope with the demands of boy bossy boots. I have one of those - although he hasn't reached the obvious black-belt levels of your little guy. Yet. I hope the ant was a success - it blimmin' well should be after all your hard work and effort. Hang in there.

Mya x

molly gras said...

Mya, darlin', so glad to hear from you! And yes, I possess a boy bossy boots who's really too demanding at times. BTW - I love the nickname! He's going to be called that from now on!!

Hang in there, try not to consume too much of Sprog's Easter chocolate and I'll be by to comment in a day or two!

ta-ta :)

Dave said...

Management thrilled with labor?

Time to renegotiate the contract!

"You have to build a what? How's the room looking? Use your fork to pick up that food!"

Jeni said...

Congrats to you -and to your task master there too on a job that to me, looks like one very well done. Boy -quite the imagination he has going to conceive of that project!

molly gras said...

Dave -
Wow! That's so crazy! Your parent/child dialogue ... it's like you were here or something!!

And regarding contract renegotiations: labor = dreads looming deadlines + desperate for peace and order + low threshold for whining; management = holds ALL the power with regards to above mentioned labor requirements.

*luckily, labor somehow manages to organize outright revolts and strikes when the need arises! :)

Jeni -
Thanks for the lovely compliments! And yes, that boy of mine has an incredible imagination. He'd LOVE to do more independent projects; however, refer to *above* labor requirements to see why I'm always putting the kibosh on him!

Posolxstvo said...

there's a future for that young man in project management