On Monday, Alexis brought home a gingerbread boy from school that we were supposed to decorate and return by Friday. Alexis was ready to go to town on it with her markers when I opened my big mouth and said, "Hang on, lets think about it for awhile. It might be more fun to use different things to decorate it, instead of just coloring." She agreed to think about it for awhile and we left it alone. Then, on Wednesday, we picked up her little carpooling buddy and in her hand was the cutest gingerbread boy turned girl I'd ever seen! She had a grass skirt made out of spaghetti noodles, lined with colored paper clips and a variety of other things. Since then Alexis has been wanting to make a "hula girl" (Thanks for that Chelsea!), but still I encouraged her to think of a different idea.
Let me pause here and mention that for the most part I dread doing homework with Alexis. We just don't work well together. I know I'm the adult in the situation, so that falls on me, but the girl is a tyrant. It's her way or the highway. And the highway is a long mess of loud, whiny tantrums. Do you think the gingerbread boy project is any different? No. It's the worst homework project we've yet encountered, amplified by 1000.
So this morning we finally tackle the project (because why do things ahead of time?), and she informs me that she wants to make one of three things. Either a missionary, an Indian, or a human. I guess the first two don't fit the category of the third?? Following which she declares that she wants to make Pocahontas, using fabric, complete with the one strap across the shoulder.
She passes up all the yellow and brown fabric in favor of the pink and sparkly ones--this is unlike any Pocahontas you have ever seen. We got to work, and I lasted about 15 minutes before I became too frustrated and had to leave the room. It would have taken several hours for us to finish at the rate we were going, but after I left she was done in twenty minutes. It's a simple Pocahontas Gingerbread Boy/Girl, but she is happy with it. And if I weren't such a control freak I would have realized that she was better off doing it on her own in the first place. Alexis spends her whole days creating. She'll gather her supplies, retreat to the dining room table and spend hours making whatever her imagination thinks up. Sitting there creating is probably what makes her happiest and she is always pleased with what she thinks up. So why did I feel the need to butt my big nose in in the first place? Sometimes us parents just get in the way and mess things up. And that is what I have learned today.
P.S. Meanwhile Tyler ran around playing, sans pants. This was a treat because the child always insists on wearing pants.