Friday, March 9, 2012

In Desperate Need of Some Schooling

Well, once again Abby woke up this morning with a nasty cough. Around three this morning she had gotten up scared, and so the three of us were tucked snugly into one bed when the alarm went off at six. Jason and I listened to her wheezing and coughing, and both knew what needed to happen - Abby should stay home again. With a quick look at his schedule Jason confirmed that there was no way he could swing it today, which meant I'd need to stay home with her. Now, some of you may be thinking: Really, Elizabeth? You are really disappointed that you have to miss school again? Believe it or not, I am. Along with the fact that there were several things I wanted to be there for, I always feel guilty when I can't make it. We are short on subs you see, and that means when I can't get one the principal, or other teachers in the building, graciously step in to help out. Such was the case yesterday and today.

With that lingering guilt I faced another day home with Abby. Frankly, I wasn't up for another active day like yesterday. There was stuff I needed to do around the house, and that didn't include playing Barbies or putting on shows. I realized pretty early on that Abby was out-of-sorts as well. She was hungry, but didn't want anything I suggested. She wanted to watch a movie, but as soon as one started, she wanted a different one. She wanted to play dress-up, but none of the twenty or so outfits in her bin were what she wanted. We were both cranky, cooped-up, and bored. We needed something to do, we needed a purpose, we needed school.

So that's what we did.

I told her that it was time to do some work, and the girl was game for it. I printed off a few worksheets, like the ones she brings home from school, and we got down to business. Abby colored shapes, pigs, and practiced writing her name, and while she did that I got a few dishes done. When she was finished she still wanted to work, so I decided that we would pick a book, read it, and then do a craft.

The book we picked was Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper, a very cute book about a "boring" cupcake who spends the day on a plate with fancier cupcakes and by the end of the day is alone because he didn't get chosen. Since cupcakes are a particular favorite of Abby's, it was a good choice. I decided that Abby would practice using her scissors and we would cut out the parts of a cupcake and decorate it. The problem was, we didn't have any glue. A quick consult with the internet fixed that, and while I cooked the glue on the stove, Abby started cutting the tissue paper for the toppings. We made the cupcake together, with Abby having the most fun painting on the glue (our basting brush may never recover). Then we read the book, counting cupcakes and candles as we went. I was ready to let her off the hook at this point, but she looked at me and said, "Mom, more work!" Happy to oblige, we looked for a cupcake coloring page for both of us to do together.

Next, we had a bit of "indoor recess" as a reward for all our hard work. I made Abby a newspaper pirate hat and we had a duel. She chose the weapons - balloons. We eventually conceded it was a draw. Finally, we had worked up enough of an appetite for lunch, so we went on a field trip to the local pizza place and got one to go.

I'm happy to say that we are now both in a much better mood, having something focused to do together helped immensely. She is now happily playing with Miss Piggy in her bedroom, and I am blissfully spending a few minutes enjoying the quiet. Isn't it wonderful what school can do for you?

The glue recipe I used made far more than we needed, but I can
spare the 1/3 cup of flour and 2 tablespoons of sugar -
it went to a good cause.

Princess tissue-paper frosting, anyone?

Abby made sure that our candle had a flame -
it's no fun without one.

Arrrr, Matey!

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