I didn’t post over the weekend. Apologies. I was just too busy.
Busy having an exciting weekend, perhaps? Shopping splurge, spa break or dinner with friends/Husband perhaps? No, not a chance! Busy…doing Boo’s homework.
It had been a summer project to make a model of the witch’s house from Hansel & Gretel. At school I was constantly in trouble for not doing homework (because daydreaming was always much more exciting) and my mum essentially provided me with craft projects she’d done to furnish my GCSE Art, then getting huffy when I/she got a C (I only took the subject because all the cool kids did Art and swanned around with their big folders, creatively decorated, so I probably let the side down with my meagre efforts). Yet as soon as it’s someone else’s homework I’m
THERE! (I even typed out my sister’s entire dissertation for her despite a) it taking forever and b) the whole thing being way above my head.)
And so the house project reeled me in.
‘You could use actual sweets,’ it suggested.
‘We* could use actual sweets,’I stated…and headed off to Sainsbury’s to buy our building materials.
(*Note the use of the royal ‘we’ – Boo was to clearly have limited say in how this panned out, despite it being her homework.)
Using real sweets was a BIG MISTAKE as it turned out. Jelly beans, PVA glue and especially toffee are not a great combination. There was drippage! It went straight in the bin.
Option 2: Draw sweets, cut them out and stick them on.
It didn’t take the colouring-in of many jelly beans for Boo to get bored. Fine, I’d do it. Even once she’d gone to bed on the Friday night, there I was cutting and sticking, cutting and sticking. ‘If Damien Hirst can hire assistants and still claim the work is his own due to it being his concept then surely this is permissible,’ I reasoned.
Thankfully she’d drawn some candy canes herself, along with candy floss smoke, so it didn’t entirely look like my handiwork.
Saturday afternoon was spent with more colouring, cutting and sticking. I’d curtailed myself from entirely taking over the project and let Boo choose what to do…even if it meant she shunned my idea of Matchmakers as a wall like scaled down wood panels and instead chose gummy bears. Even though she got bored halfway through again. It turns out I’m no good at drawing gummy bears either. Oh well, at least it could pass as her work, although whether anyone would recognise that out colourful mutant-looking blobs were gummy bears remained to be seen.
Still, I was rather proud of my KitKat wall. It’s sad, I know.
It took until well past Boo’s bedtime on Sunday night to finish the project. I kept schtum about how her cookies would have looked better had they been those chocolate buttons with the multi-coloured sprinkles as the proportions would have matched the other sweets. Or at least if she’d used a more appropriate beigey brown. I’d had to tell myself to let it go so much I feared turning into Frozen’s Elsa.
With lollipop trees and flowers and sweet-wrapper door and windows it was done!
I was disproportionately chuffed. It was all I could do to stop myself from waking Boo up to show her. But it was 2am!!!
Monday morning, deadline day, we (yes we) proudly carried the finished house into school. Boo was the only one with a house to show off. Apparently the homework was optional. Clearly I am the only committed parent in the class. Or the only parent who should be committed. It had been a beautiful weekend and the others had probably enjoyed eking out the last days of summer, rather than obsessing over paper versions of candy.
Still, Boo got to show her house to a suitably impressed class…although I replicated my mum’s attitude to my -her – GCSE work: why wasn’t it shown off in assembly? Didn’t they appreciate how much work I put in?!
Oh well, I got to spend the weekend sharing a project with Boo and we got to eat a box of Quality Street so we could use the wrappers. So not an entire failure.
If I can learn to step back though, that might be useful. But there’ll be a limit to the time I can actually understand her homework and help in any way. So I shall be one of those annoying parents whilst I can. Sorry Boo.