Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bug Bodies

Oh my goodness . . . ten days later. Divorce doesn’t lend itself to a lot of cute blog posts. Everything’s going OK considering the circumstances. Each day’s a little different.

There are moments when I have to ignore everything I hear or dread to check in with what I know in my core, and I remember how I got here. And although this time of transition is messing with my mind, I’m at peace with the decision and bracing myself for the looming change.

So let me tell you about Bug Bodies.

Daisy has a monthly homework project to be completed with parents. The thing is no joke, and this month was an insect game. Daisy and I came up with the concept, purchased supplies, and assembled the game parts. Daisy worked on the questions with her dad.

The concept was that you earn bug parts by answering questions about insects correctly with the goal of assembling a complete bug. The number of questions you’re given is determined by a role of the dice. What kid wouldn’t want to play that? I imagined marketing it to Hasbro. We would become game millionaires and spend the rest of our lives dreaming up new concepts for learning tools that would literally transform lives. Every night would be family game night.

As Daisy colored the bug parts, I repeatedly reminded her to slow down. She was going too fast, leaving huge white spaces. She enthusiastically shouted back at me, “Slow down? Mom, I didn’t know! You want me to slow down WHEN I’M COLORING and THEN I’ll do a good job? Mom, I never knew that! I never heard that my whole life until now.” It might sound sarcastic when you read it, but her tone was sincere in a kid politician sort of way.

We tried to make the bug parts interchangeable, which led to some serious Velcro engineering, especially since the parts were not consistent sizes or shapes. At the beginning of the final night of work on the game, Daisy told me I was a genius as she watched me laminate. Figuring out the Velcro pattern took up a ridiculous amount of time, and hours later, I was snapping at her to pick up the 6 million uncapped pens she had meanwhile knocked on the floor. While hanging her head and arms off the side of her chair, she declared with a medium-high amount of drama, “Gosh, Mom. I’m just a kid.” GET. OUT. OF. YOUR. SEAT. AND. PICK. UP. THE. PENS. NOW. “O-K!” Homework projects. Good times.

Daisy was disappointed with the feedback she received from the other second graders. She said only one person liked Bug Bodies. Everyone else got a serious face – she demonstrated a look that was definitely not entertained – when they played. I’ll guess we’ll stick to the life of amateur game creators for now.


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