Saturday, 20 February 2010

Sticks and Balls Will Break My Fall...but Awesome Never Eludes Me.

Hello to all my blog fans

It's been a few weeks since I've posted on this here blog and really, that's not such a bad thing. My not having anything to write about on my Awesome Blog means that I’ve been kind of dull and not injured myself or done anything weird in the last while…that is until yesterday.

First up though…a wee bit of context. A few weeks back, we three took a quick trip to Moncton. For those of you not familiar with New Brunswick geography (And that’s ok. I’m not judging! When Sean applied for a job here in Miramichi, we had to look it up on a map…not New Brunswick…Miramichi. I did pay SOME attention in school.) Moncton is about 90min south of Miramichi. It’s the equivalent amount of time (just time, not distance) that it use to take Sean to drive from Coquitlam,BC to North Vancouver,BC during rush hour(s) for a pest control job. Anyway, we went to Moncton because Sorcha had a gift card to use at Chapters and Sean wanted to go to a comic book shop and we had a gift card for restaurants that are in Moncton but not in Miamichi. Now, Sorcha has a lot of books. Loads of books! She’d recently received 19 novels for Christmas so she decided that instead of buying MORE books she would use her gift card and some of her Christmas money to purchase a play set called “Crazy Forts”. It’s a set of 44 plastic sticks and 25 balls and you use these to create overly delicate forts that will collapse if spoken to in a mean way. “Just add bed sheets for hours of endless fun!” is what the box and website claim. I can think of a lot more fun things to do involving bed sheets that don’t involve sticks and balls. Oh wait…

Anyway, I knew doom was around the corner with the purchase of this precarious box of fun, but it’s what Sorcha really wanted AND she was using her own money. I could see looming before me, on a large granite slab the 10 or more things I would end up saying to Sorcha when she played with this new toy: “It’s never as easy as it looks on the box.” “You’ll have to patient and try again…” and pithier parent advice along these lines.

Because I’m not a complete ogre I helped Sorcha make her first fort. Actually, I made it while Sorcha stood on the side lines and said things like “Oh no!” whenever the stick came out of the ball…or a wall fell over…or I had to start again because the ball, which has about 12 holes in it for many angled uses, wasn’t lined up correctly making it impossible to line it up with the next stick needed to make the bloody roof. Eventually, I sent Sorcha upstairs for her shower and I constructed a fort of sorts. I put bed sheets over it and blankets and was quite pleased with the result. Sorcha too was quite please with it and played in it at least once before she took it apart a couple weeks later to make her own creation; which she did with out one noise or one cry of anguish. I actually didn’t even know she was making a fort until she called me down to show me what she’d created. She had a made tunnel. It was small, but she could squeeze in. All seemed right in the world of “crazy forts” and I thought perhaps I’d misjudged Sorcha and that maybe the only doom around the corner was of my own mental doing.

However, she did eventually accidentally collapse the tunnel and tears of defeat were present as was much stomping and “I worked so hard!” shouts from the basement. I consulted my granite slab for what to say and shouted “You’ll just have to build it again!” Very helpful and wise am I. The tunnel lay in pieces all week until yesterday morning when an attempt at a new structure was carried out. Halfway through, one of the sticks came out of one balls and it went down. Tears, “Do it again”, “This is a very delicate structure” followed. When I got home from work yesterday, I decided to help Sorcha finish her latest structure. She was attempting basically what to become a large box, with only 3 sides so that she could get in and out of the box. After completing the walls, and all was looking dandy, all that needed to be built was the roof. I went into the box and we hooked up the right amount of balls and sticks across the top the prevent collapse and in the process of doing so, I roofed myself into a corner. “Hmmm” I said and looked around my tight squeeze for a way to exit gracefully and with out damage to the new masterpiece of “crazy fort” fun. The exit out was neither graceful nor damage free; it was disaster…NO, NO…it was awesome. As I ducked out of the hole in the roof I lost my balance, teetered for a second on my weak ankles and fell sideways onto the left wall. This created a cataclysmic domino effect and the entire structure fell on me, under me and around me. I felt a pain on my left elbow as I crashed onto a stick and ball (and found out later that I’d actually snapped the stick leaving part of it in the ball) and pain in my back as I landed on a ball. I, as I usually do when I injure myself, laughed heartily. Sorcha however, had no compulsion to do this and instead cried “Oh no! Not again! I worked so hard on this! This isn’t funny!” As I lay there in a heap of “crazy fort” goodness, the laughter quickly turned to anger and in a very mature fashion I said something along the lines “Thanks Sorcha! I’m in pain here and all you care about is that your fort is broken!” I untangled myself from the mess and went upstairs to sulk. Sorcha followed me up to the kitchen and apologized over and over again. (This actually made me feel worse instead of better. I mean, I was 8 once and I probably would have reacted the same way. Slap stick is usually lost on little girls especially when something they care about in involved.) She earnestly said that it was OK and asked if I could please help her build a new one? I told her to go down stairs and start it again and I would be down when I wasn’t upset any more.

After I assessed that my wounds weren’t life threatening, I trudged down to the basement and together we recreated the box like structure (complete with bed sheets for hours of fun!) that happily this morning is still standing. This time we built roof by standing outside the structure (“Learn from your mistakes” it says on the granite slab of parent wisdom) which worked much better. Half way through the rebuilding Sorcha said to me “Mummy! Thank-you so much for breaking my fort! This time I’m building it more carefully! It will be stronger now!” It was an odd compliment but a sincere and heartfelt one so I just took it in stride. I mean I truly feel I do the awesome things I do to create life lesson moments for those around me. And clearly, the life lesson here is “Sticks and balls will break my fall, and my Awesomeness will help my daughter build stronger forts.” Lucky girl.