Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Latest: Drawstring Backpacks, Slime and Sidewalk Paint, a Double-Sided T-Shirt Quilt, and Much, Much MORE!

It's been quite a while since I've updated you on my paid writing, and that's because I've had so much of it!

I substituted as site director for Crafting a Green World over the holidays (and yes, of COURSE Matt had to call me Director Finn), which means that for a while, I was writing five times a week, sometimes literally with a piece of pumpkin pie at my elbow. Fortunately, this was the best time to have the extra work, since Matt was on his vacation, as well, and with him playing with the kids, it wasn't too stressful to sneak off regularly and get these posts up:

You cannot have too many of these, by the way. They make organizing for extracurricular activities so much easier.

a review of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids (the kids made slime and sidewalk paint)

Giving the slime a haircut is always fun.

That was a lot of writing, right? Congratulations to me! 

Anyway, the other day, Will was pitching a fit about having to brainstorm topics for a personal narrative that I'll be requiring her to write next week. She didn't want to brainstorm topics; she WANTED to play half an hour of LEGO Marvel, but she wasn't allowed her last half-hour of screen time until after she'd finished her schoolwork. The only thing left on her work plans, however?

Brainstorm topics for a personal narrative.

After the huge temper blow-up, which thankfully took place in her father's company, not mine, she appeared in front of me, teary-eyed but belligerent, and I pulled her into my lap to quietly chill out for a while. After some chilling, she again expressed her desire to have her half-hour of screen time; I assured her that she had only one assignment left to complete before she could do that. She expressed her desire to NOT write a personal narrative; I assured her that she did not have to write a personal narrative today. Rather, she needed only to brainstorm a topic for a personal narrative to be written in the future. She asked why she had to write a personal narrative at all; I explained that much practice in composition is required before it comes easily, and that she will want it to come easily, so that she can focus on all that she wants to communicate one day. She said something along the lines of "how/why/what do you know about it, anyway?"

I looked at her in bewilderment, amusement battling with a bit of horror, and said, "Child, do you not know that your MOTHER is a writer?!? This is what I do all day when I'm not actively engaging with you. Writing is my JOB! Not even to mention--I used to TEACH writing, to COLLEGE STUDENTS! And you used to come with me sometimes! To my WRITING WORKSHOPS! Did you never wonder what was going on there, all the 18-year-olds in a classroom, me at the front of it talking to them, them asking me questions, me answering them? I was teaching them HOW TO WRITE!!!"

Once I had successfully made the child understand that I am a reliable authority in the field of composition and its instruction (mental note: must get my diplomas framed and hung to point out to them when they're acting belligerent about academics), the conversation resolved, the child finished her brainstorming, I praised it, and she actually promised me that she would not throw a fit at all next week about any part of the process of writing and editing a personal narrative.

I should have made her write that down and sign it, because I can guarantee you that she will throw a fit, likely at every single step of the writing and editing processes, but there was no time...

After all, the kid had a half-hour of LEGO Marvel to play!


Tina said...

Wow, that's a lot of writing (and reading for me to do)!

Funny that Willow was questioning your qualifications. I'm pretty sure Emma is well aware of the fact that I really don't "qualify" to teach her anything. Hence the reason we are always researching and learning together. Lucky for us, her da is pretty smart and remembers a lot of weird random stuff from school. Can't remember the conversation we had last week about our family vacation plans, but he can tell you all the grammar rules from elementary school.

julie said...

It's the story of my life that I'm kind of ridiculously overqualified for everything, and also not actually qualified for *anything*, you know? Need an in-depth lecture about the Medieval period, or your library books organized, or a leotard made from a T-shirt? I'm your woman! Need me to do anything that requires me to speak to another human, or to wear nice clothing, or to not throw Harry Potter references around? Yeah... no.

Tina said...


So awesome.

I totally get it, except for the overqualified part;0)

However, I am a wealth of information in regards to gluten and dairy intolerance, but I can never really explain it all well enough for other people to understand. Oh well. I'm happy, my hubby and kiddo are happy and that's all that matters.

BTW, I am doing a 1/2 marathon in Yellowstone in June. Any chance you and the gang are headed this way again this summer :0)

julie said...

YOU NEED TO BLOG ABOUT YOUR LEOTARD! I totally want to read that! I finished my first version last night, while thankfully Matt battled with Will over math instead of me. It looks okay, but I need to do a second draft that's a little longer in the shoulder, a little more narrow in the crotch, and a LOT wider in the booty, and I need to get some more FOE. Do you worry that the neck of your T-shirt leotard will stretch out over time?

Tina said...

I thought of taking pictures while making it, but realized I'd never get it done if I did. The t-shirt version was my test run before trying one with the spandex my friend gave me.

I used one of her daughter's biketard? (the leotard with the built in shorts- it's what Emma calls them) that fit Emma as a pattern. I needed to make a few adjustments, but she tried it out last night and said it was super comfy. I'll take a photo later and post it on Instagram so you an see it.

I'm not super worried about the neck band, but that's because this is the first time my child has worn a leotard so it didn't occur to me that the neck would get super stretched out (I'm assuming from repeatedly putting the thing on and taking it off).

I am excited to make her another one and I plan to eventually purchase some spandex from for a leotard or a swim suit. They have spandex with horses!