100 Days-Take 2

Hello Friends,

This post is ultimately about Cricket’s recent “Hundred Days of School” project, but it’s gonna take a minute to get there.

We just celebrated the 100th day of school, with both girls taking on projects. As I was watching Cricket’s come together, I thought back to Sweetie’s project from her Kindergarten year. Then, when I didn’t post a picture on the exact day, I realized I had fallen into the “second child” cliche.

I’m not sure how it is in your family, but we constantly struggle to give the girls equal treatment. Sweetie is older but quieter, so she can drift to the background easily. Cricket is second but gregarious and grabs your attention. But a look at their photo albums shows the extent of this problem. Sweetie’s starts in the hospital and is consistent up to her third birthday, some pages bursting from the stack of un-sorted photos. It’s a veritable Encyclopedia Brittanica of the start of her life. Cricket, on the other hand – cliff notes. No, really. Many pages with no photos or any information recorded, even though she’s been around for over five years.

And that’s how it goes with the second kid, right? Parents have less energy in general, the developmental milestones are expected and no longer unique, and you don’t cling to every little thing that happens, you don’t hang on every behavior and correct it to an expectation. Huh, reading that makes it sound bad, like I’m an awful Dad. But I know I’m not alone here, folks.

So here’s my attempt to bring balance to our house. Celebrate! Behold Cricket’s 100th Day Project:

Just a panda strollin in the foothills

Mommy helped bring this image together, but Cricket did the painting and placing. That includes counting and hand-painting all 100 of those noodle-bamboo shoots. And the “100” cloud? All her.

All in all, I think this project went well. It served as a good reminder to me to celebrate the girls’ accomplishments, however small, as equally (and specifically) as we can. Cricket engaged the project, which was very cool to watch. And, we made the trip to school without the project getting ruined. Now if only she had allowed the teacher to keep it to display with the rest of the class…

So remember, friends, second children need love too. And for those of you with more than two kids, you have my respect. Given that my hairline is receding and graying from two, I don’t think I could handle another! We’ll see you out there, friends!

100 Days

Hello Friends,

The girls just celebrated the 100th day of school. The teachers use this milestone to teach about the number “100”. They excercise creativity and make up fun counting and grouping activities. Sweetie’s teacher requested that the kids bring in 100 pieces of a particular item for their celebration. Here’s her submission:

We discussed the project for two weeks without settling on a particular item. Then, while cleaning and sorting some bricks, I came up with a Lego-based project (okay, didn’t mean to be literal there). I ran the idea past Sweetie and we agreed on three sets of 25 bricks and one set of 25 random pieces (understood and translated by Sweetie as “rainbow”).

After double-checking my brick count, Sweetie got to building. She went with a school/classroom build in alignment with the theme. And I just let her build.

This is all her, with one exception. She was having a time getting the yellow gate to act like a door, so I made the suggestion to put it on the propeller. I pulled that bit o’ genius from my “Lego Maniac” days. See if you can spot some pieces from those days. Yep, there’s some classic space in there, along with windows from the town hospital set, and obviously two of the minifigures are retro.

I’ll write more about my history with Lego bricks at another time. Suffice to say it was many happy years of building. My long-time friend Captain Jack and I were often at odds as I would keep the kits together and organized, while he would combine them to create complex, original structures. Isn’t that the Lego dilemma? Good times, though.

I enjoyed watching Sweetie build her project with Lego. So thank you TLG for inspiring yet another generation to build with your blocks. I have to admit I was taken aback by the project as a whole, though. Are we really that far into the school year? It feels like time is flying since we moved back into the house. And I really can’t use that as an excuse anymore. Well, we’ll just have to look forward to the next 100 days!