Job hunting is extra stressful for me because of my anxiety. I was glad to be putting it off until after PAX even though it increased my money worries. But I couldn’t resist the chance to apply at one of my favorite bookstores when they said they were hiring. It was almost like a sign. I was meant to have this job!
Only my surety ended exactly after that thought. Ever after I’ve been petrified every step of the way and dreading a rejection. I slaved over the application (it was a labor of love) and turned it in but I didn’t expect a callback. Imagine my surprise when I got an interview for the 31st. It was the very best day.
Since then, though, I’ve been a bundle of nerves. What if they don’t like me? What if my nervousness makes it impossible for me to say anything? What if say something unbelievably stupid and embarrass myself? I know that, whatever happens, when it’s over I’ll feel all right again. All of this is dread of the interview, not fear of not getting this job.
That comes next.
By the end of my month of babysitting I was not yet out of ideas. I was, however, completely out of steam. And supplies. I had a package of popsicle sticks left over and then the random supplies from the previous weeks’ activities. So I had Lily gather all the supplies on the table and I told her we were making party houses. Why? It was all I could think to make.
The problem with all crafts is my sweet Lily is an insufferable copy cat. She second guesses all of her ideas but thinks all of mine are the bee’s knees. Therefore, whatever I decide to make is what she wants to make. And if I’m not doing anything, she won’t either. I had to pick something I could make with popsicle sticks so I could be working and thereby keep her working. I’ve only ever made a picture frame and a house with popsicle sticks and houses take more time.
There was a bit of trouble with the pipe-cleaner roofs, involving some glue that wouldn’t hold and a major fit thrown over having fingers full of fuzz (me). And a minor argument over whether the large puffs were beach balls or bushes. But ultimately, Lily insisted this was the best craft ever. Plus, they really do look like awesome party houses.
She was extra proud of her palm tree made of clay and feathers. Honestly, I am too. She’s really a very creative kid, I just wish she thought so.
Scratch paintings are comprised of two layers: a colorful bottom layer and a completely black overlay. The objective is to scratch away as much of the black as you want to create a design. You can find them pre-made at Big Lots for a couple bucks and probably at Michael’s for an obscene mark-up. But I thought it wouldn’t be a very good craft if we didn’t make them ourselves. We started by coloring printer paper with crayons. I hated this part because it took ages.
Next we covered the whole page in black paint. Lily and I both loved this part. I was trying to keep the paint thin so it would dry faster. I even advised Lily to do the same. Thankfully she didn’t listen to me because, as it turned out, that was intensely stupid on my part. Thin paint means hard to scratch.
The worst part of this craft is the waiting but we found a way to keep busy. Specifically, we played war with Uno cards and a mildly enthusiastic audience. We had both cats spellbound, actually, until I decided I wanted to take a picture. Then there was one.
Time came to scratch our scratch paintings. We used wooden skewers. As previously stated, my painting didn’t work out well since I laid the paint on so thinly. But Lily’s turned out really well, and it looked particularly great hung up in the window with the sun shining through it.
First, I know you are all waiting with bated breath to see what happened at the end of the naked egg experiment. It was really awesome and the kids loved bouncing it and squeezing it.
Then I tried to get a picture of it bouncing and it ended up mostly on my pants. That’s the thrilling conclusion.
Next, the craft of the day was sock puppets. I was excited about this craft so I went all out: pipe cleaners, puff balls, googly eyes, feathers, and markers. I considered glitter but I didn’t want to face the horror of trying to clean it up afterwards.
We were all disheartened early on by the inability to glue pipe cleaners to anything except our fingers. I found a solution in forcing the pointy bit of the pipe cleaners through the top of the socks. It was not easy doing it to mine and I also had to do it for Lily’s. Fortunately, Aidan wanted a bald puppet. I made a Lucille Ball puppet. The kids shrugged at me when I told them and looked at them expectantly.
Lily was ultimately unhappy with her movie star puppet (the one on the far right with the yellow feathers). She ripped out the pipe cleaners that I had so lovingly shoved into the sock for her and threw a sulk. The only thing that would cheer her up was making a crown for me. Oh the things I do for her.
I know you’ve been waiting for this and I won’t disappoint you. Obligatory sock puppet play!