Come play in my world for awhile!

Monday, September 22, 2008

This post has been hijacked by a stuffed toy

I started out intending to post about pumpkins. These pitiful little specimens are the result of my enthusiastic attempt to grow pumpkins from last year's spent jack-o-lanterns.

I had so many blossoms, I thought I would have pumpkins to share. Instead I got two. And they are small. That's why I used the picture with the stuffed dog -- for scale. I'm more than a bit disappointed as I put some serious effort into these pumpkins.

So as I downloaded this picture into my blog it got me thinking about that little stuffed dog. That dog is quickly becoming the bane of my existence. The dog's name is Cookie, and she is owned by Abby and Emily's Girl Scout troop. The premise is that Cookie goes home with a different girl after each meeting. The girl then completes a journal, with pictures, describing the joys and adventures that she has had while Cookie was with her. I love this idea. It's creative, it encourages the girls to write, plus it fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment when the girls bring the journal back to share with the troop.

We choose who gets Cookie by drawing names from a hat. The girl who last had Cookie chooses the next recipient. And every time a child goes to draw a name I say a little prayer that it won't be Abby or Emily. I know they love Cookie, and can't wait to bring her home. And yet I hope that she'll go somewhere else.

I suspect that Cookie's real purpose is to complicate life. Once Cookie comes home it is a constant succession of, "Wait! Mom! I need to get Cookie!" Or, "Mom, where's Cookie?! I can't find her anywhere!" At this point we are usually running late. Thanks Cookie.
The best, though, is when it's time to put the journal together. Optimally, the girls would write the journal entry. Realistically, this is how it actually works:

-Wake kids for day, and do mental checklist of what needs to be done
-Curse softly as I remember we have Cookie and need to have journal completed
-Talk to child over breakfast and identify memorable moments with Cookie
-Retrieve camera for last minute photo shoot
-Scramble in the dwindling minutes before leaving for school to photographically recreate two weeks of fun
-Rush to Target to get prints before picking kids up from school
-Realize I should have allotted at least 15 minutes more for the photos to print
-Curse again, but not quite as softly, as I realize I am officially running late and will continue to run late for the balance of the day.
-Sit in carpool line at school while taping pictures into journal and adding captions
-Rush to Girl Scout meeting where we present the journal and entries as if we have been diligently chronicling our lives with a stuffed animal for the last two weeks.

This is one of those parenting booby traps that I stumble upon occasionally. There is so much stuff that needs to take place during that two week period; family time, homework, chores, other activities. The list is endless. Conceptually, the journal seems innocuous. I promise myself that I will stay on top of Cookie. Hypothetically, it is doable. And yet it isn't. Life conspires against the achievement of the goal, and you end up staging photo shoots before school.
Here is Cookie terrorizing our rabbit. My kids are standing behind me shoving bagels in their mouths and watching me run around like a crazy woman. Hannah is reminding me of the time at 30 second intervals. She is convinced this last minute monkey business will make us late, but she is wrong. I am a force of nature when I am under the gun.
This picture seemed kind of sweet initially, but right after the photo was snapped the rabbit went berserk and attacked Cookie. Hard. Not such a good idea after all.

I really will do better. Next time.