March 6, 2006
It’s been hard keeping up with the blog this week.
I wish there were a way to describe this to someone who hasn’t been through it. But the short of it is, unleashing the creativity of young people is stressful and makes a helluva mess.
I’ve been doing this for 7 years. My motto:
Seven years and no fatalities!
Of course, there there was the year that #1 son broke #2 son’s collar bone. That was vaguely DI related. I’d rolled up the rug so we could tape off the performance area on the hardwood living room floor. And #1 tried to get #2 to try something ‘really neat!’ which would have resulted in him punching himself in the balls. Instead, his feet slipped on the floor and he went down on his shoulder and had to prepare the rest of his DI skit with his arm in a harness while his brother looked guilty.
And we came closest the year the kids made me so mad that I was having this dream where I’d killed them all and couldn’t bury the bodies deep enough and the bones kept poking up through the dirt…
I told the mothers of the team this. The all chipped in and got me a chamber of commerce gift certificate which they advised I use on a massage.
I used it on car repairs for Satan’s mini-van. Not having the CHECK ENGINE light on is almost as relaxing as a massage.
And they sent the kids back the next year, so I must not have looked too crazy. Actually, they’ve been around these kids, too. They know why I’m crazy.
That was the year with the water clock.
Every year, they have a different challenge. That year they had to make a timing device that could trigger 5 different special effects. They started with a device that dropped marbles.
Colin, the destructive one, managed to break a marble. I am still in awe. I left him alone for a few minutes, and he broke a marble. How was this even possible?
When they switched to the water clock, Emmett, the voice of reason, said it was because Colin couldn’t break water.
Then we discovered how hard it was to suspend 2 litres of water high enough to create a decent, two level gravity feed without having the tubes come undone and leak water all over the coach’s living room.
This was kind of like the year we discovered what happens when you throw dry ice into boiling water. What happens is: the reaction is so violent that two quarts of water jumps out of the kettle, straight up in the air and lands on the coach’s rug.
Since the coach is me, the coach goes, “Whoa. Didn’t think that would happen. Somebody get a towel.”
And then there was the team that was all elementary girls. As a mother of sons, this was not my specialty. I was trying to teach them about France for an acting challenge about taking a trip to a foreign country. After weeks of work, the only French landmarks they could recognize were The Louvre, which they thought was “a big glass triangle” and Euro-Disney.
This was also the year that they wrote on my woodwork, which stays forever as an example of HOW WE DO NOT ACT at coach’s house. I may look like I have no limits, when I am encouraging kids to use my coffee table as a sawhorse, but there are some lines that should never get crossed.
That was also the team that painted my dog. Just the tail. It was the only part they could reach.
And this is why I allow boys to break marbles and drown the living room furniture. It is because they still mange to be less trouble than girls.