Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer To-Do List

I don't know if your kids are cut from the same over-achieving cloth as mine, but we had barely scraped the gunk from her lunchbox and shaken the Goldfish build-up from the bottom of her backpack when my girl announced her summer goals:

1. Read War & Peace
2. Learn a second language
3. Gather food and clothes for the homeless
4. Get the true homeless experience by:
a. building a tent in the backyard
b. cooking eggs on a hot sidewalk
c. burning leaves with a magnifying glass (in case you can't find heat this winter)
So, I put aside her Mensa application and set off to purchase a magnifying glass while she pulled the chip clips off every opened bag in the pantry and culled sheets and towels from the linen closet.

Anyone with functioning opposable thumbs can rig a tent as long as one can find two tallish somethings to attach twine or a clothesline to. Lucky for us, we have two trees in the yard that worked. After stringing the twine, we chip-clipped the sheets into place and she laid a patchwork floor fashioned from old curtains and beach towels. A few accessories later--including a strategically placed mosquito-deterring plant, her iPod, a Beats Pill, folding table, a fan/spritzer bottle, plus a best-bud--and she was good for an hour or so. Until she got hungry. And then too hot. And then saw a spider.

Once the tent had to be taken down so Dad could run the sprinklers, she decided to attack her next challenge and enlisted the help of her best boy bud. (The fact that he was wearing a T-shirt with an appropriate saying was a bonus.) We picked the first day the temps soared over 100 degrees and once the sidewalk seemed sufficiently preheated, let 'em drop!  

Ew, touch it! 

Maybe this will cook it faster. 
Turns out they don't cook but rather congeal. 

No one was daring enough to see if they were edible. Except the dog, later. And probably that weird cat that hangs out around here at night. 

Then she had bigger fish to fry things to try and set fire to. Turns out magnolia leaves are pretty crunchy after they fall off the tree and dried palm fronds worked too. All we needed was to get the sun's rays coming in at a good angle and pretty soon the leaf started smoking. 

It wasn't long before the driveway started smelling like a outdoor music festival. But before I could say 'Bonnaroo', she was off again--looking for things to set fire to.

Then she heard me mention this cultural phenomenon known as 'the summer slide' so, of course, she was determined to tackle that as well, my precious gifted one. 
Now, we've started the countdown to school and will try our best to not break something or set the house on fire. We like to keep our goals manageable around here.

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