When you have more than one child, you learn quickly that school projects repeat year after year. Some of the projects are more fun than others. Edible cell models can’t be made without giggles. Sometimes, the project is brilliantly easy to replicate. Leaf collections and cell organelle detectors can be assembled in an hour or two. Then, there are the projects that require far too much work for far too little results, like Flat Stanley.
Flat Stanley’s reputation makes an explanation redundant. Our school uses Stanley to make the traditional “What I did for Spring Break” report more fun for children. Instead, he is a photo-journalled reminder of what we didn’t do with our children during Spring Break. Our Stanley never goes to Europe, Disney or someplace exotic. He doesn’t spend the break from school on a cruise or at the lake house.
Once again, Stanley is going to be visiting us during the annual Boy Scout outing that leaves me outnumbered by children. The new factor in the equation is the absence of the absolutely amazing Sarah. Her absence is an unfillable chasm that makes the simplest of tasks unmanageable with Evan the unpredictable. So, I have begun creating Stanley’s schedule.
Stanley is going to experience the thrill of a Quiddich match as he sweeps the piles of dog hair from the floor. He will await a royal rescue and the return of his lost glass shoe during his daily efforts to remove the layers of construction dust from the furniture. His safety is uncertain when he experiences the real life Lord of the Flies aka playing outside in the yard.
If this is too boring for Stanley and the adult who is left at home, there could be Stanley cloning, Stanley mutation or Stanley zombification. One week to have fun with Stanley is worse than a closed Wallyworld with a deranged Chevy Chase. Forced fun is a test of parental creativity and sanity. I might fail both.