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Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Later this month, my twin granddaughters Katie and Kelsey turn 17. The other day, I sent a text message to their dad regarding gifts. Here is our exchange…

Rocky: For the girls’ birthday… cash or gift cards?

Britt: Thanks for asking. Cash seems to work best these days.

Rocky: Roger.

Britt: They really deserve coal.

Rocky: Suck it up, Dad. Your function right now is to provide a target for teenage angst.

Britt: Seems I am ground zero.

Poor Britt. He’s a good guy and a good dad, but his fate is to endure the classic parental trial by fire with two teenagers at the same time. That’s brutal.

When my boys Britt and Dustin were teens, at least I was able to deal with them one at a time, several years apart. How would I have coped — or failed to cope — had they been a tandem? Ugly to contemplate.

To be honest, I regret that my parenting skills were never tested on girls. I always wished that a girl had been in the mix. They say boys are easier to raise, but I’ll never know.

What I do know, having been both a teen and a parent, is that parents play a hugely important role during the teen years — as sounding boards and punching bags.

Teenagers need a safe way to deal with and vent some of that pesky angst. If they can’t do it at home, they’ll be forced to find another outlet. That scenario isn’t likely to end well.

And frankly, the parents don’t need to be very good at the task. Or calm and adult about it. They can even rant and blow their cool, if so inclined. No strategy is necessary. You’re free to wing it.

A parent must, however, adhere to a few simple rules: provide the target; keep it in the family; refrain from throwing anybody out of the house; and make it clear that whatever sparks may fly, you love your kid anyway.

Compared to Britt’s situation, I guess I had it easy: one kid at a time.

As for Dustin, his daughters are now 13 and 10. His time is almost here, and he’ll get the same kind of “break” I did.

On the other hand, Dustin and I have to navigate these waters twice. With Britt, it’s one and done. That certainly has its appeal.

Survived

 

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Phenom

In 2006, during high school volleyball competition in North Carolina, a kid named Dana Griffin set a record (as far as I can determine) by serving 48 consecutive points.

That’s 48 straight points while serving, not points scored during play. He did it over the course of three games won by his team 25-0, 25-1, and 25-6.

Impressive, yes, with the caveat that in any sport, fantastic streaks happen only at the lower levels. In college and the pros, the talent is too good to allow it.

I mention this because young Dana’s record of 48 points may not last much longer. Don’t be surprised to see it broken by Maddie “Mad Dog” Smith of Jefferson, Georgia.

At age 12, my granddaughter Maddie is a volleyball phenom in the making. On the court, she is steady and effective. She understands the game, plays smart, and gets better every day.

Three years ago, she started playing on a team at the Jefferson Recreation Center, and it quickly became apparent that volleyball is her sport. Today, she plays for her middle school team in the fall, and she plays “club volleyball” in the winter.

Her winter team, Lanier Volleyball Club, is affiliated with the Junior Olympics organization, which prepares girls 10-18 to play in college. Maddie and her teammates are serious, dedicated, and surprisingly good. Many of them, including Maddie, also take private lessons.

Last weekend, Lanier participated in a regional tournament featuring a dozen clubs from around Northeast Georgia. The entourage of parents, grandparents, and other supporters packed the stands, and the noise level was high.

Saturday morning, Lanier won its first game and lost the second. As the tie-breaker was about to get underway, I moved to a spot on the sidelines to take photos. Sports photography isn’t my thing, but I take so many photos that some are always worth keeping.

As I watched the girls practice, a man and woman in their 40s arrived, got settled nearby, and nodded a greeting.

“Our daughter plays for Fayetteville,” the woman said. She pointed at one of the players. “That’s her, number 11. Where is the other team from?”

“Gainesville,” I told her. “My granddaughter is number 16.”

The three of us chatted for a few minutes about the girls, the gym, the weather, and what-not. Then the teams took their positions, and the game began.

Fayetteville served first, and the ball was out of bounds. Lanier was ahead 1-0.

Maddie, who has a killer serve and is the designated opener, approached the line.

She served, and the ball dropped neatly between two defenders. Lanier 2-0.

She served again with the same result. 3-0.

“My goodness,” said the lady from Fayetteville.

Maddie proceeded to serve and score another 12 points straight. Some serves were returned, and several volleys occurred, but each time, Lanier managed to score and retain the serve.

In the end, Lanier won the tie-breaker 15-0. Maddie had served 14 consecutive points.

The couple from Fayetteville walked away without speaking. Maybe they had to be somewhere.

Serving 14 straight was just the beginning. During the next round, Maddie extended her streak by scoring another 24 points in a row. In all, 38 consecutive points served.

After the games, when I rejoined my relatives and the contingent of Lanier supporters in the stands, everyone was abuzz about Maddie’s scoring streak.

“I’ve been around volleyball for years,” said one parent. “I never heard of anyone scoring 38 straight points.”

No, Maddie doesn’t deliver that kind of performance every time. She has served 10 or 15 straight a few times, but never more than that.

And, like all the girls, she has occasional bad days. In fact, later that afternoon, Lanier lost twice and finished the tournament in third place. They were bummed.

As you can tell, I’m proud of my granddaughter and her accomplishments at such a tender age. She has genuine talent and the support she needs to strengthen it. For me, it’s a joy to watch.

Next year will be Maddie’s final year in middle school, but she probably won’t play there. Jefferson High School plans to invite the more promising middle-schoolers to play on the JHS junior varsity team, and Maddie is a prime candidate.

Last weekend, the volleyball coach from the high school came to the tournament to assess the play of Maddie and the other Jefferson girls.

Mad Dog picked the right time to show her stuff.

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ABC Package is a large and well-stocked liquor store in Athens, Georgia. From its convenient location on Atlanta Highway, it has served the alcohol needs of the University of Georgia student body for 25 years.

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ABC Package opened in the early 1990s, coinciding with the years my sons Britt and Dustin were students at UGA.

Both boys, it turned out, conducted business with surprising regularity at ABC Package. I learned this when I would balance their bank accounts (this being the old days, before debit cards and such, when writing checks was still a thing), and I would see checks payable to ABC Package.

Oddly enough, they both had the same explanation for this — five years apart, mind you — which they expressed to me with sober, stone-faced sincerity.

The conversations went something like this…

————

Rocky: Britt, I balanced your checkbook yesterday and made a deposit. I see you wrote four checks to ABC Package. Seriously?

Britt: Oh, that. Well, the thing is, ABC Package is the only place in Athens that will take a check for cash. I go there to get spending money.

Rocky: You don’t go there for beer or liquor or anything.

Britt: Nope.

Rocky: I see.

————

Rocky: Hey, Dustin, tell me about these checks to ABC Package. Did you think I wouldn’t notice?

Dustin: Dad, it isn’t what you think. ABC Package is the only place in town that will take a check for cash. That’s why I write checks there.

Rocky: So… you write checks to a liquor store, but not for alcohol.

Dustin: Correct.

Rocky: I see.

————

All of which reminds me of the classic question, “You expect me to believe that? What do you take me for?”

The correct response being, “Everything I can get.”

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Allie’s House

Last month, in a box of old family papers, I found a letter my dad sent to his brother John in New York in 1980. Inside the envelope were these items:

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In 1979, Dad purchased two small houses in rural Hall County, which is north of Atlanta, and flipped them. At the time, he was retired from 20-odd years in the Air Force, plus retired from another 20 years in banking. He was working as a realtor, and remodeling the houses was a money-making project.

That’s because, by 1980, Dad had put two of us kids through college, a 3rd was attending, and the 4th was in high school. Financially, Dad had a rough couple of decades.

Where he learned residential construction, I don’t know, but he certainly knew how it was done. Over the years, in addition to flipping the aforementioned two, he built three houses. In the late 1940s, he built and sold two homes in Savannah. In the mid-1950s, he built the family home when we lived in Panama City, Florida.

Although the Panama City house was quite nice, the others were, as the above photos indicate, minimalist. In those times, minimalist was perfectly acceptable.

Dad was in his mid-60s then, and remodeling a house is a  lot of work. After the 2nd house sold, he allowed his career in home construction to end.

I remember the Hall County places pretty well. Several times back in 1979-80, I went there with him to haul supplies, sweep the floors, haul away trash, etc.

Their exact location, however, faded with the years. That area isn’t the same as in the old days. The peaceful country roads are now six-lane thoroughfares. Instead of houses like Dad’s dotting the countryside, there are massive gated communities.

But finding Dad’s letter changed all that. The flyer gives precise directions. I Googled it, found the spot easily, and, of course, made plans to go check it out.

Thus, late last month, 36 years later, I drove to the southern edge of Hall County and turned onto Williams Road. Honestly, I expected to find a subdivision there. Or a shopping center. Or an auto parts store.

Instead, there were Dad’s houses, both occupied, both seemingly in good shape.

I pulled into the driveway of house #2. A woman and a little girl sitting on the side deck watched me with interest. When I stopped and turned off the ignition, the woman disappeared into the house.

The girl was a pretty little thing with curly red hair. She stood at the top of the steps, studying me. A bit defiantly, I thought.

We stood there, looking at each other. Finally, I said, awkwardly, “Hi.”

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Rocky,” I said. “What’s your name?”

“My name is Allie. I’m four, and I go to school.”

“Wow, you already go to school?”

“Yes. I’ve been going to school for a long time. I’m smart.”

(When I hear a kid brag about being smart, I tip my hat to the parents. For the first dozen years of their lives, every kid needs to hear, and believe, that they are smart and special. It promotes healthy development, mentally and socially. It helps kids reach their full potential. In my humble opinion.)

At that moment, the woman emerged from the house. “Allie, leave the man alone. Go inside.” Allie didn’t budge.

“I’m sorry to bother you,” I said in my best aw-shucks manner, “I stopped because my Dad built* this house a long time ago. I haven’t seen it in years. Do you mind if I take a photo to show my brother and sister?”

“My husband is on his way,” she said. “Better ask him, but I don’t see why not.”

“Rocky, can I be in the picture?” said Allie.

“Honey,” said the mom, “He doesn’t want you in it. He just wants the house.”

“What’s going on?” the dad asked sleepily as he stepped onto the deck. It was, after all, a Saturday afternoon, and a working man deserves to sleep in.

I repeated my request to take a photo, adding that Dad also built* the house next door.

“Sure, no problem,” he said, then turned and went back inside. I felt a sudden urge to yawn.

“Thanks very much,” I called out as I walked back toward my car. I took a few photos, trying to make it quick.

“Hey, Rocky!” Allie yelled from the deck, her mother’s hand on her shoulder, “Take my picture now!”

I tried to imagine how the parents would react if I actually took the child’s photo. Not well, I suspect.

But the mother defused the situation. “Come on, sweetie,” she cooed. “Let’s go inside and have some cake.”

“Okay, Mama! Bye, Rocky!” said Allie with an exuberant wave.

Dad, your houses are doing just fine.

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House # 1.

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House # 2, Allie’s house.

* Built, remodeled, whatever.

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I am the oldest of the Smith children, and when we were growing up, I was hard-wired — compelled from deep within — to pick on my younger brother Lee for sport. That’s the way of things with siblings in their youth.

Today, that same scenario is playing out with my granddaughter Maddie, 12, who gleefully needles her nine-year-old sister Sarah.

I’ve tried to convince Maddie that she is simply instructing Sarah in the art of taunting — that Sarah will become highly skilled at cunning and trickery and ultimately will have her revenge.

But, just as Cassandra was cursed so that no one would believe her prophesies, I am ignored. Maddie’s continues to tease and torment her sister at every opportunity.

But then, I didn’t listen when I was Maddie’s age, either. Call it irony. Call it destiny. Karma. What goes around, comes around.

And, based on how things are progressing, Retribution Day is not far off.

——————

Last Tuesday, I was on kid-sitting duty for the afternoon. When I arrived, a steady rain was falling. Maddie and Sarah would be housebound, cooped up with me and the dogs, left to pass the time with music, television, and laptops.

Before long, tired of those options, they decided to get out some blankets and make tents in the living room. This is a regular rainy-day thing.

Tents

The girls soon were inside their tents, Maddie with her laptop, Sarah with Leroy, their new Black and Tan Coonhound puppy.

Sarah and Leroy

The TV was off. The living room was silent. I settled back to check the news on my tablet.

Moments later, Maddie’s arm reached out from under the blanket and felt around for her water bottle. She found it and brought it inside the tent.

Moments after that, the arm reappeared to return the water bottle from whence it came. As Maddie probed for the spot, the hard plastic bottle dinged against the hardwood floor, making a loud bonk that interrupted the silence.

“What was that?” said Sarah from inside her tent.

“What was what?” Maddie replied.

“That loud noise. That knocking sound.”

“I didn’t hear anything,” said Maddie, sensing an opportunity to exploit the situation.

“There was a loud noise! I heard it!”

“Sarah, you’re hallucinating. Leave me alone. I’m trying to rest.”

The room grew silent.

After a brief pause, Maddie reached out from under her tent, held the water bottle a few inches above the floor, and rapped it against the floor. Another bonk ensued.

“There it is again!” Sarah exclaimed from beneath her blanket. “What is it?”

“What is what?” said Maddie.

“That knocking sound! I heard it again!”

“I didn’t hear anything! Hey, Rocky! Did you hear anything?”

I couldn’t bring myself to tell the truth. “Me? No, I didn’t hear anything.”

“Well, I heard it, and I know I heard it!” said Sarah. “Y’all are just playin’ with me!”

“You’re demented, Sarah,” said Maddie.

The room got quiet again. For the next few minutes, there were periodic bonks, followed by the same conversation of inquiry and denial.

Finally, after what turned out to be the last bonk, Maddie slipped up.

“Sarah, something is wrong with you! That sound you hear, it’s just in your head!”

Suddenly, Sarah popped up from beneath her blanket.

“‘That sound you hear’? ‘That sound you hear’?” she bellowed, pointing a finger at Maddie’s tent. “So, you admit it! I’m hearing a sound!”

Quietly, Maddie came out from under the blanket, her hands covering her face. She was busted, and she knew it.

Simultaneously, the three of us began laughing.

The sudden noise frightened Leroy, who wiggled out from under the blanket and scampered off to seek the protection of the other dogs.

Leroy 7-16

 

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My youngest granddaughter Sarah, age nine, raked in a lot of cash on her birthday last April.

The birthday money, plus her share of the proceeds from the girls’ recent lemonade-and-cookies sale, adds up to about $300.

Sarah, it turns out, is quite frugal. She is loathe to spend money, especially if a parent or grandparent can be cajoled into footing the bill.

Her sister Maddie, age 12, is wired somewhat differently. Maddie (who also has finely-honed cajoling skills) believes money is for spending, and the sooner the better.

That being so, Maddie usually is “bereft of coin,” as my high school English teacher used to put it, and she often is envious, even covetous, of her sister’s comparative riches.

Maddie’s birthday was last week, and a few weeks earlier, she told me — no surprise — that she hoped she would get money from the family, not gifts. Greenbacks. Moolah. Cold, hard cash.

But she realized that asking her relatives for money would be rude. What to do, what to do?

Well, I told her, if the suggestion came from me, maybe it would be less rude. So I emailed the greater Smith clan about it. Everyone was okay with giving money.

Thus, at her birthday lunch, Maddie ended up with an impressive amount of the green stuff. As she sat at the head of the table, counting and recounting it with relish, her eyes sparkled.

And she already had plans to start spending it. She made me promise that immediately after the lunch, we would go to the mall to shop.

More about that directly, but first — about the lunch.

This year, Maddie had two birthday parties. The bulk of the relatives took her to lunch that day, and her parents took her to dinner.

The birthday lunch worked out well. We booked a party room at an Olive Garden near the Mall of Georgia — the mall being  a convenient location for the Smith relatives, who are scattered all around north Atlanta.

The unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks flowed without limit. The cake, at Maddie’s request, was red velvet with one symbolic candle.

My brother and his wife livened up the event by bringing her six-month-old great-nephew.

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He entertained us by sucking on a slice of lemon and reacting as you would expect.

Maddie was surprisingly good with the baby, as well as gracious, polite, and on her best behavior.

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With intermittent exceptions.

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Sarah, as always, was the life of the party.

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Later, among the various conversations going on, I spotted Sarah and her grandmother Deanna off to the side, talking in whispers. I noted that Sarah had relocated the Olive Garden sticker from her eye to the center of her forehead. I walked over.

“But Grandy,” Sarah was saying, “You said to leave my money at home.”

“Honey, I meant you should bring a little spending money, but not all $300,” said Deanna.

“But now I don’t have any money,” Sarah moaned. “And we’re going to the mall!”

“Sarah, how about this,” I said. “I’ll give you $40. It’ll be yours to spend as you like. When we get home, you just pay me back the $40. A simple business transaction.”

“Do I have to give you back $40 AND all the money I don’t spend?”

“No, no, you get to keep the change.”

So the deal was made. Two 20-dollar bills changed hands.

After the party was over and the other Smiths had departed, Maddie, Sarah, Deanna, and I drove to the mall.

“I want to go to the Lush store and then to Bath and Body Works,” Maddie said. “They have cosmetics, lotion, perfume. Things like that.”

“Yeah,” said Sarah, “Maddie is really into cosmetics and soap lately. She –”

“What’s wrong with that?” Maddie barked.

“Nothing. I’m just sayin’ you’re into that stuff.”

Lush, I learned, sells handmade soap, cosmetics, and such. The store is very colorful, very fragrant. In fact, Deanna said the scents were too much for her, and she left to wait outside.

I endured the aromas a bit better, but had to step outside a few times myself while the girls browsed.

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After about 15 minutes, Maddie took her basket to the counter and paid for her selections. We rejoined Deanna.

“Bath and Body Works is this way,” said Maddie, heading away with Sarah skipping along behind her and the grandparents hurrying to keep up.

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Around the  next corner, Sarah suddenly stopped. It was a Build-A-Bear Workshop.

The store was loaded with countless bins of unstuffed animals beckoning to be stuffed and accessorized. Sarah was enthralled.

“Deanna,” I said, “You go ahead with Maddie. Sarah wants to stop in here and look around.”

Build-A Bear sells a variety of ready-to-be-stuffed plush toys, including teddy bears, dogs, cats, rabbits, Disney characters, Star Wars characters — you name it.

After you choose an unstuffed toy, you take it to a large fluff machine, where an attendant fills the toy with stuffing and sews the body shut. Then, on the way to the checkout counter, you pass a wide selection of clothing and other accessories offered at additional cost.

“I’ve never bought anything at Build-A-Bear,” Sarah said, pacing in front of the bins, sorting through the animals. I kept quiet to allow her to concentrate.

Finally, she announced, “I like this one” and held up a Pink Cuddles model, a shocking pink teddy bear. The cost was $16, one of the lowest prices in the store.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she added nervously. I assured her that a Pink Cuddles was an excellent choice.

Our next stop was the fluff machine. Sarah handed the bear to a smiling attendant, who sat down at the controls.

“Do you want to add a scent packet for $3.99?” asked the attendant. Sarah shook her head no.

“Do you want to add a beating heart for $6.99?” Sarah said no.

“Okay, pick out a regular heart to place inside your bear.”

Sarah selected a small red satin heart from a bucket of red satin hearts.

“Okay, hold the heart in your hands to warm it up.” Sarah held the heart in her hands.

“Place the heart against yours.” Sarah did.

“Give the heart a kiss.” Sarah looked at me quizzically, kissed the heart, and handed it to the attendant.

“Now make a wish,” said the attendant. Sarah gave me another look.

The formalities having been concluded, the attendant inserted the satin heart into the bear, then rammed the bear onto the end of a metal tube through which the stuffing would be blown.

“Honey,” the attendant said to Sarah, pointing at the floor, “The stuffing starts coming out when you step on that peddle.”

Sarah gave it a stomp, and the procedure commenced.

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After the bear was stuffed and sewn up, we moved to a computer console to fill out the bear’s birth certificate.

Date of birth: 6/14/16
Parent: Sarah Smith
Height: 16 inches
Weight 8 ounces
Name: Sprinkles

Sarah decided not to buy Sprinkles any clothing or accessories. The total cost of the transaction: $16 plus tax. I was very proud.

“Rocky,” she said as we left the store, “It was awful when that lady rammed the metal pipe inside poor Sprinkles! How terrible! How gruesome!”

“And you know,” she continued, “I did NOT make a wish like she said. What does that have to do with anything? And kissing the heart? Seriously?”

“Well,” I said, “Build-A-Bear has a lot of very young customers. The younger kids probably enjoy all that.”

“Yeah, I guess I’m getting too old for Build-A-Bear — but I’m glad I did it!” She gave Sprinkles a heartfelt hug.

I learned later that Maddie spent about $100, not quite half of her birthday money, on cosmetics, soaps, lotions, fragrances, and essential oils. Sarah spent $16 plus tax on Sprinkles.

It was, in both cases, entirely in character.

And neither of them had the slightest regret.

RD-8

 

 

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Here in Jefferson, the school year just ended. That means my Jefferson granddaughters Maddie and Sarah are loose for the summer, and kid-sitting duty has commenced for us grandparents.

Conveniently, all four of the girls’ grandparents live in town, so we each have the duty one day a week. The fifth day usually manages to take care of itself — a parent working from home, a Rec Center field trip, a play date, or whatever.

Maddie is almost 12, and Sarah just turned nine, so having someone stay with them is just a formality. The girls are fully self-sufficient. They prefer to fix breakfast and lunch for themselves. They pass the time with laptops, music, TV, swimming, etc.

All in all, they are enjoying the indolence of summer vacation, as they should. For the grandparents, being there is merely an opportunity for face time with the girls — when they haven’t disappeared into their rooms for reasons unexplained.

Last summer, Maddie and Sarah caught heat from their parents for obsessing over MineCraft, and their computer usage was restricted to certain hours of the day.

This summer, the parents are trying a different approach. The girls were given a list of chores to be performed daily. As long as the chores are done by the end of the day, the girls are free to do as they like.

When I reported for duty that first Monday after school was out, the chore list was the main topic of conversation. The girls’ obvious goal was to get the chores done quickly, painlessly, and with minimum intrusion on play time.

For the record, both girls take the chores edict very seriously. They posted formal lists of the assigned tasks on their respective bedroom walls. This is Sarah’s list.

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And this is Maddie’s.

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Before I continue, some context information about Sarah would be helpful.

In the last couple of years, Sarah has blossomed creatively in a major way. She especially enjoys sculpting with clay. Her room is filled with countless tiny creations that she formed and painted, all from scratch.

Last year, for example, she made this impressive figurine, which is about two inches long.

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The doll’s feet snapped off recently, and Sarah had to make repairs. No problem. It was just another creative project.

A few weeks ago, she made this 4-inch-tall Starbucks latte, also from clay. It’s either a Molten Chocolate or a Pumpkin Spice.

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With kids, you never know whether an intense interest like Sarah’s artistic streak is an ephemeral thing or the real deal.

But for now, it’s serious enough that her parents set her up with this very nice work station. This is where the serious creativity happens.

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Now that you know a bit about Sarah’s artistic inclinations, you can better appreciate the gadget she created in connection with the summer chores.

“Hey, Rocky,” she said as we waited for Maddie’s chocolate chip muffins to bake, “I made a ‘chore wheel’ to help me decide which chore to do next.”

“A ‘chore wheel?'” said I.

“Yeah, I cut out a paper wheel, and I wrote all my chores around the outside edge, and I put a thumbtack in the middle and stuck it to the wall. I spin it, and wherever it lands, that’s the chore I do next.”

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Sarah’s chore wheel.

Amazing, I thought. This is true artistic expression. It’s clever, creative, and entertaining.

“Well, don’t just sit there. Go get it. I can’t wait to see it.”

A few moments later, she was back with the chore wheel.

She allowed me a few seconds to study the thing, then snatched it away and bounded across the living room. She chose an open space, affixed the chore wheel to the wall with a pushpin, and gave the wheel a spin.

“It landed on ‘Feed hamsters!'” she yelled over her shoulder. “That’s my next chore!”

At that moment, Maddie walked into the living room and saw the chore wheel tacked to the wall.

“SARAH!” she bellowed, “You made a hole in the wall! You can’t do that!”

Sarah rolled her eyes.

“Come on, Maddie,” I said, “It’s just a pushpin. All it made is a tiny pinhole. I’ll patch it with a muffin crumb.”

“Well, Mom doesn’t like holes in the walls! She’s gonna have a COW!”

“Let’s see what chore I’ll do next,” Sarah said calmly, and she gave the chore wheel another spin.

The chore wheel landed on “Feed hamsters” again.

Maddie leaned in and peered closely at the chore wheel.

“Ha!” she snorted, “The thumbtack is off-center, so your wheel is off-balance! It’ll land on ‘Feed hamsters’ every time! Nice going, Sarah!”

“Easy enough to fix,” said Sarah. She plucked the pushpin from the wall, grabbed the chore wheel, and headed upstairs to the work station.

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The artist displays her certificate for “outstanding art achievement,” bestowed earlier this month at the 3rd grade Awards Day ceremony.

 

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