My first week back at work was rough, especially after not only being on maternity leave but having thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season. Okay, there were some moments where I thought I might lose my mind with so much togetherness, and here I must shout out a very belated note of thanks to Los Angelista: not only did Viva receive the SpongeBob Lego Rocket Ride set* in time for us to discreetly wrap it and set it under the tree, but she also received a SpongeBob Lego ER set. She literally played Legos for two days straight and refused to leave the house or change out of her pajamas. I know I said that she was crazy for both SpongeBob and Legos, but even I could not have predicted this extreme response. It was just a bit worrisome...
So anyway, as I say, going back to work was a bit of an adjustment. Cily is at a daycare center just five minutes away from my job and I’m actually pretty comfortable with her being there. I think Sweet Dub had more anxiety about it than I did, to be honest, because he hasn’t been there yet.
With going back to work and with the new baby, I’ve been feeling a little…removed from Viva, and so when she came home with the news that she had a science project to do – and then it turned out that in their science unit, they’re covering animals, and that the project involved creating a diorama and a mini-report – oh my God, do you even understand what a geek I am that I was so excited that we were going to work on this together?! (I am pretty sure that last run-on sentence was a hot mess, but hello, sleep deprivation.)
Viva told me the animal she’d chosen was a lion, and that she needed to create a diorama of the lion in its habitat and then write a mini-report about where lions live, what they eat, etc. I went to Target Saturday morning and along with new outfits for Cily, who is outgrowing all her clothes quickly, I bought a couple of lion figurines so we could get started. Of course, Cily was going through something this weekend, adjusting to childcare and then adjusting back to home, so her sleep has been all messed up and she was irritable, harkening back to her colicky days, and it seemed she just wanted to be attached to me 24/7.
During one particularly rocky period with Cily in the afternoon, at Viva’s urging, Sweet Dub emptied out a shoebox and they began work on the diorama (it’s due at the end of the month). Do you know they pretty much finished it?? It looks frickin’ great. Viva made a bloody zebra carcass out of Play-Doh and they printed out pictures of zebra herds and pasted them on the savannah background they’d already installed so it looks like the rest of the zebras have run away. She cut out long golden grass and stuck it here and there so the lions are kind of half-in and half-out of it. Viva ran to me to proudly display it.
“It looks fantastic, baby,” I said, and then to Sweet Dub mournfully, “I didn’t know you were going to do the whole thing!”
“She still has to write the report,” he said.
“That is not exactly the fun part,” I said. “You know I was geeking out about getting to do the creative part.”
“We still have to decorate the outside of the box,” he said in a conciliatory tone.
“Whatever,” I said. I had to console myself with reading one of the Junie B. Jones books all cuddled up with Viva. Her obvious enjoyment of the Junie B. series also pleases my inner geek. I gotta get my thrills where I can, people.
* Through a fantastic giveaway on the Los Angelista site! If you haven’t been over to Los Angelista’s, what are you waiting for? She posts just about every day and it’s always something interesting (unlike this space). So go, already!