Projects

I know there are many blogs out there that give wonderful easy examples of how children can make beautiful crafts. This isn’t one of those posts.

My 12 year old rises to every challenge. I must admit I find it hard sometimes. Her boundless enthusiasm for projects is endearing, but her expectations are high and sometimes we find ourselves having to get involved in some way despite not quite being able to help her recreate what she has in her mind. She seems determined at present to test me even further by insisting that most of her projects involve a sewing machine. I’ll go into detail about my utter inability to sew on another occasion, but sufficed to say I am shocking. I can’t even thread the blessed thing.

She came home last Wednesday saying she had to create a model of the digestive system. Ah, I thought, finally a project that can’t go too wrong. Plasticine maybe? Clay? A nice pencil colour drawing?

Oh no. She wanted to sew a digestive system. “It’s fine” she said. “I just need to make an organ a day.” Of course.

On Wednesday night I went singing and received a message on my watch that said she “had stomach problems”. I started to worry about her, and to worry how we were going to cover her being off school. In the break I picked my phone up to call her dad and check how she was, only to be met with a photo of her holding a cuddly stomach she had sewn. The good news is she didn’t have diarrhoea. The bad news was she was sewing a digestive system.

The creation of this freaky system has been epic and in fairness we have only had to get involved with making the the sewing machine work (her dad not me obviously) and some final assembly. Oh and I did offer glueing support while she made a liver out of a car sponge. I genuinely never expected to utter the phrase “has your pancreas dried yet?”.

Not only has she made every relevant organ including a gall bladder (from a balloon and a bouncy ball), an oesophagus and a rectum, but she’s sewn velcro to each part so it can be taken to bits and put back together again. Because what self respecting biology student would want a digestive system that didn’t also form some kind of a jigsaw.

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I’m proud of her. Of course I am. It’s not every 12 year old that can sew a digestive system. Do they still have a record of achievement in schools nowadays? Maybe it could feature somewhere in the modern equivalent. Surely it has to be worth UCAS points?

My issue is she’s only in year 7. She’s juggling sewing intestines alongside playing football, climbing, being in a play and playing multiple musical instruments ( I know, that’s an act you’d pay to see). I keep thinking that something has to give, but to be honest she’s showing no signs of stopping any time soon. What will she be like in years 8, 9 and 10?

Last weekend she made a noticeboard and a skirt for her sister. She has a board with nails in ready for some kind of wool twining activity and she’s halfway through identifying a set of rocks and writing new song. Goodness only knows what she’ll want to start next.

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