Wednesday 7th September 2016

It’s after 9pm and I feel like I’ve only just sat down, since today ended up being a lot busier than I had expected. The puppetry class was being held at school today, since Friday is a curriculum day, but I got mixed up and thought Jericho’s class wasn’t having it today. So I went up to school expecting to do it with Soren’s class for an hour and then come home, only to find that Jericho’s class was doing it for two hours in the morning and Soren’s class wasn’t doing it until the hour before lunch. So I was up at school making puppets from 9 until 1.30. I did a lot of work too, since today was apparently the last day they had for paper mache and probably half the kids were nowhere near done so they needed a lot of help.

At least this time Jericho didn’t let his anxiety get the better of him, and between the two of us we got the paper layers on his puppet that he needed and had fun doing it. I helped Soren too, since he asked, although he seemed less concerned with the whole task. He’s a lot more confident in what he’s doing than Jericho, who just seems to worry incessantly about doing it ‘right’.

I came home and ate lunch, and then spent the rest of the afternoon planning and talking to Mum on the phone. I had to put paperclips on all my little fish to make them magnetic, and then I had to trawl through a bunch of youtube vidoes of Indonesian folktales and download them so I can use them tomorrow. That was kind of a last minute lesson, since while talking to the puppet teacher I learned that the children are supposed to write stories for a puppet show with their puppets, and the whole thing is supposed to have some kind of ties to Asia and folktales. Or something, it wasn’t exactly clear. But I said I could get the kids to read/listen to some folktales to get the idea of the kind of stories and characters they might be about.

I hadn’t finished doing that when it was time to take Emma to hockey training. We had to leave early so we would have enough time to stop at the supermarket and buy her something to eat, and also stop at Bunnings to buy me a stick of balsa wood to make fishing rods out of. Did that, waited at training until she was done, drove home, ate tea, finished downloading all the folktale videos I need, and made two magnetic fishing rods. And then finally sat down with my computer. I’m tired.

I love Jericho and Soren’s ability to make up stories and characters. I’m seeing it with their puppets at school, but it also comes out in their play at home. They’ve been playing with their Lego lately and are rebuilding the town on their table, and after each section they bring me in and explain what’s going on. There’s the bar and rec centre, where everyone goes for food and drink and video games, or to read the Pennynickel (which is the town newspaper Jericho made up). Then there is Frank the mayor’s house, which is large and fancy and includes a jetski parked in the garage. There’s the beachside sandwich shack and the forest with the kids’ treehouse. The one they built this morning made me laugh though, it’s a tiny detective agency run by a kid who just finished high school. He spent all his money renting a building and buying a computer and tools (a crowbar, a magnifying glass, a hammer, some handcuffs, a coffee cup) to be a detective and help the citizens with their “problems and mysteries”, as Jericho put it. Soren even built him a sandwich board to place outside his shop to advertise himself.


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