Friday, June 12, 2020

7 Quick Takes about Papers from School, Some Unlikely Pet Owners, and Fun with Play-Doh

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


We got a letter in the mail about a safety recall on our van.

Apparently there's an issue that could potentially start an engine fire. Until we get it repaired, the letter says in very urgent underlined letters to park the vehicle outdoors and away from other vehicles or structures!!!

Seeing as how our van is 14 years old, we probably could've been warned earlier that it could burst into flames at any second.


I picked up all the kids' artwork and belongings from the elementary school this week, and looking through it all was quite entertaining.

For instance, every Monday my kindergartner was asked to journal a response to the question "What did you do over the weekend?"

This entry was from the fall, way before the shutdown, but I thought it was particularly timely:

Also what we've been doing for the entirety of spring.


My 8-year-old has been begging for a pet for a long time, but quarantine has made her absolutely desperate.

Everyone is getting new puppies and talking about them in her class meetings, and she's losing her mind. At this point, she'd sell her soul for a goldfish.

Unfortunately, Phillip and I are not Pet People. Pets smell, wreck your furniture, make a mess, can't be left alone for very long, and poop everywhere  all things children do, too, but it somehow it doesn't feel worth it when it's not a human baby.

When I leafed through the papers I picked up from my 8-year-old's class, though, something made me reconsider.

It was a persuasive writing piece, in the form of a letter from my daughter. It was addressed to me, and just in case her impassioned pleas for a pet (literally ANY pet) weren't heartbreaking enough, she signed the letter "Your Lonely Daughter."

With a sigh, I knew what we had to do. The letter was dated January, and this was no passing whim. Pet People or not, this girl needed an animal to love.


When my 8-year-old giddily announced at her next class call "I got two rats!!!" her teacher literally recoiled in horror.

Some people won't understand our choice of pet. That's okay.

Rats are smart and entertaining to watch. They can even learn tricks. They're quiet and clean, and what mess they make stays contained in a cage. I had a pet rat in high school and she was the sweetest thing. Plus, look at these little faces:

If you could see one eating a Cheerio with both hands like a jumbo donut, you'd understand.


The kids named the rats Piper and Scout.

Since one of them likes to lay on the other one, I thought it would be fun to call them Flopsy and Doormat, but I was outvoted.


About the issue of cleaning up poop. We made a chart and it's the kids' responsibility to clean out Piper and Scout's cage  I mean, their manor.

That's right, I had a good laugh at the name on the cage's box: the Merry Manor Rat Home.

Merry Manor Rat Home: the clear choice for the discerning rodent.

When we put them into this thing, I halfway expected Scout and Piper to ask if I had any Grey Poupon.

Some sources claim you can actually litter train rats. You put a tray in the corner and then relocate any poops you find to the litter tray until they get the message that's where they're supposed to do their business.

Yeah, I don't know about that, either, but the litter tray was $2 so I guess it's worth a shot. (By the way, the label says "Critter Potty: A Durable Plastic Pan for Bathroom Breaks." If I'd known pet products had such hilarious verbiage on their packaging, we might have gotten an animal sooner.)


One thing I like about having a wide range of ages in our family is that it gives the older kids an excuse to do things they technically grew out of years ago, like playing pretend and building with Legos and swinging on the swingset.

Even if the teenagers aren't enjoying it in quite the same way as the 4-year-old, they're still having fun and staying young.

The other day I printed out these play-doh mats, slipped them in plastic page protectors, and gave everyone play-doh and lots of craft stuff to stick in them.

(I am in love with page protectors, you guys. Next to baby wipes, they're the single most useful parenting item there is. You can print out a chart or checklist, put it in a page protector, and you have an easy wipe-off surface for marking with a dry erase marker. We must have a dozen of them hanging all over the house.)

Anyway, the kids were really creative with their play-doh creations. They made beautiful cakes, lifelike people, and a few nature scenes.

But my 4-year-old's interpretation of "ice cream sundae" was definitely the most unique:

Mmm... googly eyes.

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Unknown said...

Actually those little rat faces are adorable! But then I'm partial to cute rodent faces. I loved checking in on Jon's hamster before bedtime. When I was checking on the kids of course;)

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Rats! They are super cute. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the play doh mats. I'm printing them off now!

PurpleSlob said...

Ummmm, I so relate with the teacher's reaction!! Your daughter now officially owes you her life! lol