Well, actually I'm building a model yurt...for a school project for Katie. I so do not like school projects. Can't the teachers/curriculum setters believe that I spend enough quality time with my daughter WITHOUT doing huge school projects with her? Yes, maybe wrestling with her is not helping to expand her mind...but I also fail to see how forcing her to listen to me as I read to her information on shelters around the world is expanding her mind when she is barely listening.
I'm learning a lot, though...and I've already learned a lot as a parent. For example, since this is my second child, I already know the misery of school projects, so THIS time, I chose a project that was at least interesting to me. I had no idea what a yurt was, but through the interesting life of someone I knew fleetingly many years ago (a facebook "friend"), I had heard the word and seen pictures, so I decided to make that our shelter. (Thanks, Craig!) Starting out with something that is interesting to me is a great and wonderful idea I wish I had implemented sooner in my parenting career.
So far, I've read about real-life yurts (used by nomadic people in the grasslands of Mongolia), learned about the climate in Inner Mongolia, discovered that there is a company that sells yurts to people, park systems in the US, and businesses (and now I want one, of course, because I want everything), and have started to build my own model yurt. Oh wait? Is this supposed to be Katie's project?*
*But come ON. I won't send her to school with a model shelter made entirely herself, I'm not that stupid. I know I would only have to deal with her tears when she says it isn't as good as the other model shelters. I'm trying to tell myself it is enough to have her help me assemble the yurt, to have her sit with me as we research yurts, to practice her writing as she writes up the paper on yurts, etc. And putting in these hours of work on my (whoops, Katie's) model yurt is much more palatable to me if I know I'm not going to be dealing with a temper tantrum, or tears (hers or mine) now, this afternoon, or when she comes home after seeing the other kids' model shelters of the world.