First, the heartwarming one.
My fifth grader and I made sugar cookies recently. He enjoys baking sometimes and was thrilled when there were enough cookies to share with his classmate. "Mom, can I take cookies to school for my classmates?" Me: Sure. Just check with your teacher. Him: I know! I could pack little cookie snacks for our class walk-about in two days. Me: Perfect! My son proceeded to package ziplock bags of three cookies each and each labeled with the student group names for the walk-about. He did this all on his own without any help from me. He put all the bags into his backpack for the next day. I was so proud of him.
Upon returning from school the next day I inquired about how his classmates enjoyed the cookies. With just a hint of a downcast face he said, "I never gave them to them." "Why?" "Because they all got crushed in my backpack." And with that, he took out the Ziplocks. Oh! Such a sad, sad sight, all those crumbs. I felt so bad! He was so thoughtful and giving and spent time and care preparing the snack packs, all to no avail. But he didn't seem too phased, he shrugged, sat down on the couch and logged onto his computer to play a game.
I was very proud of my thoughtful, independent, kind son that day.
Second, the hair-pulling one.
So, my daughter decided that her passion project for school would be to create an auquaponics system similar to one her science class had made last year. Over the course of several weeks we collected all the needed components like a plastic bin, gold fish, clay beads, net pots, styrofoam slab and plants. The day came for her assemble it all. I happened to step out when she decided to move forward with the potting the plants phases. This happened to involve removing the plants from soil pots to replant them in the clay beads. Sounds easy enough and logical enough, but to a thirteen year old brain. . . Not so much. Her logic told her to loosen the roots from the soil by soaking them in water. . . In the bathtub!
I arrived home to a tornadic disaster in her bathroom which involved a gazillion little styrofoam beads and potting soil over everything. But the best moment was when I pulled back the shower curtain (mom, we have a little problem). The bathtub was full of black water deep enough for a luxurious mud bath. That was the point where she handed me the drain stopper with, "For some reason it's not draining."
(Deep breath. Count to ten.)
What are you thinking, Mom? Say something.
These are going to be the most expensive green peppers I have ever eaten. Okay, let's get a pail and you can start bailing over the balcony.
And that's what she did.
Two hours, sixty trips to the balcony,and a gallon of liquid plumber later the bathroom was good as new.
Repotting 101: don't soak roots in the bathtub to remove soil.