Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Those of you who know our family well know that Endeavor did not get her domestic abilities from me. My limited domestic abilities have come to me slowly, over time. Endeavor was born with them.
During Endeavor's infancy, I noticed that she had a strange fascination with paper. She would seek out paper, no matter where I hid it, and shred it into tiny little pieces. Or crinkle it into small, tight balls. Or draw on it--because Endeavor always knew where the pens were, too.
It was only later that I realized that Endeavor was actually a talented papercrafter, her artistic expression limited in infancy only by the development of her small motor skills.
Then, there were the groceries. When Endeavor was a baby, we lived in Germany. We walked to the grocery store, vegetable market, and bakery on almost a daily basis. Endeavor rode in her stroller, and often tried to add items to our shopping basket. She could communicate more effectively with the baker than I could, before she was a year old--pointing out items in the display case with alarming good taste. She could bargain with the green grocer and get better prices on fresh vegetables than anyone in the neighborhood. Once, as I put groceries away after one of our shopping trips, I found her in the hallway, cracking open eggs to make sure they were fresh.
As a toddler, all it took to provide entertainment for Endeavor was some paper, glue, and a garbage can. She could make surprisingly fantastic collages out of glue and garbage with zero supervision. Endeavor made her first pair of toilet paper binoculars at age two, unassisted, string included.
When Endeavor went to preschool, her artistic expression really took flight. At preschool, she had access to way more art supplies than we had at home, and she was allowed to use scissors. I was a little shocked by what Endeavor could do with scissors. Shocked and awed. At parent teacher conference, her preschool teachers confessed to me that they secretly referred to her as, "Our little Martha."
At the age of four, Endeavor actually met Martha. Turning on the TV one morning, I started flipping the channels towards Sesame Street. Endeavor, standing next to me, cried, "Stop, Mommy, stop! I have to see this!" On the screen was Martha Stewart, knitting something. Off the screen was my four year old daughter, staring in fascinated adoration. "Look, Mommy," Endeavor said reverently, "that lady makes things."
Over the next few weeks, Endeavor begged me for more chances to see the lady she called "The Makin' Lady." Together, we watched Martha make felted acorns, customize a dog collar, hand-dye tights, and make her own valentines. I was intimidated and slightly bored. Eliza was inspired. In a weaker moment, I promised Endeavor that we could make Valentines just like The Makin' Lady had. I told her we'd do it the very next day.
I will spare you the tutorial on those valentines. All I remember is that they involved the shavings of old crayons, wax paper, a hot iron, a big mess, and most of a day. I also remember Endeavor waiting for me when I stepped out of the shower that morning, holding a pink shirt out to me she'd pulled from the back of my closet. "Here Mommy," she said seriously. "Wear this. Maybe if you try to look like The Makin' Lady, you will be able to make things, too."
I can't get too cocky, though. Endeavor is taking Family and Consumer Sciences, this year, making her a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. So far, her teacher has taught them to make vegetable dip and smoothies. The teacher offered her class extra credit if they would prepare a meal for their family--points would be added based on the number of items in the meal that the student prepared without assistance.
Here is the breakfast Endeavor prepared without any assistance--other than asking me how to turn on the stove (she thought the dial was stuck).
The Makin' Lady would be so proud!