We've been grading exams and final papers and portfolios all weekend, mr. delagar and I -- final grades are due Tuesday by noon, an impossible deadline -- and the kid is off school, which is just deeply vicious on the part of the Montessori School, ma I mention in passing, and what does one do with a nine-year-old in the Spring in Pork Smith? (She turned nine last week. How did this happen? We just got her. What's she doing coming up on 9?)
She has been playing in the yard a great deal (she's building a swamp, she informs me, and honestly? I don't care. Let her, is my feeling at this point) and reading a great deal and running through epic sagas with her molded plastic dragons and griffins and other mythological characters, which we got from the cool toy store, and her battalion of tiny cheap plastic soldiers, which we bought for $1.29 from the gas station on the corner...but all this can only occupy her so long.
So yesterday she says she's bored.
"What?" I cry, with fierce loud delight. "What did you say?" (This is what I always do when she says the b-word.)
She quails. "No! No! I didn't mean it!"
"You're BORED? Are you BORED? Oh GOOD!" I leap up from my stack of essays. "Splendid! Because I have just the THING!"
"I'm not -- I'm NOT bored! I--"
I filled a bucket with water and soap and made her scrub the kitchen floor, which my God did it need scrubbing.
Not only did she do a splendid job, she loved it. "I like scrubbing!" she told me, half an hour later. "What else needs scrubbing?"
Maybe nine isn't the worst thing.