I. am. a. robot. (Final Installment)

Production complete.

I’m delighted to report that Project Robot has been delivered to a satisfactory conclusion.

After sitting on the dining room table for over a week, buy viagra awaiting assembling, Lola’s disembodied head finally joined with her body and other remaining limbs and the masterpiece that is Lola the Robot came to life.

Having being tempted with the superglue once again, but managing to resist, copious amounts of pritt stick, just shy of a full roll of sticky tape and lots of finger crossing and willing it all to hold together led to a successful construction of said robot.  Needless to say, Super Daddy didn’t take the opportunity to flex any of his manufacturing engineering muscles as the mere mention of glitter sent him running, so all construction activities rested with the ladies of the house.  Under some clear direction from the mini project manager and designer, I was allocated the task of sticking it all together.  Being ever so confident in my abilities to deliver against this task, mini project manager was more than happy to delegate authority over that whole task to me whilst she attended a friends’ birthday party. I’m not sure if that says more about her delegation skills or my control tendency or whether she’d simply lost interest and I actually just wanted my dining room table back.

In an attempt to adhere to the blueprint as much as possible, some last minute improvising with the inner tubes of the kitchen foil and the jelly tots tube was required in order to give the tea boxes some inner strength to be able to support the weight of Lola’s disproportionately large body and head. I fashioned them into bones and slotted them nicely between the base of her body and in through the boxes. She balanced precariously for a while before I found the right position to allow her to stand. Super proud of our efforts, much photographing of the finished article took place once Little Princess Pink has returned from her afternoon partying whilst I’d used my only free hour and a half in the week to finish her school project. This definitely says more about me than her.

So arrived Monday – take your robot to school day.  The anticipation was just as high as it had been on the morning of the school Halloween party, only this time we weren’t building ourselves into a frenzy over the likely costumes of classmates, but of course, the turnout of many covered foil and glittered boxes. Lola had to be transported in a large blue Ikea bag as we didn’t have any other mode of transport quite big enough for her.  She also got to sit properly in the front seat of the car on the school run, with a seatbelt on of course, just in case we had any emergency stopping incidents which could result in Lola doing some slow-mo crash-test dummy style tricks.

Little Princess Pink was adamant that she should be the one to take Lola in her carrier down into the school playground, after all, it was her project and all her work.  Hhhm. I was relegated to carrying of school bag and lunchbox. There was much ooh-ing and aah-ing as the children started noticing one anothers’ robots, and the babble of exchanging of tales of how they had come up with their great design ideas grew louder and louder.

The display was spectacular. Pink furry robots, robots with purple plaited hair, robo-dogs, camouflage robot, Batman robot or would that be Robobat? Robots taller than their creators, dinky robots that sat neatly on the palm.

Lots and lots of silver foil.

But if you looked really, really closely, not at the robots, but at the faces of each and every parent standing in that playground, first you’d see pride in their own offspring’s creations, then slowly you’d notice the sneaky little glances around at all the other productions, you might see a little glint of ooh, not quite jealousy, but more of a ‘wish I’d thought of that.’ Then thankfully, and rightly so, a reversion back to pride. Because after all, even with a wonky head, wobbly legs, squint eyes and an arm that’s got about 3 seconds left before it drops off, every single robot was one to be proud of.

Well done class P1K!

 

 

I. am. a. robot. (Part 1)

I fear I’ve gotten a little carried away with myself.  You see, here purchase today I started a new project, information pills malady or rather Little Princess Pink did.  As it’s the school holidays we don’t have the usual Jolly Phonics sounds and flash cards for homework, no, we have the far more inspiring and exciting…… Robot Homework Challenge!

In the interests of helping the nippers learn about 2D and 3D shapes in a creative and fun way, all Primary 1’s have been tasked with crafting their very own robot over the next week and a half using any junk modelling and craft materials they have at home.  Having an arts and crafts box that could rival an entire Hobbycraft store, Little Princess Pink and I set about the challenge with gusto.  Like some kind of torturous touchy-feely team building exercise, I witnessed from the off that Little Princess Pink shares one characteristic with Super Daddy which, shall we say, is at the opposite end of the spectrum to some of those which I display when setting about a new task or project.  LPP full of enthusiasm, bursting at the seams with great ideas  and just itching to get started, was desperate to wrap three toilet paper tubes and a rice crispies box in some shiny tin foil and bobs-your-uncle, hey presto, ta da…..’Lola’ the Robot.  I on the other hand, whilst not wanting to be one to dampen her enthusiasm was keen that we reflected  further on the task in hand and perhaps undertook some form of planning exercise before construction commenced. There’s the project manager in me.

Surprisingly she was quite agreeable, and came up with the suggestion herself that we drew a blueprint (her word, not mine) of the Robot, whom we kept referring to as ‘he’ despite already tagging him/her with the moniker Lola (after our goldfish). Using a blue felt tip pen, LPP carefully sketched her first idea of what Lola should look like.  Her plan was simple. We’d draw the blueprint, and from that, identify which shapes we needed to make up the component parts, and only then set about the house on some kind of crafting, robotic treasure hunt seeking out body parts for Lola.

One sketch, some scribbled notes and twenty minutes rummaging in every corner of the house later and we had located every identified object which would form some limb or other for the greatly anticipated robot. Taking after her mother this time, LPP donned a painting apron and spread old newspapers all over the kitchen table so as she could crack on with task 1 – naming and numbering of the constituent parts of the production, and a developing an ordering system for how we should paint or decorate each part.

First came the painting.  Having discovered a Dulux  tester pot in ‘Chic Perfection’ (a silver grey) lurking on my desk in the office (not having actually found its way to the walls in the hallway for aesthetic testing) we began slopping and slapping this all over a Pampers size 5 nappy box which would be the robots body. Early on in this phase we identified through a crude risk analysis that we simply weren’t going to have enough to cover the whole box, and made a strategic decision to cover only the top and two sides in this colour and use red paint sprinkled with silver glitter on opposing sides. With more left over in the tester post than anticipated, we tactically decided to adopt a similar approach to the smaller brown cardboard box we’d found in a rarely explored kitchen cupboard, which had contained a traditional sweet shop portion of chocolate limes (marketing idea adopted by Super Daddy for his like-named web design business). ‘Chic Perfection’ on the top and two sides, red paint and silver glitter on opposing sides.  With the creative juices flowing, and a robust robot production plan in place, all was going tickety-boo.

Then came the holler of ‘Ah don wannnnaa naaaap…’ from upstairs.

Little Monster Blue had spoken.

The creative team had company.

‘What’s this mummy?’ he asked, clamouring up onto a seat at the kitchen table and making a clumsy grab for the blue glitter shaker.

‘That’s glitter, big guy.’ I tell him removing it gently from his hands and placing it out of his reach at the other side of the table.

‘What s this one?’ he tries, making another fumble for a second glitter shaker, this time green.

‘That one is glitter too honey,’ I answer, ‘In green, your favourite colour.’

‘Yes, mine favourite.’

‘And what’s this mummy?’ he asks, successfully managing to expertly dive half way across the table landing one hand in the paper plate holding the red paint and grabbing the brush from the Dulux tester pot tightly like the baton in a relay race in the other. By the brush end.  With lots of paint still on it.

Exasperated by her brothers efforts to get involved, Little Princess Pink made a bid to quickly finish the outstanding painting activities – setting herself a critical milestone of 3pm as Chloe’s Closet was coming on tv – and she swiftly coated two Twinings tea boxes, and an empty Disney Princess colouring box in red and blue paint and vigorously shook a myriad of coloured glitter over every square inch (of the kitchen). The lid of a tube of jelly tots, a bottle of fizzy juice and a milk carton were also covered haphazardly in the now globby paint and glitter mix, but oh was it looking good.

With Little Monster Blue safely deposited in the playroom with Granddad Dogs Pick Up truck and a box of raisins, ‘Super Team Creatives’ (I know, I’m sooo geeky) continued our great work.

Pipe cleaners in pink, purple, red, and yellow were twisted round pencils to create  springy wire effects,  pink yoghurt pot ears were decorated with sticky foam numbers and letters to signify an explosion coming out of his/her head (!) and toilet roll tubes were covered in shiny foil ready to be attached by elastic and hoisted on as his/her arms when the time came.

With the time drawing close to 3pm, and my kitchen drawing closer to an explosion in a paint factory, we wound down production for phase 1.  A quick check of the blueprint, and we’re very nearly good to go on all body parts being primed and ready for manufacture. I feel I’ve brought my project planning, and creative skills to the homework challenge this far.  Super Daddy is the engineer – it’s over to him tomorrow for the assembly and construction process.

In the meantime, does anyone have any tips for getting vinyl silk off a two year olds hand?

 

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