Let me just tell you that this book is a mother's worst nightmare. It seems harmless, innocent and fun, but it's W-O-R-K. Because this book is filled with all kinds of fantastic crafts to do in order to become a pirate. Crafts like making a sign for your 'cabin,' making a 'treasure chest,' and the jewel at the end--making invitations for your pirate party!
And these crafts involve cutting, gluing, painting, staining...all kinds of nice, clean, no mess projects, right? We have checked this book out on multiple occasions, and every time it is the same. Cory goes through the pages and wants me to help him with every single project. Because, since it is in the book we have to do it, right? How else can he become a pirate?
So, this last time he held it up at the library I tried to say "no, absolutely not," but we were finishing up the summer reading program that had been a pirate theme, and it seemed like a logical book for him too want to check out, so I caved.
I told him he could do any of the projects he wanted...I would get him the supplies but I wouldn't actually sit and do them with him. He would need to enlist his sister or an older friend if he needed more help. I thought that would be enough.
They made cabin signs and a treasure box with some success, and I figured all would be happy. But, apparently he noticed the page about having a pirate party, and WHILE I AM COOKING DINNER! he is in the kitchen asking me to help him make his pirate party invitations. It had to be done right then. He continued to nag, and I continued to try to tell him that it would have to wait, but he was persistent.
So I heated the water to put the tea bag in, because the paper had to be stained and old looking, while I continued working on dinner. I told him to get 3 sheets of paper and have his sister help him write an invitation. Yep, we were going to have a pirate party the next day. Nevermind the fact that I didn't have any game ideas or food, and less than 24 hours to come up with them at that. I think Riley was not happy that she was stuck writing the same invitation 3 times, but they got them finished and we put them outside in the tea water to stain. Afterwards we laid them out to dry. Cory was so eager to deliver them to his friends--every 5 minutes he was bringing me the papers asking if we could hand them out. Finally they were dry enough, and we handed them out...then I ran to the commissary for a few things to eat at this 'pirate party.'
The next morning we made all the final preparations and Cory donned his pirate outfit (the same one he wore to his preschool 'graduation' a year ago). Pretty soon his friends arrived and it was a party.
I had created a map of the neighborhood with a trail that led us to various activities.
The Ga-Ga pit became an ocean, and they sat in little boats and waged battle against each other with wadded up newspaper for bullets.
In the end, it was a great morning and a lot of fun. But I guarantee that I will not be checking that book out again in the near future. Until he holds it up and looks at me all sweetly, and then I cave. Because, truth be told, I enjoy the creativity too.