This Damned House
July 26, 2010
(I wrote -- and intended to publish -- this entry on Friday, but Vimeo was taking FOREVER to do whatever technogidgetgabble it does to videos and I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for it and then I got bored and decided to bump this post to today. Which is why I am not bitching about HAVING NO POWER AGAIN, thanks to a fucking TORNADO, like WHAT THE HELL, first a tiny earthquake and now a tornado and I swear to God, there better not be a mildly-inconveniencing volcano next week that like, singes and ruins everybody's hair before BlogHer or something gaaaaah.)
A couple months ago, in a burst of GREATEST MOTHER EVER-fueled delusion, I came across this printable craft thing on Disney's website: a 3D paper version of the house from UP.
Why would this particular papercraft make me the GREATEST MOTHER EVER? Oh. Oh ho ho ho.
So yeah. Noah kind of loves the house from UP. He adores it. He builds version after version out of Legos and Duplos and one day we came home from camp to find that the babysitter had cut his peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich into the shape of a house, complete with a little door and chimney, and Noah screamed like it was the Virgin Mary appearing in a bowl of tomato soup.
Of course, the house from UP is not available in a handy and overpriced plastic version. (You know I checked. A lot.) This little cardboard cut-out version was the closest thing I'd ever seen to an actual, playable house-from-UP toy. And all I needed was a printer!
And...well, some cardstock. Where the hell do you buy cardstock? What is cardstock? Do they sell it at Target? Do I have to go to a craft store?
(Note: The last time I went to the craft store was when I was in search of a large decorative jingle bell and leather ribbon that sort-of resembled the one in Polar Express, because if there is an obscure prop from a not-widely merchandised children's movie you can bet fine cash money that my child will become completely, utterly obsessed with it.)
But I found and purchased some cardstock. Then I realized the instructions mention a craft knife, which I did not have, but what the hell, I bet the kitchen scissors will work okay. And glue. Surely we already have glue?
We did not, as it turned out, have any glue other than an ancient bottle of super-adhesive Gorilla Glue, which I was pretty sure is not the ideal choice for this sort of thing, but it was too late, Noah had spotted the print-outs in front of me and was already well into a shit-losing fit of anticipation.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: I spent four and a half fucking hours building that house. I spent an hour alone just cutting all the pieces and the insufferable little tabs out. I glued two of my fingers together and lost layers of skin from pretty much all of them. I ultimately ended up reinforcing the insides of that motherfucker with Scotch Tape. It was the most lopsided, pathetic little house you have ever seen.
Noah loved it.
For 15 minutes, anyway, which is how long it took Ezra to get his hands on it and crush it like a balled-up TPS report.
Noah was inconsolable. So I promised to make him another house, just as soon as I procured some better glue.
The next house was made with Elmer's glue and while I got the construction time down to an even two hours, I was still unable to get the front and back wings of the house to line up properly. That house lasted a few days, at least, before Jason's uncle unwittingly placed it within Ezra's reach and he decided to suck on the chimney for awhile.
By the time I made the third house, I'd upgraded to a deadly-serious pink hobby knife and a special precision-tipped scrapbooker's glue pen, which solved most of the architectural issues but added an hour back onto production time. This house lasted yet another week before Noah insisted on taking it to camp for show & tell. His friends loved it. With a vengeance, unfortunately. Noah was once again despondent, because he'd TRIED to take care of it, he TRIED SO HARD, Mommy, but Miles grabbed it during snack and decided to make it fly and then it fell and the one side is all dented and GRUINED, MOMMY. MY HOUSE IS ALL GRUINED.
And then, with honest-to-God tears in his eyes: Please make me another Carl's House, Mommy. Please.
*looks wistfully out the window at beautiful sunny afternoon*
*loads up the last of the cardstock into the printer*
See y'all in a few hours, I guess. This one better be the best one yet.