I Can Make That
Yeah, but the question is, should I make it?
Last year around this time I had just finished j's Ultimate Christmas Gift. The Tepee. You know, the kind you can get at Ikea for $15 or Land of Nod for $125? Whichever route you go, at least you know you paid good money so it won't collapse on you. But this was my thought process: I'd seen j occupy herself for hours (ok, long stretches) in other people's tents. If it was going to be such a beloved toy, such a warm memory from her childhood - something that she'd leave up for years and then want to keep for her own kids... Well then I should make it right? And really, how hard could it be? Math. It always comes down to math.
I know, it's just triangles, but then you go 3D with hexagons and height and leaning triangles... but I'd already committed (imported fabric from Japan, OK?). I promised to publicly thank my Math Friend (everyone should have one) Otis Jennings if I ever did a blog post about this project so THANK YOU Otis. Now you keep your promise to never tell anyone I didn't know only right triangles have hypotenuses. Anyway, the important part: Christmas morning was magical.
She hopped right in with a book - just as I'd fantasized.
And stayed there for exactly three minutes. I can count on one hand the number of times she's been in there over the last year. Mostly, Camila has taken it over.
Or it's a great place to throw toys that are hard to categorize during cleanup. Effective use of time and money? Nah. On the other hand, I do like the way it looks in my house.
As Christmas 2015 rolled around I noticed how much she liked to play with other kids' dollhouses. And I started pinteresting around. Did you know there are grown people who style midcentury modern dollhouses with $300 Eames chairs? Then came the little voice in the back of my head whispering, "She only plays with that stuff because she doesn't actually own it."
Here's how I'm deciding this from now on: Make Time = or < 4 x Cumulative Play Time for it to be worth it to me. If she was going to get a total of 15 minutes play time, I was going to limit myself. Time: 1 hour, supplies must already be in the house.
Play house floor: foam board, 18"x18". Sequined for the dance party. Gold for the room we'd cover in that paper from India. Outside path, painted by me, "the Art Studio", painted by j.
Walls: foam board again with slits cut in them.
Doors (ok, an afterthought. She wouldn't play with it until I gave it doors):
Attached the walls with pushpins coming through the floor. There was much talk of second stories and stairs and removable walls...
But it's January 15th and she's already done playing with it. Camila's already claimed it for her own, and I'm designing bird wings. Kids.