Some days ago, The Hooligan got it into her head that it would be really fun if we made a doghouse. (Thank you very much, Playhouse Disney.) I had some issues about this. First, The Hooligan wanted a real doghouse – meaning, she wanted a real dog to fit inside. This was not feasible – the biggest thing I’ve ever built is a popsicle-stick house. Second, though I liked the idea of handling power tools, we didn’t have any; and I wasn’t about to cut wood using a butcher’s knife. Third, our dog isn’t the doghouse kind – it’s more of the under-the-car or in-the-sunlight-on-the-cement-driveway variety.
But since I needed a Week 12 task, I decided to keep an open mind. That was when The Hooligan presented me with the blueprint. She’d designed a doghouse with three floors. The first one, said The Hooligan, is where the dog will eat. The second floor is where the dog will sleep. The bathroom is on the third floor.
Our dog doesn’t need a bathroom, I told her. She likes to pee by the trees.
But she can’t flush her pee there, The Hooligan pointed out. She added, I want us to paint all the walls pink.
How about we paint the walls pink, but we make a house with just one floor, I compromised.
But if there’s just one floor, where will our dog pee, The Hooligan asked, very particular about our dog’s toilet habits.
I’ve seen birds outside our window in the morning, I said. How about we build a birdhouse instead?
Can we put a TV inside so the birds will want to go in, The Hooligan asked, easily swayed.
It was getting dark, and we still had to pick a nice tree to hang the birdhouse from. So I salvaged bits and scraps from everywhere that, together, would resemble a birdhouse. By this time, The Hooligan’s interest was slipping away rapidly. After 30 seconds of helping me glue popsicle sticks on an orange juice carton (sticks = overhang; carton = house), she got “tired” and proceeded to play with something else; the birdhouse and the doghouse already in the distant past.
The end product wasn’t so bad, considering that I put it together with a rusty cutter and school glue. The birdhouse now hangs on a tree outside our bedroom window. On the first day, The T-Rex helped me put grains of rice inside; the rest, he shoved in his mouth. Apparently, though, birds don’t like grains of rice. So on the second day, The Hooligan put two pieces of Skyflakes crackers. Both were covered with ants in 3 minutes. This morning, in an attempt to attract birds to the house, The Hooligan stood beside it and vocalized. Unfortunately, no bird took up the tune. By the end of the week, I think I’ll have to give in and buy birdseed.