100 days

If the calendar is correct, Liam Wallace will now have been in school for 100 days. Today is technically Day 101, but we’ll just call it 100 days, especially as there was a snow day which closed the school for one day last month. More specifically, it was a giant band of freezing rain that plastered the region in thick sheets of ice that made walking and driving an adventure for everyone. The school board made a really good call.

This would be Liam Wallace preparing for his day.

He’s more or less awake, but he’s still recovering from the start of the Year of the Dog and all the skiing, and he hasn’t had a glass of juice or biomoo to sort-of jump-start the brain. But he was happy to be going to school.

The first 100 days have been pretty positive, with minor hiccups on the lunch front, and some weirdness from some of the other 24, but he’s been navigating the social quagmire quite well.

It’s not an idea unique to his school, but to mark the 100 days milestone for each kindergarten crop, the kindergarten children create a crafts project to commemorate their 100 days.

Depending on the family, this is either a BIG THING or a throwaway, and we’ve heard of some previous 100 days projects from around the province, many of which have the whiff of parental interference (or indifference) clinging to them. My faves from each end of the spectrum: the 100 golf balls for 100 days (aka the Norman special), and the 100 butterflies for 100 days. The former doesn’t really need anything further because the pathos just speaks for itself. And the latter? I’m sure there’s plenty of kindergarten kids who run out to capture 100 different butterflies from the abundant butterfly swarms buzzing in the winter skies over the Big Croissant, chloroform(!) them, dessicate them and then mount each butterfly individually with a pushpin.

There’s also the fairly common and oft-repeated 100 LEGO minifigures for 100 days, which isn’t hard because the online LEGO Store will sell bags of 20 minifigures for CAD$ 3.99 (proof) if one is too lazy to hoof it over to a brick-and-mortar LEGO Store to buy 100 heads and 100 bodies to match the 100 heads. Or the 100 commercial cupcakes for 100 days, though that one has a deadly undertone because of allergy risk (peanuts, nuts, soy, eggs, milk etc) to effectively the entire school population.

So this project really was a bit of a challenge. We have known about this since oh, day 2 give or take so there has been time to plan. We wanted the Micro-Dragon to actively participate in the creation of his 100 days project, and many ideas were set aside because they were not feasible or just plain impractical. There were some items which were a little bulky and risky, like planting 100 different early-bloom flowers (or other interesting vegetal exemplars the Great White North is becoming renowned for) and expecting all 100 to be in bloom for the 100 days anniversary. Or 100 functional rockets which plays well into the Micro-Dragon’s space theme, because that’s a lot of potential ka-boom, and we don’t need that kind of scrutiny from CSIS. And we did think of making and individually decorating 100 gingerbread guys from intensively pedigreed and documented ingredient sources, but not all the gingerbread guys might last oh, to the milestone much less the whole morning of the 100 days.

A puzzle was an idea, but the Micro-D politely declined because he thought it would be boring.

One thing the Mom discovered while rummaging through his keepsakes is his every-growing collection of rocks. He’s been playing geologist whenever he returns to the maternal village to accompany the Mom on her annual philopatric excursion, because Mark Watney did some geology while waiting for his potatoes to grow. So lightbulb time: the two of them talked it over and they decided to do a project entitled:

« Les 100 premières pierres de mon avenir… »

The subtext is that the 100 stones are the building blocks to the path towards his bright future.

Sounds okay. It’s got a nice family origins sub-text to it, and it’s something that he can actively work on himself.

And to prove that last bit, I took photos of him working on it.

We had to sort the candidate stones and select which ones would be included in the collection. Some didn’t make it because they were somewhat “meh”, some didn’t make it because they were too large, and some didn’t make it because they were whelk shells that he hadn’t yet separated from the stones.

Whelk shells and other seashells are nice, but they’re not stones in spite of being full of calcium and other minerals.

So after sorting, washing and selection, it was down to business with a brand new set of Sharpies the Mom acquired for this specific project. 100 stones to be meticulously hand-identified and detailed. This would be him meticulously hand-identifying and detailing one of the 100 stones.

This would be Liam Wallace showing off Stone 32. There is a surprise image on the backs of certain stones, which we will keep secret for school unveiling. Stone 32 was a good choice because it was large enough to draw on, but we won’t tell if there is something on the flip side just yet.

Stone 35 also has potential secondary markings. He spent a lot of time marking the stones are clearly as possible

So after a very long weekend, here is the collection selected by the Micro-D to mark the stones that help build the path to his future. There are the stones selected to represent 1 through 50.

And this is the collection for 51 to 100.

We have no idea why he was insistent on including the really tiny ones, but one thought was that he wanted the extra challenge of demonstrating his ability to write on a small surface.

After completing the stone detailing, the Micro-D sat down to create the artwork for the package labels.

He elected to go with a space theme because of the “sunny ways” thing and because the project involved geology and you know, Mark Watney and the potatoes.

The artwork was then flipped over to the Patrem, as we had to squeeze in requisite packaging information, including this fully functional QR code.

After a LOT of torturous pre-flight work, we were finally able to assemble the complete package.

The front…

And the back label.

Bilingual packaging to boot, which is a significant step up from the Patrem’s line of fine bespoke products under the BMSYA label. We are very happy that all 100 managed to fit in the container.

By the way, if you’re wondering why Liam Wallace is dressed in multiple layers in spite of the current temperature being well above freezing, it’s because he completed the project weeks ago. Remember that band of freezing rain that pelted the region and closed the school for a day? We spent that weekend working on this project so we certainly didn’t leave it to the last minute. However, we couldn’t post until we hit the 100 days milestone.

The biggest near-term challenge is for the Micro-Dragon to carry the bag through the entire school to get it to the exhibition area. He’s been working the upper body though.

 

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