Never underestimate the desperation of a woman who chooses to be up at midnight hot-glueing home-dried rose petals to a cereal box.

Let me take you back a few hours. It all started quite sensibly. Family learning homework being to do something (anything) on the topic of ‘flowers’. Flowers: we know. Roses, daffodils, bluebells, daisies: we love but we don’t know. Petal, stem, leaf: blank.

Like many other school interactions – I take it as a tip-off for what classroom discussion will be about – and disappear down a rabbit hole of trying to prepare Squidling to be able to participate properly. Without making Squidling’s life feel like one long remedial class.

Here is what we made. We have flower names, we have parts of the flower, we have cued hours of discussion using this new vocabulary. We have second degree glue gun burn on the index finger of my non-dominant hand and we are probably in line for side-comments about unnecessary performance parenting.

Tomorrow I think we’ll make cake pops with green stems, wide leaves (and maybe a few narrow leaves) and of course lots of pink petals. Because I want her world to be beautiful and vibrant and not defined by the words she doesn’t know. A box of rose petals is the best way I know how.

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