I was very committed to this project being Maybelle's. I'm not interested in seeing my own work. I wanted Maybelle to be able to watch it come together due to her own efforts, and to be proud of it. So I had the brilliant idea to have Beth, Maybelle's occupational therapist (who's worked with Maybelle since she was 18 months old) help us build the house.
|Maybelle and Beth, happily constructing|
|The "before" picture.|
This week at school, parents and friends were invited to help the kids decorate their houses. It was hard for me to explain the concept of "decorate" to Maybelle--I kept using my hands to try to explain, and she would imitate my hand motions without getting any sense of what I was trying to say. So I told her we were going to make her gingerbread house "so cute," and she got that.
From the very beginning I'd said that I wanted her gingerbread house to be a fabulous mess. I wanted her to get to see her work start shaping up. Three of Maybelle's favorite people--two friends and Uncle Trey--came to her preschool and supported her during the process (channeling Beth): asking her what colors of gumdrops she wanted on the house, and helping her put them where she wanted them; using their hands and hers on the squeezy thing to pipe frosting onto the house; using their hands and hers to scoop big blobs of frosting and spread it wherever she wanted it.
This is a fine house. A fabulous mess, for sure. She was pretty pleased with it (and then she was exhausted and ready to go home).