Becoming a parent means you will have many "firsts" to experience with your child. Some are exciting and worthy of mention in baby books, scrapbooks (or if your parents really wish to humiliate you, on blogs for the whole Internet to read about). Others are more mundane, while there are a select few that take you by surprise.
Enter the first diorama. Do you remember these from your own school days? Now that Elena's in elementary school, she's starting to bring home actual homework and projects. (Here's where I give a standing ovation to the Montessori method: the kid brings home next to nothing as far as homework is concerned. A book report a couple of times a year, a science fair project, and a short list of spelling words to practice. I know we have it made it that department). I had forgotten all about the diorama. Can you say right up Elena's alley?
They had to create a scene from a book they had read to go along with a book report. Elena chose Katie Kazoo, Swtcheroo: Oh, Baby!, a fairly odd series of books in which the main character wishes on a shooting star to become anyone but herself. Each book finds her switching places with something or someone else, and trouble (and hilarity, if you're Elena) ensues. In this particular book, she switches place with her best friend's baby sister.
And hence the diorama, which depicts Katie, hand drawn by Elena herself, one of Eli's Little People dogs, a mobile made from twist-ties, and a not-to-scale creepy porcelain baby (thanks Mom! you truly do have one of everything in your house!).
I love these projects. Partly because we rarely do them, so Elena and I both get a kick out of them. And partly because it reminds me that I really am all grown up now.