"I thought building a playhouse would be a great way to spend some time working with the kids on a project," reports local homeowner Mr. Darwin. "The project is great, but a major carpentry project with power tools doesn't turn out to be as good an opportunity for spending time with the kids as I'd thought. Most of the time I find myself wanting to say, 'Will you get out of the way, kid? I'm trying to build this redacted playhouse for you!'"
The walls of the playhouse are now rising, and we find Mr. Darwin cutting a sheet of plywood for the subflooring of the playhouse. His eldest daughter, Eleanor, is perched in the stand of poplar that rises next to the playhouse, bouncing the branch she is standing on so that it thumps against the playhouse roof, showering leaves down on Darwin as he measures the distance between floor joists and marks the plywood.
"What's that, Dad?" asks Julia, the middle child, as he prepares to mark the plywood with a chalkline.
"What? What? What? Dad! Dad!" choruses 20-month-old Isabel.
All three girls gather round to help smudge the chalk.
Once the line is more-or-less drawn, Darwin hefts the circular saw. "Okay girls, give Daddy some room."
"The saw!!!!" The girls run in excited circles, but they are out of reach so Darwin hurriedly cuts his piece of plywood.
"Can we jump on the floor now, Daddy?" the older girls ask, as Darwin tests the fit.
"No," replies Daddy.
Darwin lays the plywood down on the grass and starts to spray what will be the underside with outdoor enamel, to prevent moisture from destroying the floor from underneath.
"That smells funny," declares Eleanor. "Can I sniff the can of paint?"
The Yowl and the Pussyhat
3 hours ago