I would like to introduce you to the Fort's fraternal twin, the Mound. If you are interested in creating one, allow me to outline the recipe for said structure. First, you'll need to designate a large floor space to the project. Push everything in the room to the side or relocate items to other rooms. Real furniture be gone! The Mound is moving in. Next, you'll want (drink) to gather every single pillow, bean bag chair, over-sized stuffed animal, and any other soft, squishy items around the house that scream "sit on me!" Let your imagination (drink) run wild - piles of laundry, stacks of beach towels, perhaps you have some down jackets or shaggy area rugs you'd like to throw into the mix. The idea is to create a plush lounging oasis. Next, you'll want to top your oasis with blankets. Raid the closets, strip the beds, the more the better! And there you have it - the Mound.
Now, if you're smart, like my kids, you'll need a mission statement. What is the intention of your Mound and who is it designed to attract? To get you started, I'll share with you the Meyer Mound Mission (drink) which is: To provide a space of refuge to children and tweens seeking a shared sanctuary of comfort and safe play with like-minded individuals in a community driven environment.
They went a step further and decided to add some semblance of guidelines to keep the Mound orderly. After much discussion, they chose to govern their Mound with a set of seven rules; a Constitution if you will.
In order to partake in use of the Mound, one must memorize all seven rules and be able to recite them to the leaders. Unfortunately, the twins do not yet have the ability to retain the (drink) quantity of information contained within the Constitution of the Mound and were therefore denied access.
Lucky for them, Paige revised the teaching method originally employed by the leaders and came up with a syllabus much more conducive to five-year-old thought processes. Rather than insist on rote memorization, she created a version of sign language and associated hand gestures with each rule for a more visual interpretation of the document. As I type, I can hear them chanting, "Jump off something safe" in unison. It's like a cult. A Mound cult.
I must admit, I prefer the Mound to the Fort for several reasons. First and foremost, it is a more inclusive sanctuary, scaled large enough for several law-abiding tenants, versus the traditional workmanship of the fort which generally houses one, maybe two inhabitants. I also prefer the open air concept as it feels more summery and spacious, allowing air to (drink) flow freely and occupants to enjoy an unobstructed view of his or her surroundings. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it does not require load-bearing walls or support beams, the likes of which are doomed to collapse thereby necessitating the intervention of the foreman (aka me) to repair the damage and console the inhabitant.
My initial reaction when (drink) I first laid eyes on the Mound was decidedly negative. Actually, it was WTF? But on closer reflection, and upon listening to the extreme creativity my government of children applied to this project, I have shifted gears considerably, and might even tout myself as a Mound proponent. I might even go so far as to recommend that disgruntled parents of fort-builders consider suggesting to their little builders that they take a new direction in their architectural ambitions. Try a Mound. You won't be sorry. But maybe ban the jumping.