We started off with a few changes. Namely, I transitioned Bridget over to an online math class, and discontinued using Singapore Math for her. Why? Because, frankly – I can’t teach 4th grade math. So, I’m letting someone else do it. She’s happier, I’m happier. Yay, numbers.
I also moved away from an intense reading guide she was doing for the book “Wonder.” Now, she reads about 40 pages a day, and we have a discussion about what she read. What she doesn’t realize is that the questions I ask about the book, the characters, the symbolism, etc. are directly from the reading guide! This kind of thing is only practical because I have one fourth-grader in my “class.” But, it’s cool, and it has led to some interesting discussions. “Wonder” is about a boy with a severe form of Treacher Collins Syndrome. I am absolutely adamant about raising my children to embrace the physical, emotional, and intellectual differences that people bring to the table – and this book has been the jumping-off point of a lot of good conversations about that.
A few weeks ago, I purchased a family membership to the LA County Museum of Natural History, and I took all four kids yesterday. It was awesome! I could have stayed all day, but the membership allows us to do it piecemeal, which is better for the kids. Yesterday was the last “member preview” day for their temporary mummy exhibit. I LOVE MUMMIES. I was particularly impressed that the museum did not permit any photography of mummies with exposed faces/skulls or other body parts. My problem with the “Bodies” exhibits has always been the crassness of displaying deceased human beings for entertainment, and I felt it was totally appropriate to ask museum guests to show respect for the mummies whose actual body parts were exposed. I was in awe, but the kids thought they were kind of creepy. Especially the mummified children.
The kids asked me, “Mom, why do you like dead things?” I thought for a moment, and then answered, “I don’t particularly like dead things, but I like old things. I like things that tell a story. I like imagining the lives that these mummified bodies once lived – the day they were born, their childhoods, their jobs, their deaths. What their cities were like, how they worshiped, their governments. I like to imagine the person who took the time to preserve their bodies like this, paint their coffins so intricately, and bury them in tombs with icons and offerings. I love connections to the past – I love that these individuals are the ancestors of actual people who live on the Earth today.”
The kids were anxious to see the dinosaur exhibit, and while I tried to impress upon them what “100 million years ago” means – I had a hard time. I’m not sure anyone can fully grasp it.
They were actually most impressed with the gem and mineral pavilion, which is pretty extensive. Thousands and thousands of specimens.
The best part was, that because we went on a Thursday in September – there was almost no one else at the museum. Crowds make me itch and sweat, and get very irrational. I avoid crowds at all costs. I’m pretty sure there is a diagnosis in there, somewhere. Going places during the week, when other kids are in school, is definitely my jam.
But, if you think my week sounds perfect – let me tell you about this morning. I was upstairs in my room (where my computer is), looking up possible art projects that I could do without glitter, glue, scissors, markers, paint, clay, chalk, or making a purchase. No sooner had I found the perfect project (have you ever heard of a coloring book?), than Bridget started screaming that Fefe was PLAYING WITH RAW MEAT. He had gone into the garage, opened the fridge, removed a CHUCK ROAST, taken it out, opened it, and was happily massaging the slick, greasy exterior. In my world, handing raw meat includes latex gloves and a half gallon of bleach, so this was particularly upsetting. After I bathed him and cleaned up his roast disaster, I heard a loud bang – he had somehow completely dismantled my vacuum cleaner, breaking it in several places. This was after he insisted on “self-serve” brownies at 7:00 AM, and dumped out a large container of peppercorns all over the kitchen floor. He’s so cute, and so sweet – I’m not even mad.
Did I mention that Jack started preschool last week? He told me it is, “Basically a massive waste of time” (imagine that with all the s sounds pronounced like th.) Oh, Jack. Sweet, easy Jack. He thinks any time he is not on an iPad is a waste.
Lucky for Jack, I completely forgot to take him to school this morning.