Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Wild Life

OK, you're going to have to forgive me here. I have a total Mommy Brag. Big time, Mommy Brag. Several of them, even. ;) So a big group of us met up at a local Wildlife Museum run by the High School. It's a really neat place and one of the best parts is that is is entirely run by the high school students. They do the maintenance and upkeep of the displays, the care of the animals, give the tours, everything. It's really pretty impressive.

While we were waiting for it to be time to start, the kids were all acting pretty crazy outside - playing tag, climbing things, etc - and I was a bit worried about how they were going to be inside. The group leader, MomP, was trying to give a little instructional talk to everyone before we went in and I will give you one guess which two kids were not listening at all. Yep, mine were the ones wandering around whispering in other kids' ears and generally not showing any respect to the person in authority. *sigh* I figured we were in for a bad day.

Thankfully, things changed 100% once we were inside. They were attentive, respectful, relevant (for the most part, lol) and altogether a delight. Our group of twenty-seven children had been broken into two groups: ages 7 & under, and 8 - 14. At one point, after Cameron had very accurately explained the purpose of animal camouflage to the group, MomP asked if he might prefer to be in the older group! I declined because topics aimed to the pre-teen group would be WAY over his head, but I was so proud and honored to see him shining so. He was answering all the questions posed by the guides (and even raising his hand to do so), asking thoughtful questions of his own, listening to their directions, and was truly, truly interested in the entire thing. Several times after he made some comment or other, one of the moms would come up and ask me how old he was and comment on his intelligence. The word "brilliant" was even used once! (I told you this would just be one big brag!) LOL, I had to laugh because most of this knowledge of animals comes from tv. But really, he's not afraid to ask questions and he's not afraid to keep asking them until he really, truly understands. I love that about him. It's annoying and very, very trying at times, but it is what makes him unique, I've noticed. Apparently, it's also made him "brilliant!"

Cassia was fabulous too. She was always right up in front not wanting to miss a thing. She and a couple other little girls kept holding hands as they walked - too cute. She was also quick to answer questions and to add her own brand of comments - usually relating to Go, Diego, Go in some way, lol. The cutest thing was that whenever she asked a question she started it with, "I was just wondering..." LOL. Such a sweet thing.

Speaking of sweet things, Greyson was a really good boy too. His favorite part was the live reptile show at the end where we got to pet a ball python, a gecko, an iguana, and something else that I can't remember. He also liked the room with all the animal pelts that you could touch and pet. He liked the coyote the best. He started getting restless near the end because he really, really, really wanted me to let him out of the backpack to run around. I finally did in the reptile room and he just sat on the floor with his face pressed up against the glass cage walls, lol. I think he had a good time.

Now, I don't really mean to brag. Well, I do, but not because I think my kids are better than anyone else's. I'm just so proud with how far Cameron has come. Does anyone remember any of last year's field trips? Oh, the humiliation and frustration! This was just such a nice switch. *big grin*

So then we came home and started in on school work (because the rest of the morning hadn't been educational in the least, lol). Cameron wanted to get started on it right away because he's been on a Legend of Zelda kick lately and couldn't wait to start playing it. So we did Phonics (ear as /âr/ in hair), Spelling (where they have started introducing some proofreading marks), Grammar (picture narration), math (more 3s), and History. I was going to move on to Ancient Africa today but I still haven't requested those books from the library and I have a shelf full of books on China still in our personal library that I hadn't even looked through yet! So, I asked Cameron if he wanted to do some more China or move on and he chose China. First I read them this old Troll book (remember those?) called Ancient China and then we read one on Chinese Calligraphy. Cameron got really excited by that and wanted to try writing the sign for dragon - the most elaborate and complex character that I have ever seen. I convinced him to start small and then got out the poster paint for him.
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He spent quite a while practicing his calligraphy with a brush and then wanted to try with a pencil. That led to a whole elaborate picture of combined calligraphic characters and line drawings of dragons and fish. It's actually pretty cool. He told me that I could keep it forever and ever and hang it up in my bedroom, if I wanted. :)
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I tried reading The Princess of Wisteria Wood to them from an ancient book of Chinese Fairy Tales while they were drawing and painting, but Cameron kept interrupting me to tell me about the sharks in his drawing, lol. I finally gave up... but not before telling him about the evils of Shark Fin Soup! ;) I had to get a moral in there somewhere!

And that was Day Three of Super-Busy Week, though it didn't feel too busy at all! Our field trip was early enough in the day that we had plenty of time to get school done before 2pm and yet it was late enough that we weren't rushed to get out of the house to make it there on time! That was nice for a change! Tomorrow is just ballet, so that shouldn't be too busy or rushed though it always ends up feeling that way. Friday is park day, so that's more fun than "busy" though nothing else ever gets done on park day, lol. But since we are now only going out of town for the weekend, instead of a week and a half, that lack of productivity shouldn't be an issue at all. So I guess now that Humpday (lol, anyone else hate that term as much as me?) is over, I guess that we have conquered Super-Busy week. WaHoo!

One final note to Meesh and G - LOL, you two! Well, it's nice to know that I don't come off as badly as I feel like I do, but remember that in your cases I've already felt like I have known you before ever meeting you. It's so different talking to someone that you don't know much at all... afraid that every word might be offensive. Afraid that your peculiar sense of humor might not be appreciated by this person. But now that I think about it, one of the people that I was referring to yesterday has that peculiar sense of humor too and that's why I like her. And, now that I think about it, our kids don't get along too badly either. Hers are a little older but they play well enough together in group situations. Maybe I will suck up a bit of courage after the holidays and ask her if they'd like to get together and hang out sometime. But thanks for the encouragement. :)

Well, it's only 3:30 and I've got pretty much everything done for the day! Guess I better go find something to do then. :)


G said...

WTG Cameron! Sounds like you had a lot to be proud of today, and mommy brags aren't bad as long as they're justified, which it sounds like they were in this case!

Oh, and yes, I hate the term "humpday" too.

Pixilated Mum said...

Mommy Brags rock. It's not like you're saying, "How awesome am I?" It's that you are celebrating the milestones that your kids have made. I think that it's just way awesome of them. WTG!!!!!!!!