Friday, November 22, 2013

A busy day

Miriam was invited to a birthday party for her little friend Matthew this week and has been looking forward to it ever since I told her about it, which was nine days ago when she was originally invited. I know several moms who try not to tell their kids about fun activities in advance so that they don't have to deal with the children's mounting excitement while they wait for the day to come. I'm not really like that, though. Unless I specifically plan a surprise, I usually just tell my kids what's up. We talk about special events during family calendar time. And we say, "No, it's not Friday yet," way too often. But I like it that way because research shows that merely anticipating fun things can boost happiness.

Sure, it's hard when plans change. But "plans change" is almost a mantra in our house. Learning to deal with disappointment is probably healthy for kids, right?

This time, fortunately, our plans didn't fall through (unlike yesterday's playgroup fiasco) and we made it out the door by 9:30 in the morning! Miriam picked out a special outfit to wear.

Hand-me-down dress with a stain on the shoulder from that one time Rachel biffed it? Check.

Hand-me-down tights with a hole in one toe because Rachel wore them all the time? Check.

Razzle-dazzle headband that doubles as a pirate eye patch? Check.

She looked fabulous. Fabulous enough to spend the day at the Museum of Life and Science, which is mostly what we did. There were 22 kids ages five and under (if my count is correct) and 13 moms (and one dad). The moms were a little trickier to count because at the beginning of the party we had a few extra kids who were being babysat by other moms there whose moms came later.

One mom had a doctor's appointment for her baby so sent her son (we'll call him Abraham) with another mom, planning to join us at the museum later.

Well, it just so happens that this little boy (and another little boy) got separated from the group. Everyone else headed through the farm to the butterfly house. These little boys never showed up at the butterfly house and everybody panicked.

We sent moms running all the way up to the dinosaur exhibit. Others hunted in the butterfly house. Another ran to the train station. One mom, thankfully, was still trying to pry her daughter away from the farmyard and spotted the two boys, and began herding all three kids back to the fold.

One mom quickly whipped out her cell phone to call the moms who'd headed deeper into the park, to tell them that the lost boys had been found. She then started laughing.

"You're kidding!" she giggled. "Did you tell her? Oh, dear. Oh, we'll call her..."

Abraham's mom had just called the mom she'd left in charge of her son to say that she'd just arrived at the museum. She wanted to know where we all were so that she could meet up with us.

Instead of getting a simple answer like "the dinosaur walk" or "the butterfly house," this mom got something along the lines of this:

"Yeah, about that.'re kind of split up right now. Abraham and Rhett got separated from everyone somehow, but don't worry! They haven't been lost long and I'm sure we'll find them!"

It was pretty funny, but only in retrospect, and only because nothing terrible happened.

The highlight of the trip was a ride on the Ellerbee Creek Railroad. The kids have always wanted to go on the train but we've always said no (because tickets are $3 a pop). Miriam is positive this was Matthew's birthday present to her because she asked if we could go on the train for her birthday and we told her that we could but then we ended up not going because instead Grandma Sharon passed away and all our plans went awry.

Miriam still feels like her birthday was yesterday, however, so she'll probably always remember this train ride as happening on her birthday.

After the train ride we headed out of the park to have lunch and cake. Benjamin sat at the picnic table with the rest of the kids and was so proud of himself. He was even handed an entire slice of pizza. The look on his face was, "Is this heaven?" When he'd finished with his own food he went around sampling everyone else's.

We had to leave in the middle of present-opening to go to Rachel's parent-teacher conference (so Matthew opened Miriam's present and gave her her goodie bag (which was a princess cup full of candy, a twisty straw, and a book)).

Rachel's doing fine at school. She absolutely loves going to school, loves learning, loves making friends, loves getting out of the house. Her teacher invited us to stay for the rest of the day, really talking it up to Miriam and making it impossible to say no.

"We're going to have snack and show-and-tell when the kids come back from 'specials.' You can have a turn, too, Miriam. Would you like that? And then we're having our peer reading partners come in to read stories with everyone. You're welcome to stay for the rest of the day. Just make yourself at home."

How do you really say no to that? Especially after he invited Miriam to have a turn during show-and-tell. It's very rare for our middle child to turn down a chance in the limelight. So we stayed for the rest of the afternoon, participated in show-and-tell, read with the kids, and had a great time.

Benjamin pulled this paper out of Rachel's desk:

Rachel and her friends are writing fan fiction at school: Harry Potter 8: Revenge of Voldamart.

The best part is that it's dedicated to their moms: Suzie, Mashall, and Nansy. I just had to take a picture before putting it back in her desk.

Information: This book was made in 2013. 10-16-13. Now we begin! 

Revenge of Voldamort: Book 8.

Nancy is Rachel's mom and Michelle is my mom. Suzie is Katie's mom. 

You-know-who is very famas for his avata kadavra, the killing curse.

Those girls are going to go far!

After school we loaded up in the van and battled our way through car line (instead of waiting out the traffic by playing at the park for a half hour like we usually do) because we had to get home so we could head to ukulele practice.

It was such a lovely day (we're talking 19°C/66°F) that Rachel was a little disappointed she wasn't able to just play away the afternoon outside with her friends (though she did get to play until our ride showed up) but we only have two more weeks to practice before the ward Christmas party so sacrifices had to be made.

Tomorrow, though, we'll be playing outside for sure. It's our last warm day before the next cold snap.

That's one of my favourite parts about living here—the sporadic weather through the winter. One day it's 70°F, the next day it's 30°F, but you know it won't be long before it warms right back up again. Unfortunately, it's supposed to be cold and chilly all through Thanksgiving break, but at least we have tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Ukulele practice? Who plays?

    And what did Miriam show and tell?

    I'm glad you were able to ride the train! Looks like a fun day, "Nansy." :)