Friday the 21st
I wasn't sure what we were going to do today. Moving to an apartment has been an adjustment, with the biggest thing I miss being our fenced back yard. We're still trying to figure out a routine or a set of plausible routines, I think. We need to get out more to compensate for the lack of a yard, but we have to be careful not to go out too much. Being introverts, there's a fine line between going out too much and not enough.
So, we decided to head downtown for one more day this week. Earlier in the morning, Ben listened to the BFG on and off. Tommy built something with Ben's girder and panel construction set. They played with two baby dolls at one point, but I'm not sure what they did. Ben announced that he had written the word "spikey". Upon further investigation, we found that he had written "spicey" so I suggested he just draw a line next to the 'c' to turn it into a 'k'. Moments after this, Tommy asked me to help him write, "Mikey". The next thing I knew, the boys were playing some dinosaur soap opera, with Tommy's spiked dinosaur being renamed as "Mikey".
When we arrived downtown, I was really surprised and disappointed that my favorite map store was gone. I used to love that store, but I had not been there in a long time. I was looking forward to showing it to the kids. The store had some really odd and unusual things with a map theme. We were disappointed. We decided to get coffee and weigh our options.
In the coffee shop, we looked at the art they were selling and talked about what we liked and what we thought the art represented. Ben started chatting about the art class he is taking. He was saying how they were presented with fruit on a table to copy and that the teacher suggested they get up and walk around to get ideas of what they might want to add to their drawing. This was the class on Tuesday where they used oil pastel crayons, but these additional details were just now being shared. Ben was saying how he and another boy walked to the fruit display together and how they had both copied some element from each other's drawing. This led to a really good discussion of how artists, writers, etc get inspired by others.
I had picked up a pamphlet about a monthly poetry reading at this coffee shop. I am very interested in going, but I think it's too late at night for Ben. However, this led to a little discussion about poetry. Ben commented at some point that poetry rhymes, which led me to giving examples of non-rhyming poetry. We talked about haiku and I promised to read him some at home; I have a book of haiku on the shelf somewhere. We talked about a few elements of poetry. I tried to explain what a metaphor was, but I don't think I did a very good job. I used an example from a poem I wrote in high school, where I wrote about a hunched over giant but I was really describing a mountain.
This led the conversation to artists presenting one image (mental or physical) but implying another. We talked about how, in art, a painting of a concrete object isn't necessarily about the object; often, the artist might be trying to say something else entirely. We frequent the Art Museum, so we've seen examples of this before. And then, we spoke about how different people interpret art differently and how sometimes, the artist is purposely vague so that it takes a lot of thinking to discern what the art represents.
As we sat eating our chocolate chip muffins, we noticed a painting in front of our couch. It looked like a painting of a leafy bush on blue circular background. Ben liked the beadwork that had been glued to it. Then, he said that he didn't think it was a painting of a leafy bush at all. He thought it was an aerial view of a coconut tree on an island; we were looking at the very top of its tuft and the blue circular background was the ocean around the island. I had not looked at it that way, so it was cool to think of it in this different way.
We decided to just walk around downtown. We did stop by the Falls Park, but we only briefly looked at the waterfall. I had 2 hour parking and it's nearly impossible to get parking during lunchtime. So, we decided to just have a little walk and head back to the car. We walked under the bridge, where the kids discovered that they could make echos. Some really bad yodeling ensued.
Then, Ben jumped inside a circular stone design on the pavement and declared that he was inside the Arctic circle. They were in good spirits and the weather was perfect.
We did eventually make our way back to the car and we went home. At home they watched some TV, including their beloved Zula Patrol and Cyberchase (math cartoon, kind of cool). Ben listened to some more BFG at one point and they did play again at one point, but I'm kind of vague on what they did. I do remember that he's near the end of the BFG, because he was talking about how the Palace staff is going to make a table for the BFG out of the Queen's ping-pong table.
We had to run out and get a few things for supper. In the car, we talked about Ben's cell project. The night before, I had made the basic structure for him out of two cardboard circles pushed together in a sort of perpendicular fashion. We talked about how he might want to tackle it. Did he want to paint it or color it with crayons? Did he need my help with the organelles? He decided that he would use crayons, after we determined that the tempura paint would probably flake off. And he decided that he would make two lists: one for what he needs to do and one for what he needs me to help him with. He picked up a free shopping list form at the store for this end. I get the idea that I will help by assisting with cutting organelles out and possibly reading some of the organelle names to him.
He wanted to do it immediately when we got home, but it was a bit too late. Dh was going to be home late due to work. I had to get supper set up. And then we had our chiropractor appt. We had been to the chiro's for her fun day earlier in the week, but we had to get adjusted on this night as we do every two weeks.
We headed to the chiropractor's, which is a favorite place of both kids. They played in her toy room. Then, when we went into the adjustment room, Ben and I looked at her pelvis model since we were reading about that earlier in the week. She answered some questions that Ben had about the pelvis. And she also said that "coxa" means "cow", which I thought was kind of weird. When we went out to the front room, Ben asked her if she could hold her real human skull. She kindly obliged him and showed the boys how the bottom jaw came off and how the teeth came out. Then, she let them hold it, which was really exciting for Ben. He found the hole in the skull where the spinal cord goes, something he had been wondering about. The chiro then explained how the brain gradually turns into the spinal cord and then comes out that hole.
By the time we got home, it was basically bedtime. Dh and Ben are *stlll* working on "Paddington Bear". Tommy requested the two 'Chicka Chicka' books, both of which I had read several times earlier in the day.