Monday was a furlough day. You know how in NJ, everyone just complains about the school budget and then the board swoops in and just removes all the special eduction aides in one fell swoop? Here in CA, we have furlough days. No school; teachers and administrators don't get paid. This was our second one. A friend's husband works for the state and he has something like 8 furlough days to fit into his schedule. Ouch.
So here I am with three pesky kids to entertain, and as always, my goal in parenting is simple:
GET OUT OF MY GODDAMN HOUSE.
I now that many of you think that I'm trying to encourage their little brains by taking them to the beach and teaching them to sketch from life, and putting them on the egg line, and going to small town parades, but you are sorely mistaken. My house is already a disaster and if we stayed home, it would be a nightmare. So we join museums and zoos and seek out every family-friendly free thing in Los Angeles and I drag them to it.
So: Monday. The butterfly garden at the Natural History just opened. We always enjoyed the butterfly gardens at the Bronx Zoo and the ANHM in NYC, so off we go.
You know, it was kind of a bust. There weren't a lot of butterflies out and about and there wasn't any chrysalis to check out and watch hatch. The butterflies that were there were pretty common ones (unlike the NHM in NYC -- since it's inside, they are able to have all kinds of fabulous rare and exotic butterflies, since they can't easily escape into the wild) -- lots of Monarchs and Painted Ladies, with a couple pretty apple-green and black-and-white ones.
Somebody was upset because there wasn't a butterfly on her hand. I think she expected to enter the garden and have a million pink and purple butterflies alight on her and she could sing a twinkly Disney tune.
Luckily, someone also has a big brother that persuaded a butterfly to climb onto a stick, and then was very easily persuaded to transfer that butterfly onto The Goose's hand.
Here's another thing I like about CA. The museum cafeteria has four different kinds of hot sauce, plus "jalapeno ketchup."
Attacked by a giant bird. Ack.
Up to the dinosaur lab. It's fun to have a band using dinosaur bones as guitars.
Off for some ice cream in Exposition Park.
I am almost always covered by children.
I think that that might be the title of my biography: "Amie Kate Brockway-Metcalf: Almost Always Covered By Children."
A grown-up dinner: sausage, kale, fire roasted tomatoes and cannellini beans over polenta. I keep trying to sneak kale into Evan's diet. He's a good sport and ate this happily, but balked when I suggested putting the leftovers on a pizza the next day.
The next day, Evan took a vacation day so I could chaperone Arlo's class' field trip to the Glendale Centre Theatre. (yes, that is a lot of "-re" for a business in Southern California.) Arlo's best friend was in my small group of kids and they had a great time together.
Me and my date for the day.
Arlo's class and his beloved teacher.
A pooped out boy on the way home.
The rest of the week: PT, OT, dance class, sports sampler, Star Wars drawing class. Lots of tortellini boiled, tossed with pesto, and served with broccoli. Lots of pestering about homework and early morning protein loading. Oscar had state testing this week and the PTA has asked parents to send in class snacks to cover the kids that don't (or won't) eat breakfast. That's an elegant, simple solution to a problem -- some kids don't or won't eat breakfast at home. Since the school's funding and reputation depends on those state test scores, the PTA asks parent to send in snacks for testing days so the kids can wield their Number 2s on a full belly. We sent in cheese sticks last week and cereal bars this week, combined cost: less than $25. I'd rather send in needed snacks than badger my in-laws to buy overpriced wrapping paper.
In other news, Arlo made an awesome tinkertoy robot.
Lucy's school had their spring break this week, so my darling husband (best husband and daddy ever) took yet another long lunch and picked up Arlo at his absurdly early pickup of 11:38am so I could take a trip with The Goose.
We met a couple of our preschool friends at the Science Center of Los Angeles in Exposition Park. It was a rare rainy day in Southern California. Probably the 6th since we've been here.
The Goose did a good job of hefting up that truck, but I can't wait to bring the boys.
Space Shuttle Endeavor.
A Wright Bros. glider simulator.
We spent less that fifteen bucks online on three dog tags.
MY PARENTS ARE
(cell phone number here)
(cell phone number here)
When we go to a zoo, or a theme park, or basically anywhere where we feel like we might lose track of the kiddos, we give each one of our kids their tags and tuck them under their shirts. Family rule: you don't play with your tags, You keep them under your shirt. If you get lost, you find an employee (we point them out when we are handing out the tags -- look for these shirts or these nametags) or find a mom. Show the mom or the employee you tag and they will find us.
We haven't needed them yet, but they take a good deal of worry off my back. If you have little wandering kids, do a google search for dog tags and put a tiny bit of your mind at ease.