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Mar 29, 2005

Add this to the Christmas list

Today after preschool, there was a big rainstorm, and Russell's friend found a large, healthy worm. They examined it for quite a while before we convinced them to put it down in an appropriate place.

However, as Russell was about to get in the car, I saw he had his hands clamped together. "Don't look! I don't have anything in there!" After revealing the worm, I explained it needed a lot of dirt to live in and that I was worried it would dry out and die in our car. (Besides, I didn't want his friend to see us making off with it!) Russell tried throwing a mini-fit and then tried to persuade me to let him keep it in a jar, transplant it to our yard, etc., but I held firm.

On the way home, having passed through denial, anger, and bargaining, Russell discussed his great depression from not having a worm. He explained that he wanted to have two dried-up worms, one to keep on the shelf in his room, and one to slice up and look at with a telescope ("You mean microscope?" "Yeah"). He pleaded for dead worms in the exact same way another child would plead for a Barbie. He told me that he wanted to study insects when he grows up (yes, I know a worm is not an insect, but you get the idea). I guess the biology genes skipped a generation.

Then we got home and found the package of 11 Jean George books from Grandpa George, about various animals, and he got me to read them to him for about three hours total today (no doubt more to follow tomorrow). I know a lot more about mountain lions, peccaries, salamanders, moles, and their environments than I did this morning!

Mar 20, 2005

Following Orders

On Wednesday, I was in the kitchen making supper while the kids were playing in the living room. I gathered from what I could hear that they had set up "houses" on the sofa and love seat.

I heard Russell heading for the bathroom upstairs. He called back briskly, "Guard my house, Silas."

There was a pause, then Silas, sounding anxious for approval, called, "I guard your ouse, Ruh-ell."

Russell replied, "OK, guard it till I get back."

Then I heard a tiny person saying to himself, "Guard guard guard guard guard..."

Mar 06, 2005

You'd never guess they were brothers...

...would you?

They were watching a video called The Orchestra, which was pretty good. It was Peter Ustinov reading a book by the same name by Mark Rubin, with (still) pictures from the book by Alan Daniel. The Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra performed various appropriate bits and pieces.

Silas, who loves mustruments, was fascinated and was trying desperately to stay awake. But alas:

Mar 03, 2005

Culture Notes

Some random culture-related and bear-related things:

1. Russell and Silas like to use their K'nex toys to make all kinds of things, but one favorite (especially of Silas') is to put an eye up on a stick, usually with a foot at the bottom. It took us a little while to realize they call this an IPod (eye-pod).

You can see another example here.

2. When Silas went to the emergency room last month to get his chin glued together (see billing peeve here), he was quite the cheerful little patient, spending most of his time singing "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and playing with his dust mite. Nevertheless, the nice emergency room people gave him a stuffed toy. "Would you like to play with Big Bird?" they asked. "Duck!" cried Silas in delight. "He knows Big Bird, doesn't he?" the woman asked David, and when he replied Silas probably hadn't seen Big Bird because we don't watch TV, she was amazed. I'm so proud of my child's ignorance.

3. We spent the first few years of little-kid-dom playing mostly folk, classical, and other gentle music, I suppose so as not to fry their tiny brains or our shattered nerves. Now we're playing more rock music again. Silas has always liked any music (I recall him, as a tiny little guy, waking from a nap to an old party tape of mine playing "Head Like a Hole" by Nine Inch Nails and immediately starting to bob his head to the music), and Russell seems more willing to branch out these days. Today they wanted to hear Piggies (the Beatles song from the White Album) over and over. But anyway, the down side of dragging out more rock music is realizing just how much of it is NOT what you want your little kid singing along with, even by our relatively loose standards. We played a Best Of album of Timbuk3's the other day, and got to the song called (I think) Assholes on Parade, which basically goes "there's assholes in [this], assholes in [that]" for several minutes straight. Once it started playing, David and I looked at each other and decided taking it off would draw more attention to it, since the kids seemed absorbed in something else. But suddenly Russell looked up, wide-eyed, and exclaimed, "They said Russells!" Umm... that's right, honey!

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