Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some More Random Fall Fun

Alexa is back in ballet again. She took lessons for six months last year and then said, "I don't want to do this anymore," after her first recital. Then in September, she asked me why I took down a picture (that had been hanging on the fridge forever) of the different ballet positions and threw it away. She was very upset with me. I didn't even realize it meant that much to her. She said she wanted to go to dance again. I said to ask me again the next day. She did. I said to ask me again the next day. She did. Then I knew she was serious.

So, she's been very, very happily attending dance lessons once a week. She told me yesterday she wished she could go every day. It was such a cool lesson to me that even if your kids drop something and say they never want to have anything to do with it again, that's not always the case. Not that I care if she hadn't ever wanted to dance again, but if say your kid doesn't pick up a book to read in six months, it doesn't mean he won't ever want to read again.

Anyways, at the end of every class, Alexa's dance teacher gives the girls coloring pages. Jared always asks for these too. Now, I've never bought my kids coloring books. I personally feel they hinder a lot of creativity and have always preferred the kids free draw. They've also never wanted to color when grandparents or other people have given them coloring books. So, I was really, really shocked when Alexa walked in the kitchen this week holding up a picture she had colored. To my knowledge this is the first picture she has ever colored.

I remember going with the kids to some story times at the library when they were two, and afterwards they had pages for the kids to color. I remember most of the moms guiding their child's hand to color inside the lines. My kids just wrote on the backs of these sheets, and the mothers gave me a strange, pitying look. It was crazy to me that these women actually thought they needed to teach their children how to color correctly! I'd never, ever care if my kids colored outside the lines, but I thought it very ironic that their first attempts at coloring a picture turned out like this.

Besides our foray at bread making a few weeks ago, the kids haven't been interested in helping me bake or cook. Then yesterday Jared says, "Let's make brownies!" So that's what we did.

While the brownies were cooking, I gave the kids a bag of eight pieces of corn on the cob and asked if they wanted to shuck them. I knew Jared would love doing it, and he did. He is so like me in that he loves to do little, detailed manual things. He's good at doing hands-on, detailed things, whereas Alexa is good at mental, detailed things.

We had an awesome morning today. The kids were sitting on top of the couch in front of the living room picture window, waving goodbye to their dad, when they noticed a few squirrels and called me over. We noticed the squirrels were coming right up to the front stairs. I suddenly remembered a huge bag of walnuts I had bought almost a year ago for a project we never did, and ran downstairs to get it.

We threw one out at the squirrel and giggled with delight when he sat nibbling on it, holding it in his little paws with his tail swishing. Then he ran across the street with it. Soon another squirrel came up to him, and it really looked like they were talking to each other. So, I pretended to be the first squirrel talking to the new squirrel telling him how cool that house was across the street and how he should run across and get a nut, too. To our surprise, as soon as I said this, the second squirrel ran across the street and up to our door. The kids LOVED throwing out walnuts to him, and eventually to the other dozen or so squirrels that came out to beg over the next hour. I told the kids that maybe it was the squirrel's Halloween and they were trick-or-treating to our door. They loved that idea. I love, love, love being able to take the spontaneous things of life and run with them without having to always stress over a tightly scheduled life. Moments like this would have been lost, and that would be a huge shame.


Penny said...

What a great story (both, actually - the ballet and the squirrels). I bet you will have lots of fun with your new friends this winter!

mel said...

wonderful days....

we have squirrel friends too...or, i should say *had*...a cat moved in and now the squirrels stay away...:(

Stephanie said...

Funny that they were pitying you. :)
Seein's how... you know... you could so easily pity them.

That's what gets me the most, is that people are afraid that we will not (can not) learn things unless we're taught.

Love, love, love the visiting squirrels. I have a thing for squirrels.