Saturday, 23 February 2008

Excursions are exhausting

On Friday I took the kids to visit Scitech, the hands-on science museum here in Perth, during their "Toddler Week". It was a complete madhouse! Hundreds of toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners, not to mention their frazzled mummies and daddies, with five rooms of exhibits to see, watch and touch or play with. And in the midst of it I was trying to keep tabs on four fast kids, the tallest of whom is only 110cm, who do not have matching homeschool tshirts yet! I met up with My homeschooling friend Mrs T and her five kids (the smallest is a baby, so at least she was one child who could be guaranteed not to wander off), and we also caught up with Mrs E from our mum's group with her four homeschoolers (including twins, most disconcerting when counting heads).

One of the highlights was the bubble show, a demonstration of balloons and soap bubbles which held the kids' fascination for at least a quarter of an hour. Mrs T & I sat up the back of the open space but our kids all took themselves down the front. Joshua was picked as a volunteer for one demo and when asked his name, did he say nicely and politely, "My name is Joshua J*****", as he's been taught? No. "I'm Rescue Man!" he declared proudly, to much laughter from the audience. Joshua's friend D stood up then to explain he does have a normal name, but the presenter was content to speak to "Rescue Man". I never thought I'd be the parent of one of those quirky children who introduces themselves by some made-up name, or has imaginary friends... but I guess that's the price one has to pay when one actually reads aloud to their kids(!) and they develop that terrible, scary thing called an imagination.

Another highlight was the room called Discoverland, which is set up all the time for 3-7 year olds. The kids particularly liked the physics section which had a series of platforms accessed by ramps with different slopes, with kid-sized wheelbarrows and several rope and pulley systems attached to large canvas buckets, all so the kids could hoist up pink bricks (made from that recycled tyre rubber stuff) to construct a wall. The kids slapped on their hard hats (even Samuel had a go at this one) and could hardly be dragged away.

We also watched a puppet show which taught the kids that even scientists get some of their most "creative" ideas from the Creator (well, the puppet master called it Nature, but we know who invented Nature, don't we?) Samuel was too tired to pay attention but Abigail and Anna appreciated the puppets and Joshua keeps asking me more about burrs and velcro and the sound it makes that sounds like your pants ripping... science can be fun but it can also be exhausting.

So, being the exhausted mamma that I was, on the way back to the car (3pm) I stopped in at Gloria Jeans for a large mocha and (never again!!) I forgot to order decaf. I was still shaking 5 hours later as I drove over to the T family to babysit for their date night, and even though I only got into bed around midnight, my head was still whirling. It is truly a wonder I got any sleep that night. I must remember decaf, I must, I must, I must!

No comments: