Saturday, 24 March 2012

Decision Making

It is important to Let Kids Make Their Own Decisions, even if they are bad decisions (I think). As long as no one is getting hurt, and the consequences are not far-reaching, it's good to let them make some choices (I think). At the very least, if things go badly, they CAN'T BLAME YOU. There's something to be said for that.

Yesterday, here in the Greater Seattle Area, we had Sun. My car thermometer read 56 degrees, and things felt positively balmy. I packed my Corolla, clown-car style, with Clover (+ a friend), Neptune (+ a friend), the Large White Poodle, and myself, and we headed off for the park. This particular park is right on the lake, and after some playground frolicking and tree-climbing, Neptune was ready for something a little different.

"Can I go in the water?"
"Well, I guess so. I think you'll end up pretty cold and uncomfortable, but it's your decision to make."

And so he ran off into the lake, getting progressively wetter. Every now and then he'd yell back, "Can I go deeper?" and I would explain, again, that it was his choice to make, but that X, Y, and Z would be the consequences. (I did, however, draw the line at full body submersion-- there's no way I wanted that in my car on the way home.)

Soon it was time to head home. Strolling slowly back to the car, complaining cheerfully of the temperature and the rocks and sand stuck to his feet, Neptune grinned at me.

"I'm freezing! And my feet hurt. Why do you let me make my own decisions? I'm a kid! I'm young and stupid!"

Monday, 12 March 2012

Tranche de homework*

Neptune is not known for his ability to Focus Consistently.
On anything

So it came as no great surprise when he spent his homework time alternately working on his fiction story and asking, seemingly out of the blue:

Why are erasers pink?
Because pink is a pretty colour.

When are we getting a new dryer?
As soon as you choose to donate $1000 to the cause.

Why isn't this pedometer working?
Whether it works or not, it should not be registering any steps-- you should be Firmly Seated And Writing.

He also felt the need to point out, "This is a great spy wall. See?" And sneaked around it, hands held in a "Charlie's Angels" style gun, face set in preparation for Meeting The Enemy.

I'll let you imagine how quickly is homework was completed.

*Did you notice my new blog title? I know my blog has had a bit of an identity crisis, but I'm pretty excited about this title. "Tranche de vie" means "slice of life," and was introduced by a French playwright in the late 1800s. It refers to dialogue or a story that represents the "real life" nature of the characters or plot.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Buried Treasure

I have spent HOURS over the last couple of weeks going through my pictures, deleting the ugly or redundant ones, and filing them away in the appropriate folders. This has been incredibly time-consuming, but actually very enjoyable. I've come across many gems I had forgotten I had. Most of them are of the children, and can't be posted here, but here's a worksheet that Clover did a few years ago:

Can you read it? It's a pictograph problem. She had to fill in the pictograph with the appropriate information, and then ask two questions about the table, and answer them.

Question: How many CDs does each dot represent?
Answer: 5,000 CDs

So far, so good.

Question: Why dots?
Answer: Because I like dots.

I. love. it.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Helpful Hints

When I'm excited about something, I do what any normal person would do: I research the hell out of it.

Wait. That's not what any normal person would do, you say?

Fine. I do what any true nerd would do, and research the topic to the extreme. As a result, I now know more (in theory) about chicken husbandry than I could ever have even imagined a few weeks ago. I would share my newly acquired knowledge with you, but I sense that perhaps we do not quite share the same level of enthusiasm.

The thing about this type of (obsessive, compulsive, endless) research is that you are likely to find pretty useless (the occasionally amusing) bits of information in amongst all of the photographs, fun writing, and interesting information.

My favourite bit of ridiculousness came from the book Chickens: Tending a small-scale flock for pleasure and profit.
Now, I have some positive things to say about this book FOR SURE. For instance, it introduced me to the concept of the chicken diaper. This is not to be overlooked or under-appreciated.


At this time, I would like to share some of the helpful hints Sue Weaver gives us on Incubation Troubleshooting.

Problem: No embryonic development

Possible cause: Not enough roosters
What to do: Add more roosters

Possible cause: Aged roosters
What to do: Add younger roosters

Possible cause: Eggs stored too long or incorrectly
What to do: Correct improper storage methods

The advice table continues along this vein, and I find it increasingly hilarious.

I'm not sure how I'm going to use this in other areas of my life, but I am absolutely determined to incorporate it.

"Is your problem 'Not enough roosters'? Then add more damn roosters!"

There's a metaphor in there somewhere.