Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Easter and beyond

Home from Hawaii, and right into Easter!  Zane had been looking forward to this holiday, because he knew he would get more candy.

Zane's dip into philosophical questions continued from our trip.  Whenever a holiday like Easter comes up, I feel like it's a good opportunity to talk about why people celebrate it, and what Michael and I and most of our family believe (or don't).  On the way to a puppet show we had a long conversation in the car about symbols of spring, old celebrations, and Christian Easter beliefs.  Zane wanted another god story. I gave him a synopsis of Jesus' life and explained which parts I thought were true. Then I told him about the Christian beliefs of the son of god, dying for sins, rebirth, and Heaven. Zane was very upset at the death, and then decided he liked the religious explanation with coming back to life. Once again, he likes the god version of the story. Very interesting to me, but it also makes sense for his level of understanding how the world works.

I think the talk of heaven also got him thinking about what is outside space.  On the way home from the puppet show he asked, "What's outside space?" I said it was just more space, on and on, filled with stars and planets and galaxies. "But what's outside that?" Well, some astrophysicists say that our whole universe might be just one of many, some with all of the same things in it we have in our universe. "Oh! So there is another copy of the book If I Built a House in it!" Yes! There probably is!  OK. Teaching about parallel universes: done.

The Saturday before Easter we went to the zoo for their annual egg hunt.  Michael took Zane last year, so I was excited to go this year.  Actually, it was kind of a bummer.  There was nothing in the eggs, and then you turned them in!  At the exit to the zoo, they had candy to choose from, but it's not the same as discovering in eggs.  As much as I hate for Zane to get tons of candy, I think next year I'll look for a hunt with more reward.  We had fun on the carousel, though, and it was a beautiful day so the sides were all opened up.

The next day at home, we discovered the Easter Bunny had visited!  JoJo was very interested in the basket, which is what she usually sits in when she gets combed.  Also, the Easter Bunny had used JoJo's own hay in the basket, which made it smell extra yummy.  Zane was excited to find eggs all over the living room with candy in them!  His Easter basket also had a bug collecting kit and a nice ceramic tea set.  I would say he was pretty pleased with his haul.  At breakfast I let him have his very first Cadbury Creme Egg.  As I expected, it was too rich for him to really eat very much, but it was still a very special treat.

We've had a few adventures this spring so far.  Our cousin Leah and her fiance Matt came for a visit, and we had a rare sparkling clear day.  We all went up on the Seattle Great Wheel, which I've been wanting to do for awhile.  We had a fantastic view, and the ride was amazingly smooth.  After we were done Zane had a really great time in the arcade on the pier below.  I think my favorite game involved stomping on spiders.

Later in the week I took Zane to see Adventures with Spot at the Seattle Children's Theater.  I didn't think it was quite as fantastic as The Cat in the Hat or Dot and Ziggy, but Zane seemed to like it a lot.  Next I'll take him to Pippi Longstocking, which I'm really looking forward to!

A few days later we went back to Seattle Center for their annual spring break Whirligig.  They had about 10 different bouncy houses set up, and several of them were obstacle courses.  Zane loves obstacle courses.  I didn't take him last year as I was worried about him getting creamed by older kids.  I actually did see that happen this year, but Zane laughed and loved it.  He was always finding older kids to follow around and roughhouse with.  As I watched in great anxiety, I composed this haiku in my head to help calm myself down:
      Zane careens inside
      The obstacle course of doom
      I learn to let go

We had a chilly and drizzly trip to Kelsey Creek Farm for their annual sheep shearing event.  I was surprised how interested Zane was in the fiber arts room.  We spent quite a long time watching wool dyeing, carding, spinning, and knitting.  And then, by god if there weren't bouncy houses.  We finished up with that and headed home, full of kettle corn and hot dogs.

In May we have started to have some really excellent weather.  We had our first trip to the beach of the season, and I could have worn a sundress and been warm.  It was amazing.  Today we did our first family walk down the stairs and in the woods nearby Golden Gardens.  Zane's legs are much stronger for going up the stairs than last year.  He still go mighty tired out, though, and has gone to bed early.

I'm especially proud of our trip to a local fire station.  I organized this for Zane's entire preschool,  and I felt a bit nervous about being responsible for everyone having a good time.  I was most anxious about taking the bus there and back.  In the end it all went of really well, and I just needed to be a parent chaperon while letting the teachers be in charge.  The firefighters were awesome, and I was especially pleased that a woman firefighter led most of the tour.  At first they quizzed all the kids on their fire safety knowledge, and they let us know what to do if an alarm went off.

Then we got to see the truck, and handle some of the equipment!  Zane had been bored at the first part, but he was front and center for the rest!  He is hefting a nozzle in the photo above, and he claimed later that it wasn't heavy at all.  One firefighter showed off some sort of mechanical gripping claw, as well as an axe.  He asked if anyone wanted a finger chopped off, and one boy eagerly offered his hand.  All fingers stayed on.

A third firefighter then showed all of the equipment he had to wear and why.  I think the kids liked this most of all.  The firefighter kept saying, the more gear I get on, the less I look like me!  I look more like something scary, but I'm still just a firefighter.  Every time a new piece of equipment went on, Zane kept shouting gleefully, "I still know it's you!  I still know it's you!"  I thought this was a great way to help kids not be scared of a big, heavy breathing black monster coming at you in a fire.

Then  the alarm went off!  We all quickly stood to the side and filed out of the station.  The firefighters quickly suited up and the truck was off with lights flashing.  I was a bit disappointed that they didn't use their siren.  I'm not sure how much more they would have showed us, but I don't think we missed much.  Maybe they would have let some kids into the truck.  I thought it was really a great ending, though.  Later on they offered to have us come for another tour, but we were satisfied.

And speaking of heroes, a big part of our life lately has revolved around superheroes.  A number of kids at school talk about superheroes, and Zane was ecstatic when I found a Spider-Man t-shirt for him in a pile of hand-me-downs.  I looked around the library catalog and found a bunch of superhero stories just for little kids.  They don't have much physical violence, mostly just some witty repartee and getting wrapped up in webs.  Zane is enraptured by these books.  Some of the books are pretty bad, though.  One introduced about 15 different superheroes, and only one was female. All the male super heroes were outside doing super things, while the one girl was in the frickin kitchen! How many editors and artists and publishers saw this and thought it was a great thing to publish?! Aaaaaargh!  I've managed to bend the superheroes to my will, however.  We have had some problem with getting Zane to poop in the toilet, so some Spider-Man t-shirts and a sweatshirt have been dangled as rewards.  So far they've helped a lot!  Way to go Spider-Man!  My hero!

Now if only Spider-Man would eat vegetables in his books.  We really don't do well with this.  Zane eats raw and cooked peas, carrots, and corn, but not much else.  Michael and I are not great role models here, either.  We all eat tons of fruit, but veggies get short shrift.  I decided to try fruity smoothies with vegetables in them, and I got a cookbook from the library to help.  I got Zane involved in the prep, and he absolutely loved it.  He claimed he like the smoothies, too, but they did not actually enter his body in more than minute quantities.  Darn.  I should probably keep plugging away, but I feel defeated.

Physically Zane is getting great exercise for his body.  He comes home from school most day covered with cuts and bruises, and I consider that to be the signs of lots of good climbing attempts.  We're trying something new, though!  A few months ago Zane saw a bit of the ballet Swan Lake on Sesame Street, and a few days later he told me he'd like to try ballet.  I was surprised!  I know a few girls and a boy from school go, but he'd never expressed interest.  I was hesitant to sign up for expensive lessons, but I didn't want to quash his interest, either.  I asked at the local music and dance school if he could do a trial class, and they said sure!  We went on a Sunday and it was awesome!  The teacher was a male dancer/acrobat, and he had the kids running themselves ragged and then acting out a story with a princess, a fairy, and a dragon.  He spent quite a bit of of time flinging Zane in the air, too.  And through all that, Zane learned first and second position and plie.  Plus, the big bonus is that parents do not go into the dance room, so I can sit outside and read!  We were sold.  I can't wait to go back next Sunday.

OK, so that gets me all caught up with stories!  I hope I won't get so behind again for awhile ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Julia,
As always, I enjoy following the adventures of you and Zane whenever I have internet access. Hope all is well at the library, I think of you all often!