Tuesday, January 8th 2014 [Gavin = 5&1/2 y/o]
On Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM, MaryMargaret wrote:
Gavin asked me yesterday, “What is the most scientific book you have?” Hmmm… I showed him “Neural Mechanisms of Color Vision,” a book I published when I was a publisher. He took a look. not quite what he had in mind, besides it wasn’t very thick.
He went to the bookcase in the hall where I keep my Dad’s “Great Books” collection and a few random others. “What about these?” he asked. I said, “Well, you’re right, those are some of the most wise and scientific books ever written.” He brought out, however, a fat tome with a plain hard cover and no dust jacket. “What about this one?”
In his hand was “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by that energetic explainer/reporter/historian/travel writer out of Iowa, Bill Bryson, in which Bryson, indeed, takes a crack at describing nearly everything scientific in plain English. And Bryson’s writing style is quite direct and down-to-earth. I’m sure Gavin could follow the prose read aloud and probably find much of it fascinating.
I read him the first paragraph. He liked it. I said he could take it home. Then he said, “How can I tell which is the front?” Good question. So he had me measure the blank cover and outline the space on paper, in which he will draw a scientific picture and we’ll glue it on the front. His first attempt at the solar system discouraged him — “I made Jupiter too big and it’s touching Saturn” — so he crumpled it. Then we went on to other things — comparing airworthiness of several paper airplane designs (created using a “bone folder” which in answer to his queries I explained was once made from cow bone but now plastic though it has kept “bone” in the name), checkers (both regular style and “fast-moves/we-don’t-care-who-wins” checkers, which is more fun, especially since he won!), Slamwich (turns out to be worth its inflated price, perfect for this age, and youthful reflexes count), Mom’s Christmas-gift hot chocolate, and the Roger Miller “Robin Hood” (which I love, like all movies with the boys, for the cuddles in my not-quite-big-enough green chair) — but we’ll tackle Book Cover Project again this afternoon.
All brain and intellect and searching curiosity. Then we went to his house.
On the way over he encouraged me to not be able to find a clear parking space so that while I circle the block he would go in his house and get his new snow shovel and come down and shovel snow to make a space for me. Alas, the snow’s about gone, which was just as well since it was cold as heck), where he 1) argued with Dad over how many of Dad’s specially-collected cardboard boxes he could knock around, 2) knocked one around repeatedly with his bare fist to proudly turn his knuckles red (til I couldn’t stand it and yelled at him to knock it off it was driving me nuts), announced at bedtime he has “new, cute” pajamas to wear and took half an hour to get them on, between reads of ClaraJane’s choices, Boynton’s dinosaurs and “Feelings” (“again”), then his choice, 3 chapters of “Don Quixote” (“Ka-HOH-Tay” he instructed me).
Leaving school there was a fascinating 5 x 7 foot ice sheet to which kids were magnetically drawn of course. We stayed a while but it was cold so I tried to move us along to the car and he didn’t follow right away. This gave me an opening for something I’d planned to say to him, which is, while it’s the grownup’s job to constantly keep track of the kid, at his age it’s also his job to keep track of his grownup. It needs to work both ways, then if the attention of one strays, there’s a backup in the other one, and that could prevent the grownups and children from become separated, which is very scary for everyone as we now know for sure. Like everything, I’m sure he understood the message on the first take, but this led into a recitation of what he would do if he lost track of grandma at school, he would go to the office and say “I’ve lost my grandma,” and I praised him again for his poise and resourcefulness in finding the Salvation Army uniformed lady AND a policeman when he did get lost.
Then he confided that Auntie Lolo was mad at his parents that he got lost. “She is my Godmother, you know.”
In other familial news he told me FlashCat and Peter Parker are his brothers because they’ve been adopted by the family, so he and they are brothers despite being “different species.”
While waiting for dinner G and CJ played in the hall whichever “A” neighbor child has the baby sister, and the baby took great delight in coming in and out of #9 with shining eyes and delight at her own boldness. Meanwhile, CJ physically directed the baby’s brother [Ayyian] by the shoulders to come play in her room. When it was time to eat she sat at the door for a while screaming “I need to go out in the hallway!!” and when ignored, came to her place on Daddy’s knee to eat steak and broccoli.
After what Gavin used to call “turries” [“stories”], Dada came in with a seemingly limp, asleep CJ on his shoulder, but when I congratulated him he said, “Oh, this is faux.” I handed him the “tippy cup” and beat my retreat, leaving the rest of the bedtime wrangle in his capable hands.