Thursday, January 27, 2011

An unexpected nature study and other surprises

The last couple of days have been particularly grueling and as I sat down to write something last night I felt very much akin to  a squeezed lemon.  I was just too tired to come up with anything coherent.  So instead I read some nutrition information and some frugality tips. But more on that later.  This morning the girls wanted to play with the dying flowers from the previous Shabbos.  The four year old declared that she loved flowers, a sentiment I share very much.  So we discussed how flowers grow and why they die.   She is interested in where and how things grow these days, apparently.  So I gave each one a few of the flowers to make little bouquets and off they went to play.  Later on the baby ended up with one of the flowers.  The three year old enjoyed dismembering one and collecting the beautiful, velvety petals into a bag for some future activity.  We discussed how the petals felt and how they looked like leaves except colorful.  Then we got busy with other things.  But the budding botanist wasn't quite finished yet.  There she was with her bouquet and a barrage of questions.  She presented me with the a illustrated plant guide, a very pretty one with lots of pictures and requested that we identify the flowers she was holding.  so we proceeded to do just that.  For some reason the guide has mostly the latin names instead of the common ones.  So the budding botanist was wondering why I was suddenly speaking to her in a strange language.  So we had to explain that too.  So we continued our quest to identify our flowers and as we were doing that I was surprised to see, that I could identify lots of flowers and plants from our walks around the neighborhood and I could now point them out to the kids and name them and what's more, they were actually interested.  I was also excited to see that the four year old understands the concept of looking something up in a particular book to find the answers.  So there you go, a surprise nature study.  So we might feel particularly depleted but then the kids remind us, exactly why what we are doing is important and they really are listening and learning and it makes it all worth while.  So be it flowers, or pretend reading, or them taking pride in a job well done or my three year old galloping around while announcing that she is jumping over the moon because she is a cow, naturally  and all the other sweet surprises, it makes me feel not quite so squeezed out after all and pick up and carry on from here.


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