Monday 27 November 2006

Cornucopian Weekend

We went to two Thanksgiving dinners this weekend.

The first dinner was at Aunt Debbie’s house. We left Thursday morning less than an hour behind schedule, which is better than average. The trip was uneventful. Anticipating what children would need after a three hour car trip, Aunt Debbie had a big bag of Legos™ ready. Corwin and Charles were so happy that they didn’t fight over them for almost half an hour. Even Alice played with them.

Alice and Corwin also liked Libby, Aunt Debbie’s miniature dog. Libby liked Corwin, but feared (with justification) the questing Alice, who called out “Libby! Doggie!” while stalking the poor dog.

We visited the local park with Cousin Dana in place of Charles, who preferred to stay behind and play with the Legos. The park was fun and on the way back, Dana was able to pass of Alice as her own child to a friend of hers we met.

We left mid-morning for our other weekend event, at a house in downtown Chicago owned by two of Mom’s friends from college, Mark and Justin. Sara was there with her Matt attachment and Ella. Sarah was there with her children Bear and Wolf. Corwin and Charles enjoyed playing with Bear and Wolf, while Alice was not initially interested in Ella.

The boys played in a tiny next door park for part of the time. The other part they read or played with some plastic army men that Sarah brought along. The army men were also a bone of contention, both for access and for interference. Corwin and Charles both spent a lot of time arranging the men in precise formations, which were inevitably destroyed by the interaction of other people, usually children. Their habit of setting up the formations in the middle of rooms, doorways, and hallways may have contributed. Both of them were reduced to tears at least once from accidental or deliberate disruption of their carefully constructed tableaus.

In the evening, all of the children also enjoyed some of my glowing trinkets before going to bed. By this time Alice and Ella were friends and they had much fun holding hands and taking running jumps on to the couch. They enjoyed hanging out together the next day as well.

In the morning Mom took some of the kids out to look at the local commuter train station, although because the train was late they didn’t actually see it (on the other hand, the house is right by the tracks so trains go by, in sight, on a regular basis — but apparently that’s not as cool as seeing the train in the station).

We then took all of the children over to the Museum of Science and Industry, which is an easy walk from the house. The kids had fun there, even though Charles had wanted to ride the commuter train instead. We looked at various exhibits until it was time for a movie about underwater volcanoes. I thought it was interesting, although neither Alice nor Ella lasted five minutes before conking out (even though it was Ella’s very first movie in a theater).

One exhibit the boys liked was the agricultural exhibit. Corwin and Charles liked the combine, with its simulated movie of harvesting crops (even though they had ridden in a real combine harvesting real crops a month ago). There was a simulated soy bean field which Alice thought was intensely fun. She spent our entire time there running around in circles and bouncing on the floor (which was some sort of rubber matting colored to look like a farm field). Corwin and Bear also spent time at some computer game, presumably agriculturally themed although my duties did not permit me to inspect it for content.

After the museum, we walked back to the house and hurriedly departed. We managed to get back in town just barely in time to pick up Polynomial from her vacation resort before it closed for the evening. We left in such a hurry that we failed to separate out Charles’ airplanes from the army men, and so they were left behind. Charles was very distraught for a while, but he had forgotten them by time for bed. Personally, I figured if we got all three kids and the dog back, we were doing OK.

Posted by Dad about Family at 10:02 | Ping URL
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