My kids would nickel and dime me on the chores if they could. Actually, they ask if I will pay them a dollar for just about anything they do that they find inconvenient:
I’ll take out the recycles if you give me a dollar.
If I pick up sticks can I get a dollar?
I’ll only put on my pajamas if you give me a dollar!
It’s not nearly as charming as it sounds, I assure you. Oh, it doesn’t even sound charming? Agreed. You’d think it must have succeeded once or twice to be so persistent, but as far as I know, it hasn’t. I do see an uptick in these requests after they’ve been around their other, parent, though. I guess that is the perk of not living with your kids: you can avoid their constant attempts to impoverish you while simultaneously annoying the other parent.
Roommate reunion! I had lots of lovely roommates in college, but these are some of my favorites! Kate and I were in from opposite coasts and all four of us happened to have a few of the same free hours. We descended on Jamie’s super cute house to…play cards! Kate’s husband thought we were joking about that, but we showed him. Jamie gave us a refresher course on one of our favorite games and it was a blast, not just because I was leading when we had to stop.
Mormon Bridge/Damn it to Hell
o Deal cards: first hand is one card, successive rounds go up to seven and then back down to one.
o Flip the top card on the deck to get the trump suit.
o Everyone bets on how many hands they will win, using their hand to guess
o Person to the left of the dealer starts, playing card of his choice (on larger hands)—subsequent players must follow lead suit if they can
o Player with highest card in the leading suit OR trump suit wins hand
o Players get scores of +10 for each hand they win that they bid to win
o -10 for each hand you were wrong about
Next trip: Uno!
When I paid the plumbers several hundred dollars to pull a hunk of tree root out of my clay pipes, I thought I probably SHOULD forget about getting out of town for a little bit: that was my fun money. But, you know what? I just don’t have the financial discipline for that. We didn’t do anything special for winter break and I really wanted to mark this break with something more substantial than free swim lessons at the Y. So we went to Philadelphia anyway. I figured I could get a bunch of reading done in the hotel room (nope) and that my kids would feel like it was a treat to sleep on a pull-out sofa bed (yup). Most importantly to my kids: we ate at both Ikea and Chick-Fil-A. We also:
Took a Duck Tour
It was pretty good. I am not typically a tour kind of person, but this was a nice little orientation and, of course, my kids enjoyed the road and river aspect of the ride. I thought the driver made a great historical presentation (duck puns notwithstanding) but PJ informed me that he worked really hard to ignore all the “facts” she kept saying.
Visited the Insectarium
You can’t really tell from the website, but this is a baby museum. Have you ever seen a museum collection that wasn’t much more than a private collection? This is about one step beyond a collection of dead butterflies in someone’s basement. It is located above an exterminator’s shop well outside of the museum district. Yet it was one of Amos’ main draws to the city, so we went. On one floor, there were dead bugs and a super-gross model kitchen overrun with live cockroaches; not special exotic ones, just the kind that live in apartments. The top floor had live bugs in tanks and some you could hold, but why would you WANT to?!
Blitz of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Aside from the Mutter Museum, this was the main reason I have wanted to visit the City of Brotherly Love for YEARS. Now, I really couldn’t submit my kids to the nightmare-inducing medical oddities of the Mutter YET (someday, I’m sure), but I tried to make a deal with them about the Art Museum: EVERYTHING else we were doing was for THEM, but this was something I wanted to see. And so it was that I got to visit one of the finest art collections in the country with three desperately disinterested whiny children. Guess who hates to see kids at the art museum? Everyone! Patrons are really not excited when you walk into their gallery and interrupt their communion with their favorite John Singer Sargents. Security guards are not charmed when your six-year-olds just can’t keep their hands off the Rodin sculptures. Art students actually don’t love to have your preschoolers want to jump in and paint WITH them as they copy a Renaissance portrait. Ugh. PJ was quite good at guessing the time of day the impressionist paintings were painted at and Amos was a whiz at counting the number of dogs included in each room but Lily just wasn’t charmed by Trompe L’oeil and pretty much EVERY minute we were there SOMEONE was asking when we could leave. We didn’t last long. I think I need an adults only trip to Philadelphia.
Although my GPS clearly DID NOT want us to visit, we did anyway. Although the price caught me off guard (no more reciprocity, whah!) and the fact that we visited on Saturday morning (ahhhh!) it really is a great museum.
Wild Rumpus at Smith Playhouse and Playground
LOVED this stop. We stayed WAY TOO LONG.
Also, PJ was VERY excited to inform me that MOST of the kids there had “skin like mine.” By which he means, they were black kids. So far, he is by far my most sensitive kid on this front: he often discusses race with me and likes to make those observations. He was ecstatic about playing here. It makes me think we need to hit some different playgrounds back home.
One more time at the Art Museum
How do you get kids to return to someplace they hated the day before? Promise them we will see the armor, of course!
One sweet security guard did not seem to loathe us and he performed a special knighting ceremony for Sir PJ. It made his day.
See you next time!