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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Camp Marshfield's Backyard Jungle

Well, did I get any more work done yesterday? No, of course not. I knocked off and went out back to see how the butterfly/grasshopper/lightning bug hunt was going. We all ate some granola bars (or parts of them) and then they weeded the garden boxes and my big white pots to get them ready for some new seeds--cilantro, which I should have plated a couple of weeks ago but didn't.

They wanted to dig down in the dirt and see what they could find. I think they found an earthworm--yay! They definitely found spiders, centipedes, and a daddy longlegs or two. They thought the daddy longlegs was a spider until I made them count its legs--daddy longlegs only has six legs. "How many legs does a spider have?" I asked.

"Eight!" they all yelled cheerfully. So now they know.

I made the mistake of leaving them to their own devices once planting had started. I wanted to give one of the Mrs. Bradys a crack at the vegetable box. She took the cilantro. Junior's mom was out with the new baby, whom I hadn't seen since his big brother graduated 8th grade. So I went over and hung out with them. Junior's mom took the broccoli. She was trying to figure out which girl Junior likes. I don't even know. Junior's little brother and his best buddy both like age-appropriate Brady girls

Junior's mom is funny--she has very blunt opinions about her kids and is not shy to express them. We agreed the baby looks like his daddy. "No es guapo/he's not cute," she told me. "Oscar, he's cute."

"That's cause he looks like his mom," I said, grinning. She kidded back, flashing me a smile and tilting her head model-style.

A little while later, the small troop of children came out of my yard and back on the street. Sarah told me she planted her seeds but she thought another kid had dug around in there after she was done. Hopefully the Brady girl in the garden box was able to finish her row uninterrupted.

Jay-Z and Sarah like to eat green beans raw. True to form, Jay-Z kept asking for more. I got a little bag for him. He kept trying to get his pals to eat them too. If I didn't have a name for him already, I would switch it to Mikey, in honor of the old Life cereal commercials with the line "He likes it! Hey, Mikey!"

If you're not old enough to remember the commercial, You Tube has it here.

Sarah invited me to join the bug hunters in her backyard, where they were going to release all the lightning bugs they had captured over the last few hours. They had quite a few in there. We all cheered when the first ones flew away.

There were some slowpokes too. "Look, they're married!" Sarah said. "They want to be together." One was on top of the other one and they weren't going anywhere.

"They might be trying to make eggs," I said. These kids might have caught in the air and picked up off the ground, so it's possible there was a hookup in the jar, I don't know. By the way, in a quick search effort to find out how fireflies actually do make eggs, I found this article from Tufts about a firefly researcher.

Later on, Jay-Z asked if we could play Memory, so I brought it out, plus another little container for lightning bugs. It just amazes me how so many kids of so many different ages like playing that game. We have the animal cards and it is actually a help to their vocabularies--that's not just a red bird, it's a cardinal, not just a blue bird but a peacock, etc.

We had to declare my front stoop a water-free zone because there were a few water guns being toted around and squirted, even though it wasn't that hot. The mosquitoes have finally arrived--time to invest in some calamine lotion.

For once, Memory Girl was not the first in line to play. She wanted to ride her bike. Later she came back and played with one of the Brady Girls until they got called home. Then we played a game and read more about spiders. We reviewed a little of what we read on Sunday--she remembered things--and moved on to the part where they talk about how spiders spin silk. She read some, I read some, and we read together. (Reading out loud together is good for kids' fluency.) She doesn't always stop at the period, and it's pretty easy to tell when she's just sounding out the words and when she really knows what she's reading. Hopefully we'll have more one-on-one reading time as the summer goes on.

The Magic Tree books all disappeared instantly. The Brady Girl who planted cilantro in my garden box took the guide on Twisters with her to school today. She had read all but one of the first four Magic Tree books, so she took the one she hadn't read already. Sarah took the first two and another Brady Girl got the second one. The littlest Brady Girl asked if she could borrow "the poem book" (Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic). Her cousins have it but she doesn't, so I sent it home with her. I think somebody else took Eloise, too. I saw one of the Brady's reading the Magic Tree about mummies underneath the front porch of Sarah's house--it's a great little clubhouse/hiding spot for kids. The girls hide in there and play with their dolls, too.

1 comment:

DJ Strike It Up said...

Congrats to those kids...Im an on air personality for Radio Arte 90.5 FM

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