16 November 2013

Getting into a Groove

We have not quite got our body clocks in sync with our time zone or each other.  Craig wakes during the night and sleeps late, as do Ruby and Nina, leaving me and the little girls to enjoy the early morning. The girls played outside in our garden and I sat in this rocking chair in the sunshine and did a bit of knitting.  I also went to a knitting workshop at the local yarn and fabric store.  My knitting so far has mostly been figured out through making it up and occasionally youtubing it.  How useful to find out finally how to cast on properly.  Also very helpful to meet some locals with knowledge of good things to do around town.
(my apologies for the fuzzy iphone photos)
On Wednesday, after a bloody cold walk around Jamaica Pond, we headed to the local library. Grace had to find out various things about Massachusetts including how to spell it. She also discovered that the state insect is the ladybug. Who knew states had insects? Do we have a state insect of Victoria?  Imagine the fights over who got the ladybug - surely the pick of emblematic insects.
Ruby 'researched' the Revolutionary war; Nina the Boston Tea Party. Don't be under the misapprehension that they miraculously and voluntarily set themselves these tasks, though Nina in particular seemed to welcome the chance to do a bit of work. After reading about Samuel Adams' rousing speech in the Old South Church, she now has the chance not just to visit the church, but to comment every time she sees an advertisement for Samuel Adams Beer...

The library itself is gorgeous - old fashioned (built in 1931) and right round the corner, with wood everywhere and big tables, a homework club that meets Monday - Thursday and staffed by kindly and slightly harassed librarians.  Our membership entitles us to borrow up to 75(!) books at a time from any library in Boston, including the imposing Boston Public Library.

Nina folding the laundry
While Craig is all about improving their minds (though they haven't exactly relished the required weekly chess games so far) I decided that now was the time to properly establish some sort of chore regime in our family.  We've had various attempts at daily/weekly chores and theoretically the girls do rather a lot more than in reality.  I know this is because hounding them to do things takes time and energy and sometimes it is just easier to turn, if not a blind eye, an extremely myopic one, to the pathetic effort at making one's bed or putting away one's clothes.  But here I have 12 weeks (only ten and a half now, time is already ticking away) to teach them how to do a load of laundry, set the table, properly stack a dishwasher.  My aim is that at least Ruby and Nina will also have a repertoire of basic meals they can cook.  We have set up duty rosters - they work in pairs and the pairs change each day.  Whoever gets Lily has the misfortune of either trying to get her to assist, or doing her share of the work.  But I guess that is a learning opportunity right there, isn't it?  We'll see how this all goes.  My fantasy is that the requirement to perform chores somehow morphs into a deeper ingrained understanding of the work of running a house, so that everyone contributes, as in a socialist state, according to their ability.  But perhaps it is doomed to remain a fantasy.  We shall see.
Ruby did a nice job setting the table
Since our extremely cold Wednesday, the weather has warmed up considerably which is sort of a relief.  I know it will get much colder but to be that cold at the beginning of November was a shock to the system.

Other things  - we went to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  Even better than I remembered, despite the missing paintings but difficult to fully appreciate with four kids in tow, all of whom claimed severe starvation about half way through our visit, and one of whom (I'll let you guess which) declared loudly and frequently that she DIDN'T WANT TO WALK ANYMORE and that she WASN'T GOING TO TOUCH THAT PAINTING/CABINET/PRICELESS ARTEFACT that her hands were mere millimetres from.  A solo return visit (or several) is in order.

Tonight Craig is at TD Garden watching the Celtics play the Trailblazers in a (nearly) courtside seat purchased for a song from StubHub.

And we had a fun day today with some American delicacies, but it's getting late so I'll write about it later.

1 comment:

  1. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is only list of places to visit. Sounds like you are enjoying your trip!