Thursday, July 30, 2009
One afternoon in June we had a grocery store out on the deck. She choose some food items from her play kitchen, basically grabbing whatever she first got her hands on because she was anxious to set up shop. Then she told me the name and price for each item. My favorite product was the hamburger top (one half of a bun). I still crack up thinking of that. We displayed the signs and food stuff on her picnic table. And then we took turns playing the roles of customer and cashier.
This was a great way to review number skills. She can count with the best of 'em, but doesn't always recognize numbers after 10. So, when I was the customer I would ask questions to prompt her such as, "How much are the cookies? What does that say... twenty....?" And when I was the grocer I would say things like, "The drinks are fifteen cents (while pointing to the price tag), is that okay with you?" She loved this. And got better and better at recognizing the numbers and grasping the concept of twenty-nine being a 2 with a 9 on it's right side and forty-three being 4 and then 3,etc. (I have no idea of the technical name for this.) I love when I can sneak a little learning into our playtime. She also used her imagination to the fullest adding a doll to be the customer's baby and such. It was a fun, long-lasting activity for a not-too-hot summer day.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I'm grateful for my girl's imagination and sense of adventure. It was a wonderful spontaneous afternoon.
TV Land bestowed this sculpture of Andy and Opie from The Andy Griffith Show to the park since it is in the heart of the capital city. The fictional town of Mayberry was based on Mt. Airy, North Carolina where Andy Griffith once lived. My parents actually visited Mt. Airy on their way to visit us. They now have their own copy of this statue.
There are plenty of play areas throughout the sprawling landscape. There's a kiddie boat ride and a train for all. The best news is that every ride is one ticket per person and tickets are a dollar each. (The only exception is the 6 ticket paddleboats, which were of no interest to the adults, anyhow.)
It was a great way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend it to all Triangle residents and anyone who visits the area, although I'd avoid it on hot days. Look at this picture. I love my girl's sweet profile.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Like most children of the 80's, I have strong memories of Michael Jackson. For a period of time watching the Thriller video every hour on the hour was not only a top priority, but also a major bonding experience for me and my brother. So I was quite sad to hear of his death. I choose to remember the good. I truly believe that while he did some questionable and even inappropriate things, he never did anything to hurt a child in any way. I just don't think he was capable of that. A few years back I had the unique privilege of working at a party held for Cher and all her tour crew. One member of the entourage was a costume designer who had worked with Michael Jackson. He felt that MJ was a really good person who was completely out of touch with reality. (Not earth-shattering news, but interesting to hear that from an insider.) I think that pretty well sums up his life.
I was struck by Al Sharpton's words. When speaking to Michael Jackson's children, he said that there was nothing strange about him. Huh? This man won countless awards, gathered many records for his albums and singles, had a giant amusement park on his home property, lived with lots of different exotic animals; the list could go on and on. That's all pretty strange. Strange, unique, different, dontcha think? I get what Rev. Sharpton was getting at- he was telling the kids not to think about the negative things they are going to hear; as well as telling the world not to bother them with that. His intention was good, but the wording wasn't quite right. I wish I could tell those kids to embrace the strange. (at least the "good strange") Because the strangeness is what made him who he was. And the same is true of all of us. Our unique idiosyncrasies are what make us who we are. Don't think you are strange? Well, either you are wrong or I feel sorry for you. We are all created unique. Embrace the strange.