Author: Luisa Perkins
•8:48 AM
The Young Scientist
Hope's second grade teacher sent her a note the other day and enclosed this photo. In it, Hope is presenting her research project on Eastern Box Turtles, complete with papier-mâché replica, to her class. I love my girl and her enthusiasm for learning.

Everyone's a Critic

Daniel has a new habit of giving us running commentary on the music that happens to be playing. A few tidbits:

(Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away"): "[Lenny] likes his guitar!"

(Foo Fighters' "Learn to Fly"): "Rock and roll!"

(U2's "Gloria"): "This song isn't so good." (I opened my mouth to argue with him, then remembered that he's three. There's time, people.)

(Alison Krauss's "Daylight," Sixpence's "Don't Dream It's Over," Hem's "Half Acre):

"Mama, it's YOU! (I'll let him keep his flattering-to-me illusion for the moment.)

Amazing Invention

I took Tess to the City for a check-up with her eye doctor last Friday. I'd promised I'd take her to lunch, but we got out of the appointment early, and decided we had time for a quick run to The Museum of Natural History before eating. As we walked past The Dakota on our way to Central Park West, Tess noticed the subway entrance.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Those are the stairs to the subway," I told her.

"What's a 'subway?'"

"It's a train that runs in an underground tunnel all over the City."

Tess stopped in her tracks, grabbed my arm, and looked up at me with saucer eyes. "They HAVE those?" she cried.

Patrick and I lived in the City for 11 years after we got married; the subway was part of our daily life. But we left Manhattan when Tess was only two weeks old, and I tend to forget that the City has not been a crucial part of her formative experience as it was for the older three kids. Note to self: take Tess on train down to South Ferry on next trip to Manhattan.

A Modest Proposal

I received this missive from the boys yesterday, a response to my comment on this post. "Daniel signed by proxy," Christian and James each informed me independently.

In case the scan is hard to read, here's the unedited transcript:

"We the people of the United Rooms of the Perkins Household request to view the movie Alien vs. Predator. As you think the movie is dopey we are willing to do the following.

- James finishes Heidi, doesn't make fun of it at all and writes a superb 2 page essay on it.

- Christian finishes Little Women and writes a three page essay on it.

- No more complaining at all about homeschool

- We do double the chores we usually do

[Signed] James Perkins
Christian Perkins
Daniel Perkins [official seal]"

We are probably too permissive when it comes to the movies we let the big boys see, which becomes clear if you look at James's list of Top 20 Movies. The irony/disconnect becomes even more apparent when one considers that they watch no television other than what the little kids see on Noggin; Mets games; and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns.
I think most TV is garbage, and I deem the commercials to be worse than the actual programming. Yet they've seen every James Bond movie ever made.

The proposal is interesting. The boys know they have to write essays on their assigned reading anyway, and they almost never complain about homeschool (at least not in front of me). But the double chores offer is enticing. I must ponder it.
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On 7/8/07 , luisaj said...

I say let them see the movie. I think there should be some reward for their clever proposition. By agreeing to their offer, you will not only gain esteem in their eyes, but some willing help around the house/yard. Win-win!

On 7/8/07 , dawn said...

Very clever proposal. I am not sure how old your boys are, but I certainly know that what my 14 year old watches is not always appropriate. I would probably let him watch Alien if he asked in such a clever way. Hmmm... I think there is a motivation here to be clever.

On 7/8/07 , Annette Lyon said...

Smart kids! Gee, where oh WHERE did they get THAT from? :D

On 7/8/07 , dawn said...

Oh yeah, great photo and keepsake of your daughter and her project. Your three year old may become the next Simon Cowell. The subway is an amazing thing. We have a little transit train in our city, and one day I took the kids from one end to the other which is where the University is located. We walked around, went to the periodicals library, and looked at newspapers from the second world war period, on microfiche. Then we took the train back to our vehicle, which was in the shop for 2 hours getting an automatic starter installed. It was a great field trip, full of new experiences, and seeing the actual papers from the time in history we were reading about. That was in January 2001.

On 7/8/07 , Catherine said...

How incredibly cute, sweet, and creative! A mom of three was just saying to me today that, though she loved baby era, she now is loving how creative her kids are, the amazing things they add to her life. What great examples!

On 8/8/07 , NH Knitting Mama said...

Great stories! Your kids are clever!

On 8/8/07 , Radioactive Jam said...

Alien Vs. Predator is a movie?! I thought it was just a video game.

Wait I remember now. It *is* a movie.

Can I watch it when they're finished?

I'll leave double comments...

On 8/8/07 , Radioactive Jam said...

(I wasn't kidding)
The turtle replica? Awesome.

As is the official seal.

On 8/8/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

What fun children. They remind me of my oldest boy when he was young. He's now a high flier working for a well known computer company.

You could always let them watch the scary movie and then write an essay on what made it scary, if/how it could have been made less scary--and how to deal with nightmares :-)

On 8/8/07 , Jenna said...

I adore your kids, Luisa. That box turtle is so realistic looking, I had to look twice. Great job! And your boys and their proposal. Love it.

On 9/8/07 , Syar said...

"Official Seal". Hee. I'm chuckling.

On 9/8/07 , rjlight said...

We keep telling the kids we are taking them on BART to SF but we still haven't -- but they have been on the metro in Spain!

On 10/8/07 , deb said...

ah, that face. such hope and joy. advise her to stay away from science projects that involve tracking the growth rate of an onion. they always get trumped by the kid who makes a camera out of a shoebox. oh, you're wondering how i know.......? the memory haunts me to this day.

On 12/8/07 , Julie said...

I love it! Especially the official "seal"!

I feel the same way about tv and movies. We let our kids watch practically anything they want, on video. But we don't have cable or any network tv reception at all, which means they see no tv shows, no commercials, and above all no evening news. I know it sounds inconsistent, but it works very well for our family.