Monday, May 7, 2007

Look Kids! Parliament! Big Ben!

I had to drop off some paperwork at the home of a prof out in Nassau County this morning...sooooooo, it seemed like a perfect day for a beach field trip. Ever since our trip a week ago with LIGHT to the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, the boys have been asking to go back and walk on the beach. Ben wanted to see if he could find shark's teeth (more challenging than expected, as it turns out...) and more shark egg cases, while James wanted to prove to me that the water was NOT too cold for swimming.

After forcing the boys to repeat the words, "I understand that I am not going swimming today and will not continue to torture my mother with additional requests," (no, really, I made them say it) we were on our way.

Woo-hoo! Mapquest safely gets me to the the home of the prof! Then: Jones Beach Bound! I grew up as a Wantagh Parkway girl, personally--but who am I fooling? I didn't learn to drive until I left the Island, after I was married. So there I am tooling down the Meadowbrook Parkway...the boys are quizzing each other on subtraction math facts from the back seat because I AM JUST THAT ORGANIZED and have provided them with work during the ride...

Really (I ask myself at that moment), how do I manage to do it all so well? Pshaw, I explain to myself (as if I'm giving a red-carpet interview), nothing replaces God-given talent and sma--

"Oh, no..." I mutter softly.

"What, what?!?" comes the immediate response from the back seat.

"How am I going north on the Meadowbrook?" I ask myself. "We were going south a minute ago...before that Loop Parkway bit..."

"Mom, mom!" the first-born points out (because we just went over this last week in a lesson), "the beaches are on the south shore; you're going the wrong way!"

"Oh, look! There's a turnaround up here! We're fine, fine! Anyone want to tell me what kind of plant life they're seeing outside the window?" I ask, putting us firmly back on home school terra firma.

"Pine trees and bushes?" the first born responds.

"Any maple trees or oaks like back in our neighborhood?" I query.

And then: "Oh, drat." The turnaround doesn't get me over there! Where I want to be! I can see it BUT I CAN'T GET TO IT! ARGGGGGGH!

"Don't answer her! She needs to CONCENTRATE!" the second-born shouts out. For the record, yes: this is something I tell my children while we're driving, on a fairly regular basis.

"No, no!" I respond. "I appreciate you looking out for me, but really! This could be a great teachable moment!"

"No, mom! You're cut off! No teaching time minutes until you're in the parking lot! Capiche?" my shy child remonstrates.

I realize he's probably right. Oh, hey! Another turnaround! Woo-hoo! This one is working!

"All right. Capiche," I agree.

No comments: