Well, I was just all bursting with ambition over taking the week off of Regular School and doing Field Trip Week. We were going to get out there and soak up all kinds of piles of educational splendor available to us folks lucky enough to live in the bustling metropolis of Chicago. Except there was one problem:
The Urban Kids weren't into it.
Yeah, I know....
So here was the plan, and where the plan fell apart:
Monday: Lincoln Park Zoo
We had our folder of Animal Observation Sheets and were going to carefully take notes on a few animals. I had checked out the website the evening before and was aware of every feeding, training, Meet An Animal chat that the zoo had that a.m. I had packed lunches for the three of us and stuffed them into my Mom Purse.
We happily ran around from animal to animal. We met a box turtle, watched an otter do flips off of the glass, saw the gray seal get its feeding & training. After much pleading from Urban Kid 2 to "see the juh-waffs," we stopped by the giraffes.
We ate our lunches in a windowless room in a basement where people who bring their own stuff are banished. (people who pay $6.75 for a peanut butter & jelly sandwich get sunlight and chairs that are not flipped over onto the tables, thus reminding us that yes, you get what you pay for sometimes) We rode the merry-go-round when U-Kid 2 was dozing off. But I should have just let her fall asleep, because we scored a cushy new "kneeling" bus that was virtually empty for our trip home.
We spent a long stretch gazing at the monkeys. They returned the favor.
Realizing that we were running out of time as far as U-Kid 2 needing a nap/avoiding a meltdown, I told Urban Kid 1 that we could see the kangaroos (an animal we have studied) or the polar bears (an animal we are going to study), but not both, as they are at opposite ends of the zoo.
She opted for the polar bears, so off we dashed to find...... an empty pen. No bears lounging in the sun. No bears swimming in the pool. No access to any indoor observation place.
peek-a-boo, i *don't* see you!
Ah well, it was basically a pretty day and a good way to spend it. We came back home, did the nap/quiet time that Urban Mom loves to pieces likes to give the kids, and did an afternoon outside class for Urban Kid 1 (i'll list the stuff we do on the left there, but sorry, not telling where we are on which days).
Tuesday: Shedd Aquarium
I was trying to hustle the Urban Kids out of the door in order to get there by 9a when the Shedd opened. We got there bright and early, and therefore scored metered street parking -- my big goal, since garage parking is $19, so yay me on that one. However, the Urban Kids were crabby! Urban Kid 2 was making her opinion of this particular trip very clear by throwing things and splaying herself across a bench and otherwise making a complete jackass of me spectacle of herself. And Urban Kid 1 did not show the slightest interest in any animals. And, we went to the Shedd on Tuesday because it was advertised as a Free Day. So what does Free Day mean to YOU? Because to the Shedd, it means, The Good Stuff Is Not Free; We Will Lure You Down Here And Then Demand $35 To Show You The Good Stuff Like The Dolphins or Penguins or Even A Damn Jellyfish.
Sigh. It wasn't the money. It was the principle. They dangled a day of free fun in front of a family of four living in the city on a teacher's salary. And then they welched on it. Feeling punk'd grumpy about it, we checked out a few displays, Urban Kid 1 actually listened for a few minutes to the feeding at the tank in the rotunda,
we ate our little lunches again -- but I had to bail out because U-Kid 2 was screeching and flailing -- and headed outdoors.
It was just as well. It was a beautiful day outside.
So they ran and played and picked every little flower they could find and joyfully brought it to me. Joyfully! Finally, a happy moment on Tuesday!
Then we remembered the little playground area between the Field Museum and the Shedd.
And then we remembered that our parking meter was about to expire and headed back to the car. Because if I wasn't going to pay $35 in Lie To Me Money admission fees, I sure wasn't going to pay $75 for Stupid Tax a parking fine.
Hey Urban Kids, want to go to the Museum of Science & Industry?
Yeah, but it's free every weekday this month. It would be fun. It's Field Trip Week. You want to go?
And so I had to ponder picking my battles. And it was the last 70-degree day that Chicago will see until May. We will be buried alive in several feet of snow before we know. Last winter we had -18 degree days before factoring in the windchill.
And so we blew it off and just took the day off completely.
We went to Ulta and picked up makeup for Urban Kid 1's Halloween costume (Cleopatra). We went to CVS and picked up necessities. We meandered the neighborhood. We went to the ramp behind a neighborhood church and ran up and down the ramp and some staisr, gathered leaves into a pile and then threw them around. We met friends at a playground and played until the sun went down.
(And I have secret plans to possibly meet our neighbors at the MSI later this week. ssshhhhhhhh.....)
It was perfect.
Hey Urban Kids, you want to go to the Butterfly Haven at the Nature Museum today? (again, a free day)
Would you rather go to the Butterfly Haven or do regular school? (ha ha, now i have 'em)
Wha'??? Really???? (high pitched and quite shocked)
Yeah. The Butterfly room is hot.
But that's the point!!!
Mmmmmm..... let's do school today instead.
(scratching head) Ummmmm.... okayyyyy.... I guess.
Friday: was never going to be a part of Field Trip Week, as we have three different outside activities stacked up like planes circling O'Hare on Fridays. I do not want to mess with Fridays.
I'm thinking that the next shot at this will be Field Trip Month. One Field Trip a week for a month. Build some anticipation maybe.
Living on the north side of Chicago, somewhere between Wrigley Field and the Lake. Married to Urban Dad, an amazing English teacher at Great Big Urban High School and mom to two Urban Kids that we've opted to homeschool. Urban Kid 1 is 7 1/2 years old. Urban Kid 2 is 4 years old.
The biggest rule of this blog is that I don't use our real names or recognizable pictures of us. I'm a bit paranoid that way. But in return, you get to hear the thoughts that are banging around in my head. I know... you'd rather see the cute pictures of the kids...