Sunday, November 14, 2010

Perpetual Motion

Having a five year old son is a unique experience. His teachers tell me that while capable of great focus and amazingly sweet, my son moves around more than any other five year old they ever knew. Even while sitting at his desk doing work, he will have legs and arms in constant silent movement. At home he is always climbing the kitchen counter tops to help me cook and shimmying up the dangerous outside part of the wrought iron stairwell to the second floor when my back is turned for a second. He is fearless.

On Saturday morning we followed Sicily's requests of making bug cages and hunting for bugs with magnifying glasses. We are reading The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden and she is a little bug crazy - wants her own cricket prodigal musician. I have to hide the chapter books I read her at night now so she won't finish them after I've left - I provide her with popular series tailored toward her age group that she loves but I don't really want to read myself. I followed Jack's fancy for the next half of the day. We recently had an electrician visit our home - I have been out of a bedroom closet light ever since I moved in over a month ago and there were a couple of other light problems. He is the husband of a friend and moonlights at night - so he was around taking apart a light fixture in the kitchen one evening last week while I was preparing dinner and Jack was fascinated. He wanted to learn and experiment about electricity.

We found a highly recommended and awarded electricity kit at a local store, and set to learning about loops and circuits. The kids were both enthralled with creating light and whirring motors with a C battery, rubber bands, alligator clips, and the provided simple motors and bulbs. We even set up a switch with a paper clip and some brads. I tried to extrapolate what we were doing with their life experiences - the train around grandpa and bapcia's Christmas tree, the lights in their rooms, etc. I was pleasantly surprised that the activity held the interest of both my five and seven year old for quite some time, and I think they learned something from it.

Today was a special day I had planned a few weeks ago. Here is a hint:

I know - 40,000 people in my state have seen this over the last two weeks, but I was really excited to take the kids. And pleasantly surprised that they handled the three hour performance rather well. Jack was in his usual state of perpetual motion, which was somewhat challenging, but I was shocked to find my best control tactic over him kicking the seat in front of him over and over or flying his stuffed flying monkey in front of his sister's face was the threat of leaving. He was loving it, even though I was a little challenged trying to keep him focused. As I sat in the balcony, I thought back to my first viewing of this musical in the Orpheum in San Francisco last fall. I was in a front row seat, no squirmy kids or whispered questions about the plot. All in all, I enjoyed this second performance much better.


The Mother said...

Yes, that's a musical to cut kids' teeth on. They love it. I loved it. I still hum it to myself.

Kyla said...

I'd love to see that musical!

I'm like Jack. I am constantly wiggling without even thinking about it. When I'm sitting, my legs and feet are jiggling or bouncing. When I'm falling asleep I rub my feet together (I just realized I'm doing that as I type this, too). When I have to be still (like at a play or on an airplane where my wiggling wiggles other people's chairs) it takes a lot of thought to keep myself still and I usually find a way to subtly fidget with my hands. When Josh and I go to the movies, he'll often reach over and put his hand on my knee and I realize I've been bouncing without realizing it!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

You've got to see it, Kyla! Kay would love it.

I wriggle during tests. Badly. Change positions hundreds of times. I'm sure it was distracting at lab tables. Otherwise, I can stay pretty still.

Ginger said...

Is it anything like the book? I hated the book.

I grew up seeing shows at the Orpheum... as well as all the other SF theaters. I am waiting for Thing1 to stop moving long enough to see a show! I have a constant mover, too.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

You hated the book? I liked the book. It is much less dark than the book. I think you would like it. There are boring parts (aren't there in every musical?) with too many slow songs, but overall it was good and the set was fabulous - I thought better in LR than SF. Maybe b/c I was looking down from the balcony instead of staring up people's noses in the front row.

Ginger said...

I know, there's something wrong with me. Everybody I know who has read it loves that book. I got half-way through and had to quit, I hated it so much!

Gizabeth Shyder said...

Sometimes it's the place in my life and not the actual book for me, I find. I can try it again a year later and voila! It works, strangely. But if you got halfway through, maybe it wasn't going to work.