Over the weekend, the washing machine broke, and on Monday, my friend Jill told me to bring over a load of clothes on Tuesday morning and to leave Leila for a couple hours to play with her girls while I did some work with the older ones. So I prepared the perfect load of laundry (enough to cover everyone for socks and pyjamas and pants) for another week until the washer part was delivered and Saïd could fix the machine. And then Leila had an accident in the middle of the night. Yea. So her sheets and blanket took priority.
The morning went smoothly after that, though, starting with our walk to Jill’s house, and then reading practice for Noah and piano for Zahra. Some math for Noah and birdwatching prep for Zahra (bird identification sticker book with room for notes and observations).
We also started dabbling in world religions. In Grade 3 at school, Zahra would have started talking about major world religions; so we’re going to spend a bit of time on Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. I had planned to approach each one by reading about their overlying principles and beliefs, followed by a visit to the appropriate house of worship (the most impressive example I can find in the Greater Montreal area). As I was reading, from a kids’ book on religion, about some more obscure religions, I got snickers and a “that’s dumb,” which really upset me. So I decided not to go straight into Christianity, but rather have a discussion about religion in general, respecting others’ beliefs (religious or not), and even the complexity of the issue by showing the overlap and divergences between the three major monotheistic religions. They were fascinated. We talked about specific friends and family members of different religions and those with no religious beliefs. We talked about how religion was such a personal thing, and how you can’t make anyone believe anything. Their questions were profound and sincere, and I think this will be a really interesting and rewarding topic to explore with them.
After lunch, I decided we’d take a couple loads of laundry to the laundromat in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and walk along the canal while we waited. As I was locking the front door, the handle broke…and I could see the garage door opener on a living room table. We were locked out. Yea. I called Saïd at work, and thought he said he’d be home by 4:30, and so I was sure the time would pass quickly with a trip to the grocery store, the dollar store (whose Halloween costumes and decorations freaked Noah out), and the used book store.
That’s us in a used book store with no limit on how much time we can spend there. Bliss.
We continued on to do our laundry, and lest you think those were a couple hours poorly spent, we met up with a friend who showed me a church bazaar where we could score great bargains, and then returned to the laundromat to find an older couple who were attempting to wash a duvet. Noah proudly showed them how the machines worked. We gave them some laundry detergent and struck up a bit of conversation. I am so proud of the polite boy emerging from Noah; he loves to greet strangers on the street and ask insightful questions. People are often taken aback by how polite and articulate he is. I just never know when I’m going to get this Noah or the daydreamer who doesn’t even hear my question. It almost seems as if he’s undertaken a science experiment of his own on social interactions and he’s constantly putting us to the test.
5:30 comes and goes. By this time, we’re at the library. Noah’s got his head in a book, and the girls and I are doing puzzles until Leila leaves us to wander around the library singing. Good thing it’s our small community library, and no one else is there. We have to be quiet in the library and we have to walk. Those are rules, but the library is sooooooo exciting that they often forget.
We take out a book on Greek mythology and read until 7:30, when Saïd calls to say he’s finally home. A few minutes later, we’re pulling into the driveway and Saïd is up on a ladder, and then crawling through a second-story window, and then we’re finally inside, dry and warm and home. The kids change into their pyjamas, brush their teeth, and ask for a chapter of Heidi. Only, I feel I’ve been reading all day, so they get their own books and flashlights. But within twenty minutes, everyone’s fast asleep.