Today, I came to the horrific realization that we are one of those families who finds it difficult to be out of the house before 9:30. And 9:30 is really pushing it. I say horrific because I used to take pride in the fact that we could be up, fed, dressed, lunch packed, and standing in front of any museum’s doors at least five minutes before it opened. Now we wake up at 8:00, just as the school bus passes. Breakfast, thanks to Saïd who loves to eat, consists of many courses, and there’s always a straggler (Zahra) who makes it stretch on even longer. We’ve mostly forgotten the concept of “hurry up, get dressed” and so this morning, as I nagged, I kept getting ignored. There were more important things to do, like plan which forest animals they should build dens for today.

But Zahra had an early voice lesson this morning, and that girl loves to sing. She reads late into the night, cuddled under her covers with a flashlight, and a couple nights ago I found her in bed with song lyrics. She takes piano lessons because I strongly encourage it, but voice is her true passion. It helps that she has a teacher who talks the talk and walks the walk.

IMG_5857We did manage to get out the door and were only a few minutes late to her lesson, after which we headed to the Cosmodome. As teachers from the English school board were striking today, we got to go with friends! We chose a mission to explore the far reaches of the Cosmos. It fit in nicely with all the talk about planets, stars and constellations that has been going on in our house lately. We hadn’t really touched upon space exploration, though, so this was new. We learned about space probes and attempted to launch one of our own into space.

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After the mission, there was a little museum to explore. The boys made a space probe and space station out of Legos, and the girls did some colouring before we left.

Back at home, it was time to get dinner on the table for hungry, tired kids—especially the little one. A package from my mom had fortuitously arrived in the mail with the kids’ magazines and a piece of junk mail that saved my sanity.

This is Leila working on a Highlights puzzle. It didn’t matter how burnt out she was; she sat quietly pouring over this picture and searching for the missing items. This must have arrived as junk mail for my mom and she stuck it into the envelope with the kids’ magazines; it’s not the first time we’ve received a sample one. Also not the first time that Leila has been fascinated by it. And then it clicked.

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There have been many days where Zahra is occupied by her birdwatching project, I’m reading with Noah, and Leila has a meltdown because she doesn’t know what to do. The things I try to ask her to do (write her name, bead counters, colouring, etc.) she refuses, and yet she doesn’t want to play on her own—she wants a “project” like Zahra and Noah. These Highlights puzzles could be it: Leila’s work.

Our reading for tonight was supposed to Heidi, but after spending time with baby Thomas today, the kids were full of questions about what they were like as babies (one of their favourite topics). So I pulled out the baby books and we read some anecdotes from their baby days. As I was reading, Noah was furiously building with Legos, and at the end he had two masterpieces: a space probe and a mission control centre.

Sweet dreams, my little explorers!