• Family

    history lesson, via #Hamilton

    Me: *sings* My name is Alexander Hamilton!

    Indy: Who’s that?

    Me: He’s one of the people who fought the Revolutionary War and helped start the United States of America. He built the banks.

    Indy: *wide eyes* Revolutionary War?

    Me: Yes. You know how in 1916 in Ireland there was a revolution? The United States had one of those in 1776, a very long time ago.

    Indy: Did Ireland have any more revolutions?

    Me: Yes, in 1921. That’s when they obtained their independence from Britain, which is the same country that the US was revolting against.

    Indy: Did the US have any more revolutions?

    Me: Sort of. In 1860 there was another big war where the South of the US and the North of the US fought each other, but the people who started it didn’t win so it’s called a civil war instead of a revolution.

    Indy: Why did they fight?

    Me: They were mostly fighting over something called slavery, which is where one person is allowed to own another person and make them do whatever they want. Do you think that’s a good idea or a bad idea?

    Indy, looking very thoughtful, lifted his hands in balances, one hand rising high while the other fell very low. I said, “Is that good or bad?”

    “*Bad*,” Indy said emphatically. “Who won?”

    “The North,” I said, “the side that thought people shouldn’t be allowed to own other people.”

    “YES!” Indy shouted, and punched the air.

  • Family


    Indy and I went on a Pokewalk this evening. Won the local gym back (at great cost, half our Pokemon fainted!). We’re *terrible* at Pokebattles but Indy seems to be learning to embrace the “we’re doing it for fun not for winning” thing, which is great.


    turns out there’s a Japanese legend abt a fish determined to climb a massive waterfall. keeps trying, keeps trying, keeps trying. all the other fish mock it, you can’t make it, you’ll never make it, stop making a fool of yourself. but it keeps trying, keeps trying. & FINALLY it succeeds

    and the gods look down on this fish & say “good damn job,” & TURN IT INTO A DRAGON AS A REWARD FOR ITS PERSEVERANCE

    Hence Magikarp –> 400 candies –> GYRADOS THE DRAGON

    HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!?!?!?

  • Family,  Kitsnaps,  Photography

    Kitsnaps: Baloo

    Except this is not a Kitsnaps. This is a picture taken by Young Indiana, who is captivated by my big camera and asked, “Mama, can *I* try some pfa..fopa…forpar…far-tography?”

    I think “‘far’tography” is the most wonderful word in the world, and will be featuring Indy’s far-tography from time to time on Kitsnaps. What a darling kid. <3 h_baloo

  • Recent Reads

    Recent Reads: Little House books

    I bought the Little House series (the proper edition, illustrated by Garth Williams) for Young Indiana last year for Christmas, thinking that sometime in the next year or so he might be about ready to start having them read to him. A few months ago he got LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, brought it to me, and said, “Maybe we could read this book! It has a FEW pictures!”

    I told him we had to start with LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS, but that I would love to read them to him. So he went and got BIG WOODS, and we read it. He was *enthralled*, absolutely enthralled, by Laura and Baby Carrie and Mary and Pa and Ma, more or less in that order. He even asked if we could bring it to Grandma and Grandpa’s house when he stayed the night there earlier this year, so Grandma could read him more of the story.

    Several days after we finished reading it, we were putting some of his very round-nosed crayons away, and I tipped the box on end so they would stack up on top of one another, and out of nowhere Indy said, “They’re like bullets!”

    My jaw fell open. I said, “How do you know that?” Indy said, “They’re like bullets! Like Pa made, and Laura helped!” Holy crap. Talk about retention and comprehension!

    The books have FARMER BOY listed second, so Indy insisted we should read that next. I was dubious, and tried to explain that this book was about Almanzo, the man Laura married when she grew up, when he was a boy, but no, Indy was determined. At least, he was determined until I got about two paragraphs in and he said, “But where’s Laura?” I said she wasn’t in that book, and he disdainfully removed FARMER BOY from the reading list and went to get PRAIRIE. :)

    PRAIRIE has some more difficult waters to navigate than BIG WOODS: Ma’s fear and hatred of Indians, the word Indian at all, 140 years after the events of these books happened (and 80 years after their publication!), the fact that white settlers like the Ingalls were coming into ‘Indian Territory’ and taking over the land. All of that is in its way addressed in the book: Laura is rightfully concerned that the Indians might be mad that they’re being pushed off the land, and Pa, who doesn’t share Ma’s xenophobia, lets that discussion go on a bit before shutting it down, and Pa constantly reassures Ma that there’s no reason to fear their native neighbors, so that, from a modern reader’s POV, is something, at least.

    Mostly I’ve been dealing with it by elliding the comments about Ma’s *fear*, and by talking about each chapter when we finish reading it, both to see how much Indy has retained (answer: LOTS. He acts out big parts of each chapter when I ask question :)) and to put a little bit of context to the situations. He’s mildly interested by the context,

    For my own part, I haven’t read the books since I was a teen, and possibly not since I was 9 (the last time I *remember* reading them for certain was then, when I re-read the whole series one day during the summer), and it’s kind of fascinating to see what I remember and what I don’t. The scene that’s always stuck with me is when they all catch malaria, and Laura goes crawling across the floor to get water for Mary. In my mind she’d done a lot more care-taking for her family than that, and also she was older (it’s possible there’s another family-wide illness in one of the later books), and I had no recollection at all that a doctor had tended to them, much less that the doctor was black.

    I went and looked him up, of course. Dr George Tann’s parents Bennet & Mary were among the Ingalls’ neighbors in Kansas, and Dr Tann was visiting his parents during the malaria outbreak. Good thing for the Ingalls’, apparently, and everybody else in the area, to whom he evidently also attended. So that was a fairly cool discovery in the re-read.

    We’ve just finished the chapter where their neighbor Mr Edwards saves Christmas (Ma has baked the girls little cakes with white flour and sugar, there’s been an unholy gale and between the rain and the risen creek even the girls understand that Santa isn’t going to make it this year, but Mr Edwards arrives at the Ingalls’ home early Christmas morning, having walked the 40 miles to Independence in the midst of the gale and buying Laura and Mary each a new tin cup and a candy cane as a gift, then returning to ford the dangerously-risen creek): Ma and Pa and Mr Edwards acted as if they were almost crying. Laura didn’t know why. So she gazed again at her beautiful presents.

    I *remember* that scene, of course, but it’s a much different scene as an adult and a parent two weeks before Christmas. And also as someone who’s been stressed out and tearing up over all sorts of things, admittedly, but man. #snif

    Anyway, we’ll be finishing up the first book, which involves the Ingalls and the Indians all being thrown off the land, soon, and I’m kind of hoping Indy wants to run off and grab the next one immediately, although he took a break between the first two. :)

  • Family

    Epic Disciplinary Parent Fail

    Epic disciplinary parenting fail:

    Note from teacher: Young Indiana had to be spoken to in the yard for licking other children.

    Me, already trying not to giggle: Indy, did you lick someone in the yard today?

    Indy, full of big blue eyes and guilelessness: Remember the game we were playing where we were dogs?

    Me: …yes…

    Indy: I saw one of my owners, so I had to lick him!

    Me: ‪*completely loses it, bursts out laughing*

    I’m still giggling. I eventually managed to look solemn enough to say he shouldn’t do that, but oh dear. The thing is, the dogs game was like two or three weeks ago, and the other kid had NO IDEA why Indy was licking him. *weeps with laughter*

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