Thursday, February 19, 2009
Yesterday we visited the Auckland Maritime Museum with a group of home educators. We had never been before, and since we are soon to leave Auckland, I decided we just had to go!
J-Man was not at all keen, he rarely is keen to go anywhere, and he debated with me over and over about the need to go. Eventually I got tired of laying out my reasons (even as we were nearly there), and just said ,"We are going, I'm sorry you don't like it, but we are."
We only needed to take two buses since it is in the middle of town. Tombliboo insisted he would not be wearing a shirt, which was fine by me- but I don't know how many people comented on it. I wouldn't have thought it was a taboo as such, it was a reasonably hot day- he's only 2...why should people find it odd? I'd have my shirt off if noone could see me, lol.
The second bus was a bit late, and I had planned it so we arrived pretty well right on time...so we were late, unfortunately, but noone minded (and we weren't the last to arrive).
The group split in to two, 7 and under, and 8 and up. J-Man did not want to go by himself, though I figured he woudl be pretty bored at a story-telling session designed for littlies. He was adamant, so I told him he coudl do as he wished. Another mum we know, who's dd and J-Man get on really well after a shy start, asked if he'd like to go with her and just *see* where the older kids were going, and then come back to me. He agreed, and so we parted ways. I didn't see him again until lunchtime.
Princess and Tombliboo went with me to the younger group. The storyteller was magic, she involved the kids and was dressed in old-fashioned clothing to further play the part. She was describing how she (as a time-traveller, lol) once came to New Zealand from England on a 3 month boat journey.
Tombibloo sat through nearly the whole thing, which was not expected, but a tribute to how interesting this lady was. Pricness answered several questions, and was totally engaged.
We got to see how the cabin of a ship, and how a whole family (of 5!) were required to sleep on one small bed...it wasn't at all as I expected...there were no rooms, just beds, all in a row, with curtains to close at the front.
After our story-telling session was finished, we went to see a real cannon (with real gunpowder) getting fired. We met up with J-Man at that point, who had enjoyed his tour. He said it was a bit boring in parts, and I heard from my friend that the guide obviously normally takes school children.
The cannon was the highlight for Tombliboo...I don't know how many times he announced, "A cannon go BOOM!" It was really loud, and we counted down to the firing as well, which was terribly exciting for one small boy.
We ate lunch as a group, and then meandered through the museum. The children all got busy on a ship they were allowed to climb on, and they had a fabulous time. It was interesting to observe them all taking turns at being the captian, and dodging various icebergs, pirates and sharks. This is the part I love most about homeschooling trips- that the kids all just get along, when given opportunties to play and be imaginative/creative. There were no segregations of age, or gender, or excluding the child that was just a tad too loud.
J-Man, who you'll remember did *not* want to go, did not want to leave...how very ironic, and also how very typical :0)
Tombliboo did want to leave however, and kept asking to go home. I took him to a nice spot to breastfeed, but he got off pretty quickly, saying, "I go home, oh, oh ,oh", moved away from me, then vomitted all over the (thankfully concrete) floor. Another mum could see that I was wholly unprepared for such an event, so with her 3 children went to get cleaning supplies, while I stayed and snuggled Tombliboo, and stopped other skidding thourgh the chuck :0(
He *really* wanted ot go home after that, anddn I tried to coax the others along a bit quicker. They really didn't want to leave the ship, and it was sad I had to curb their fun, but I figured Tombliboo might throw up again, or get to the point of no return and it was only fair (to him) to get home as fast as possible. I also knew we had 2 long bus rides to go beofre we could even get home.
As we were walking to the bus stop, we saw a bike-bus thingee, and it occured to me that that would be super-fun for the kids, and a bit quicker getting to the depot as well. They climbed aboard, and I took this photo, then jumped on too. It was a bit much to ask the young man to carry all of us (and our heavy bag) but he wasn't bothered in the least.
I told the kids that on our very first date, Daddy and I had gone down Queen Street on one of these bikes. That was a wonderful night- the first night in my history before or since, lol, that I couldn't eat! He picked me up, looking very handsome- wearing a black rollneck and blue jeans, and his earring (which he stopped wearing soon after, but I actually thought was gorgeous). He also had a big bunch of beautiful flowers. We bussed in to town, and went to a cafe' down Lorne street. I had potatoes wedges, with cheese, bacon and sour cream and a Coke :0)
That was the point that Ben realised he had forgotten his wallet, lol, so I paid...my first hint that this man is as forgetful as he is disorganised :0)
Anyway...we caught our first bus home, but had to get off early since J-Man really needed the bathroom. We stopepd at a McDonald's, where we got sbnacks, adn the kids played in the Playland. They were having so much fun, and Tombliboo seemed fine, and I had had the foresight (at last) to take a book of my own on our trip...so we stayed for a very long time.
We got the next bus to where we should have gone, and then a third one to get home, arriving home a little before 7pm (having been out for well over 10 hours).
It was a really neat day :0)