Saturday, June 5, 2010

Terrible, Wonderful, Kinda' Good, Weird, Odd Day

At about 5-ish this evening I thought, "I can't WAIT to blog about today, it's been such an AWESOME unschooling day!"  I felt like we were being really successful with some hands on stuff, I was really tuned in to what Zane's needs were and able to "walk with the wind."  I was PUMPED!

Then dinner happened.  Firstly, for the past 2 weeks or so this has become a really weird ongoing battle.  Zane doesn't want anything I make to eat and I don't want him going behind me in the kitchen all day trying to feed himself as he has a really hard time accepting responsibility and cleaning up messes after himself. BUT, I don't fall into the category of parents who are okay withholding food from their kids.  I think since I grew up so hungry I've just always had a problem with that.  If you're going to have kids, you ought to at least feed them, ya know.  But, I digress...  So, what has been happening is I've been cooking for everyone; he rejects it.  I get upset and tell him he doesn't need to eat until the next meal time, then I feel bad cause it's wrong (IMO) to do that, then I let him put something together to eat, then he's really responsible about it, then I still feel like crap.  I feel rejected in some way.  :-/  And I feel like I'm SO failing at teaching him anything about consideration or the idea behind a family being a unit since he ends up not eating with us.  Plus, I HATE watching my 7 year old make his own food.  It makes me feel like a TERRIBLE Mom.  Like, I'm not making him meals.  But, I am.  He just doesn't want them.  So, anyway...  UGH...  Tonight, dinner happened.  Poo!  I'm really at a loss for this one.  If you have a suggestion please let me know.

Back to my awesome day of unschooling:  Today we went to the zoo to get our membership and for Zane's first "lesson."  We prepared his lesson a few days ago when we first intended to go to the zoo, but found out we were too late.  We sat at the table and I asked him what HE wants to learn about snakes.  He came up with these questions:  Why is their tongue sticking out?  Why don't they have legs?  Why do King Cobras have big fat ears?  Why do snakes have venom in them?  How can dancing cobras dance?  What is the top of a snake called? (The rest of these I came up with; I'm having a hard time deschooling myself, as I can see)  Do any snakes live and stay awake in the cold?  Are snake skin boots legal?  If so, why?  Why don't pet boas squeeze their owners?  The zoo trip was a good one, all things considered.  Firstly, we got ZERO of our questions answered and there were only 5(if I remember correctly... Zane could name them off for me, but he's asleep) snakes there.  So, we stayed in the building that had the snakes and just explored after we read all the snake info.  We got to watch the zoo keeper train the raven to take washers and rocks out of her hand and drop them in a cup, take food as treats, go to the bedding in his home and bury the food in it, and come back for more "tricks."  She was a really beautiful bird and while the glass is pretty clean she was so much prettier without a barrier (or maybe that's just symbolic...  I have a love/hate thing with zoos that maybe I'll get into sometime here.)  We also got to "pet" a turtle.  Lastly, Zane got to help feed the bats.  He put the fruit pieces on the skewer-inspired feeding rods, then he got to go with the other zookeeper to the bat closet, go IN it, and hang the skewer from one of the ropes in it.  In addition to the closet, they have a wire cage they get to fly in and he got to go in there and hang the other skewers.  It's not every day you get to actually help feed bats and he was pretty stoked about it.  Of course I didn't bring my camera because I "knew" it'd be a quick trip to the zoo and we'd just be checking out the silly snakes who are almost always laying around... :-P

We came home and after I put Stori to sleep Zane and I sat on the internet and answered some of the questions from the lesson.  After quickly researching 3 questions, Zane started fidgeting and lost interest.  I was really proud of my ability to recognize that and ACCEPT it just as I intend to do.  He went to play and we'll answer a couple more tomorrow.

After writing it all, it doesn't seem as spectacular as it felt earlier, but that's okay.  It DID feel great and that's what matters.  Like I said we are de-schooling right now and part of that is for me.  I've got to practice going with it all and feeling the waves of the day to follow them.  Now, if we could only make our 4 meals a day work better...


  1. Would letting Zane help with the meal planning and prep. makes dinner time any easier? Like he might have more ownership of the whole process, and consequently be more likely to eat? Is that something you've already tried? I know you said he helps you at the store, does he help you with the other facets of 'the kitchen work'? What are some of the things he wants to fix for himself? Can you incorporate those into your dinners? Or is it the act of doing it himself that he enjoys? Do you think he would want to make dinner for YOU?
    Just throwing out suggestions :-) You're doing great Shannon!


  2. Thanks Claire! I appreciate the support. I meal plan on Thursday nights and I plan in a way that I come up with the meals for the week, but eevery day I ask the family what they want that day. Make sense? Lately, he's been saying every Thursday, "I don't know, I want to eat out, I'm bored." LOL! I really think this is some sort of phase thing, an independent-based thing. FRUSTRATING for sure, but I'm certain it will pass. I am totally going to take your idea of seeing if he wants to cook for me!! Thanks! :-)