Adventure Day With The Boys

Yesterday my partner Ben and I took Charlie and Alex, the boys I babysit, out for the day so their mom and dad can keep packing for their impending move. We started out at 9:30 heading to the New England Aquarium. They’re renovating the central column tank, but we still got to see all the animals – and Im pretty sure we got a better look at Myrtle the Turtle in her temporary home. We checked out the fur seals, the adorable blue penguins, several types of jellyfish, and the (seriously icky) octopus. I have a deep and abiding fear of octopi and their slimy appendages that the boys think is completely hilarious. They wanted to take me to see the octopus and watch me freak out. I managed to hold it together (“She handled it better than I thought she would,” said Alex) but I did encourage us to move along a little faster than I would have for the turtle or penguins.

When the boys tired of the aquarium, we moved about two miles up the road to the Museum of Science. First we watched a 3D movie about dinosaurs, and then enjoyed some snacks. Ben and Alex headed off to play science video games while Charlie and I went to the butterfly house. While we were in line, Charlie made friends with a girl his age named Simone. They took turns comforting one another when the butterflies would startle them, and afterward we held a little caterpillar and fed him a leaf while we learned about how he would turn into a big pretty moth. Then Simone and Charlie decided they wanted to see the dinosaurs together, so off we went! They were adorable together. I gave Simone’s mom my contact information in case the kids needed a play date later.

Finally our little guys were worn out and it was time to head home – but not without a stop at the penny smashing machine and the gift shop. Charlie picked out a toy train, and Alex got a plaster treasure chest from which he’ll have to chisel a piece of fool’s gold. We had pizza for dinner, bath time and story time, and the boys konked right out. It was really a fantastic day.

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Episode #188: Kid Logic

Just finished listening to This American Life’s episode Kid Logic, which I was really looking forward to because I spend a LOT of my time playing with kids. When I’m not working in theater, I’m babysitting for one of three families (two regularly and one occasionally) or working at Kids’ Fun Stop, an indoor playground in West Roxbury. Most of my Facebook friends are very familiar with Charlie and Alex because I quote all the funny things they say while I’m hanging out with them. Charlie, who’s 3, says the cutest things, and Alex, who’s 7 going on King of the World, asks me all kinds of interesting and challenging questions that I have to think about a lot to answer accurately and age appropriately.

Some of my favorite topics from the boys have been the following:

-Are monsters real or was that just a statue?
-Are you here to make sure no bad guys can get me?
-Who is the smartest person in the whole world? Does everyone know he’s the smartest?
-If the election was such a big deal, how come nothing happened afterwards?
-Why isn’t Michelle Obama the queen?
-Why do grown-ups like to watch the news so much if it makes them sad?
-How do you know that the person you’re dating is the person you should marry?

I tell Alex that he’s allowed to ask me as many questions as he wants, because it’s his job as a kid to learn as much about the world as he possibly can. He tells me he will, because HE is going to be the smartest man in the world and I can say I knew him when he was a kid.

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