Funny thing about this is that I could say this reflects their moods, but really only Stella is being genuinely Stella. Usually you can’t catch Sam without a smile on his face (although he *is* going through the whiny 2 year old phase), and Scarlett’s the most neutral.
Danielle and I went to Mount Vernon back when we first moved here and were exploring new things to do in our free time that were unique to the area.
We’d thought of bringing our parents to see Washington’s house and property, but the timing never quite worked out – you really want to visit in the Spring or Fall, not during the Summer or Winter. So it remained a place we’d only been to once even as we made multiple trips to the same couple Smithsonian museums and zoos.
Last year, in pre-school, Scarlett learned a bit about the presidents: mostly that we have one and that some of the old ones are on Mt. Rushmore. This year, they still aren’t learning too much civics (they’re too busy teaching them how to read, write, and math), but Scarlett listens around the house as we’ve spoken about the current president. Which reminded her there were some famous ones and I think the school made a big deal of President’s Day in February.
That said, Scarlett’s only six – 4 years ago she was just starting to talk and 5 years ago she could just barely walk. So she kept getting confused between Mt. Vernon and the White House. On the day of the trip she asked if we were going to Donald Trump’s house.
Once we got there, Scarlett marveled at the giant “doll house” model of Washington’s house. But what she enjoyed most was being our navigator. She got the map and she was in charge of telling us which way to go.
It was a very busy day, with lots of tourists there so the pace was a bit fast and the docents didn’t get to explain things about the house as much as I remember them doing the last time I went there.
We didn’t explain slavery to Scarlett. She got a mini-crash course on it at school because she asked me some interesting questions in February. But the concept is so alien that she didn’t quite understand what she’d learned. Personally, I think it’s a deep enough and screwed up enough concept that I’m content to wait another year or two for her to be able to understand what it meant, what it said about us, etc. It’ll also be interesting to see how they teach it here. In Florida (when I was in school) they didn’t shy away from it like I ehar in other southern States, but I didn’t understand it completely until AP American History.
On the subject of Washington’s mansion, I tried to point out to Scarlett the ways in which the house was different from ours – the kitchen separate from the house, etc. But it’s only been 1-2 years since she could understand the concept of Danielle and I as kids. And, from what she’s said, I don’t think she thinks the world is much older than her great-grandparents. So it might take a bit more for her to appreciate those types of things.
You guys know I like to just post one interpretation of a photo, but sometimes I can’t decide. Which do you think is better? Color (above) or black and white (below):
As far as stuff like mortality goes, our current line is that only old people die. We will sometimes mention disease, but don’t want her to freak out at a bad cold. So she was able to understand the Washington crypt on the site.
We ended the day with the photos you see here in a field where the kids wanted to pick dandelions.
I don’t blame them. Even as an adult, I do find it fun to blow the seeds away. What a beautiful way to pollinate.
This Easter we went to the farm so they kids could hunt for eggs there and then enjoy the farm. Unlike my childhood, Easter’s pretty cold up here as you can see.
It’s pretty ridiculous to me, considering almost my entire childhood consisted of going to the local park.
Stella’s been enjoying horseback riding for a bit now, but this was the first time she was old enough to do it on her own without me holding onto her the entire time.
Sam made big strides this time by actually allowing us to put him onto a horse.
And no trip to the farm would be complete without a session of feeding the goats. This time with Stella losing her fear of feeding them.
Back in November we took the twins on their first trip to Disney. This time around Scarlett wasn’t as interested in the parades as she was last time, but the twins were REALLY into them. Surprisingly, both twins ended up warming up to the characters. Sam’s reluctance with Mickey on the first day made me think he was going to try and avoid them the entire trip. But as you can see in the video, he eventually got into interacting with the characters.
The twins were a little more patient about waiting in line – not sure if it’s because they had Scarlett to copy or if they’re just a little more patient than she is. It was a little tougher with three kids’ schedules to balance, but the twins also eat a more varied diet than Scarlett did at the same age so they weren’t constantly hungry like she was. We’ll see what happens in the future as they all get older, but there weren’t really too many arguments or disagreements about what rides to go on.
It was also special that my parents once again went for the grandkids’ first time. The kids just about enjoyed their time with their grandparents as much as their time on the rides and at the shows.
Enjoy my favorite photos from the trip.
As I continue to go through my photos from May, I found these photos of Sam using his bubble lawnmower when I was cutting the grass.