Category: Parenthood (Page 2 of 5)

Reading myths

For long, I’ve thought that one way of reinforcing on my children the idea that the Christian god is not real, was to expose them to other religions, and in particular, polytheistic religions. A fun way of doing this is through myths – though unfortunately I’m a terrible story teller and don’t know that many myths myself. Indeed, I hate to admit it, by my knowledge of the Classics is rather poor.
Still, we talk about the Greek gods all the time (and the Egyptian ones, but I think the Greek ones are more important from a cultural point of view) and a few years ago, I picked up a book on Greek myths at the British Museum (Mini Greek Myths for Young Children) and today Mika and I started reading them together. I wouldn’t say the story telling in this book is the best, but it held Mika’s attention quite well (but she’s 8, Camila, 5, wasn’t even interested in hearing them).
We read the myth of Prometheus and the fire, and then the one of Pandora and her box. I had told that story to Mika before, but I guess she was too young for it and she didn’t remember it. This time, though, we talked about it and she definitely understood it.
As we talked, I realized how remiss I’d been on telling Mika Judeo-Christian myths, so I told her the story of Adam and Eve, and their expulsion from paradise. She was quick to realize the parallels between the two stories – which led to conversation on why people develop myths in the first place. But this also gave me an opening to another subject I haven’t explored enough with her – sexism. Mika was actually quite surprised to learn that for many people women are not equal to men (she thinks we’re better 🙂 and that throughout history men tried their best to oppress women. One of their ways to do so, I told her, was through stories which placed the blame for whatever evil had occurred on women (Pandora and Eve, who, with their curiosity, brought pain to the world). Alas, we didn’t have more time to explore the issues with these myths in particular, and the larger issue of how religion works as a principal form of social (and sexual) control, but I’m not sure if Mika is ready for such concepts yet. In any case, I think it won’t take much for her to figure out these things by herself.
We continued our foray into Greek mythology with the story of Persephone and the Seasons. Once again, I was quite pleased with Mika – who figured out the meaning of the story way before we got to it. Apparently she had read a story called (The Great Ball Game: A Muskogee Story), based on a Native American myth. In the story, animals and birds play a ball game to see who is better. Nobody wants the bat (who has “teeth” as animals and “wings” like birds) on their team – but finally one of the animals takes pity on him, lets him play with them, and he ends up winning the game for them. As the winner, the bat tells the birds their penalty is that they will have to fly south for half of each year (which coincides with winter in the Northern hemisphere). Well, the parallels she saw between the Persephone myth and this story were enough to make Mika predict that the half year Persephone would spend on the earth with her mother Demeter would be summer, while the time she spends in the underworld with Pluto would be winter. WTF? There is no question that my older girl has an amazing brain in her head.
We finished our foray into Greek mythology by reading the story of Arachne – a myth I had never heard before, but which told us why spiders are called “arachnids” (Arachne was a weaver who incurred the wrath of goddess Athene, who in turn turned her into a tiny eight-legged creature and cursed her to weave forever with no one wanting what she weaved).
I’m hoping we’ll be reading more of these myths tonight before bed 🙂

Camila has no hair

Yesterday I made the mistake of letting Camila stay at her friend’s house under the supervision of her friend’s 16 yo brother. This is what happened:
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Yep, her little friend chopped off her hair! I had the back evened out, so it’s OK from the back (just very short), but there is nothing we can do about the front/top 🙁

A mouse for $45

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Mika first wanted a puppy. I said no – puppies do not come potty trained, and I am /not/ dealing with a non-potty trained animal in my house. Then she wanted a kitty. We already have one, Syria (her brother, Jordan, passed away last summer), but I wouldn’t mind another one. Kitties are cute and playful, and if they are anything like our other cats, incredibly nice. Of course, chances are we could get a psycho-cat instead. In any case, I wasn’t against it, it was just a matter of having the time to go get it.
But before we could get it, Michaela got into her mind the idea that she wanted to have a mouse instead. Well, she started asking for a hamster – just like every other kid in the world – but I suggested that hamsters were not very nice, and perhaps she could get a mouse instead. Of course – mice are smaller and therefore cuter than hamsters, so she was all over that idea. She’s been saving her money, since I started selling all sorts of baby & toddler stuff we no longer need and giving her the proceeds. So a mouse it was.
We went to buy it yesterday morning. I had been thinking of getting her a feeder mouse, but apparently they don’t sell those at Petsmart, so she ended up getting a very cute, gray “fancy” mouse. Apparently “fancy” mice are handled more, which is a good thing, as she has pretty much held it since she got it yesterday morning. The mouse was $6 or $7, more than I’d think a mouse would be worth, but they do keep them alone, in their own little habitat, so at least it doesn’t come from a particularly stressed environment.
mousehouse.jpgBut then came the “stuff” to get for the mouse. A simple cage/habitat was $25 ($28 for the same one in pink, but it’s a boy mouse, so Mika was OK with the colorful cage) with food & bedding (and mouse), the whole thing came up to about $45. Yes, for a mouse. I’m happy it’s not officially my money 😉

Super Pet Dazzle Critter CarriageOf course, the kids are not satisfied, and now they would love to get the mouse its own carriage. It would be cute.
The kids have been in fifth (or it sixth? seventh?) heaven since they got the mouse. They’ve hugged us and thanked us countless times. They’ve played with it, given him toys (a My littlest petshop carrier became a little house for the mouse – I wish I’d had the camera, it was that cute) and just held him. I’m hoping this will last longer than the fish they’d had before (who never made it past two days).

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