Schuyler's Better-than-Typical Day

Today was one of those days that is all things gone right, even though a couple of things went wrong. One of those days where you know, or I know, that unschooling equates with happiness at a level that Linus believed only a warm blanket would bring.

Today I awoke to the sounds of activity downstairs. We’ve just moved, and the bedrooms are in flux, partly because the move came almost at the same time as a new kitten and she likes to sleep in one particular room, so Simon needed to sleep there as well. So, when I woke up I heard Simon telling David that Linnaea had fixed him breakfast. Simon had fixed us both breakfast a few days prior, and he had breakfast laid out for Linnaea when she woke, being thoughtful enough to think to use soy milk and not cow for her breakfast. This morning Linnaea had laid out Weetabix and honey for David and when I came down she presented me with a bowl of Cheerios and milk and a glass of water. This was apropos of nothing, just a sweet gesture from a very sweet person.

Simon started playing Chibi-Robo; a gamecube game about a little robot that cleans and tidies the Sanderson’s house and manages to release them from marital and economic distress in the process. It’s really fun. Simon’s been playing it for the past two days. And Linnaea helped with some of it last night. And today she wanted to help more, so there was some arguing over how many millions of years it would be until she got her turn. And I distracted her with food and the kitten and then the mail came. And in the post was the Hercules Season Two that I’d ordered via the U.S. (the UK didn’t release it) 10 days ago. And the settled in to watch Kevin Sorbo as Hercules and Bruce Campbell as the King of Thieves.

David was preparing to leave to go and look at a car in Milton Keynes (80 miles away, but still a 5 hour round trip in Britain). Unfortunately when he called the dealer someone, who eventually bought it, was trying to see if he could fit his kids’ car seats in the back seat. So, we got David for the day, and transportation. Simon has wanted to go play putt-putt golf for a while and we just haven’t made room for that. Today seemed the day. So, I got on-line and found a few sites, but none of them were extravagant enough, tourist putt-putt golfish enough for David, so he found a few in Great Yarmouth. The ones in Great Yarmouth are amazing. But Great Yarmouth is an hour drive. And an hour drive just seems too long on a day halfway devoured by not knowing that we could go, so we found a smaller scale place 30 minutes away and went.

On the way to the golf we talked about Hercules. The second episode is one with King Midas so I told the story of Midas and the Midas touch, with images flooding my brain from the Wishbone episode instead of reading the story as a child. And then we talked about Achilles and why his mother didn’t redip him, or hold him differently and how maybe it was about how the mortal should remain mortal and not become gods. That was cool.

Wells-Next-the-Sea is a smallish seaside town. It has a miniature golf, a crazy golf, and a pitch and putt. I’m not actually sure what a pitch and putt is, we went for the crazy golf. It was really hard. I had to quit a couple of holes. Mostly because by the time we were halfway through the 12 holes I was hungry. I’m no good when I’m hungry. Fortunately Simon and Linnaea sped through the last 6 and we bundled back in the car with plans to return to bounce on the trampolines and made our way back to the high street to look for food. Couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a pub lunch which takes 45 minutes to serve or an awful café that had nothing appealing for the vegetarian among us. So we wandered along and I finally got to the point where I had to eat, NOW. Not fun, not pleasant, but definitely in need of something. A snickers bar. We found a candy shop and Linnaea and Simon got bonbons and I got a snickers and the world stopped being all about my stomach and I could go that little bit longer. And across the way from the snickers bar is a kite shop, and kite shops are always good to look at. And while David and Simon were talking to the kite shop guy who was telling them of getting a kite string wrapped around his neck so that the blood through his jugular stopped flowing to his brain and he passed out leaving his friends to cut the kite string and release the tourniquet, Linnaea and I discovered a basket full of clothes for 5 pounds an item that had a lovely little tank top (well large tank top, but relative to a long sleeve shirt…), so I bought that and we walked up the road thinking that the solution to all things hungry might just be the grocery store. When we got there it was crowded and dank and I couldn’t bring my still too hungry self to cope. And walked grouchily toward the car, about halfway there I realized how stupid and selfish I was being and went back to a bakery we’d passed and got starch and drink for all and even a sausage roll just for me. And the haze lifted.

We went back to the beach, eating croissants and talking about weddings (we’d parked in front of a Catholic church where a wedding had begun to begin as we’d left) on the way back to the car park near the beach and the trampolines. Trampolining was so much fun to watch. Linnaea and Simon bounce so high and Linnaea chats the whole time. And it is all so very interesting.

And then ice cream and strange candies for Simon and then we met a Beardie (a dog similar to an Old English Sheepdog, but not). Linnaea is always on the lookout for a new dog to add to her “I’ve met” dog list, so Beardie has been achieved. And we talked about going to the dog show in London in November and wandered up and over the beach barricade to the beach. Wells has a lovely beach. It’s flat and it has those ridges left from the tide slowly moving out. There are a lot of warning signs about the tides and apparently they set off an alarm when it is beginning to rise to warn people to get back from the other side of the channel.

It was brilliant. I first wrapped Linnaea’s skirt around her legs and then suggested that she just go in with her t-shirt and knickers as her skirt wasn’t staying up. Simon was in without much palaver. His shorts are surfer shorts, so there was no worry about the colors being damaged by the sea. Not that he was worried. And they waded and splashed and then ran out and started sculpting. When we left they were sandy and wet and smiling and chatty. I love that. I love that bursting with joy bit that seems to occur with such frequency in their lives.

On the drive home David saw signs for a Real Ale shop, so we stopped and he bought a few bottles of Norfolk Ale and smiled. And we went to the farm shop where I can get watermill milled flour and we buy lovely Dereham pork sausages. And where the first time we went the owner chatted to us for 20 minutes about his cows and how important it is to raise animals ethically. And he twinkled about his grandson and talked about how much nicer their new dog was then their old dog. On the counter was a flier for Pirates of Penzance which is being performed by the Dereham Operatic Society, and which I’d been thinking about going and seeing. And the wife of the oh-so-proud-cow-owning-farmer said they were good and she was going. So I’ll probably get tickets, ‘cause I love Gilbert and Sullivan and maybe Simon and Linnaea will like it. They’ve already heard Kelsey Grammer perform a bit on Simpsons, so maybe they’ll be predisposed to that brand of Victorian nonsense.

And then we came home and I walked the dog and thought about the day and he flushed a pheasant.

Now I’m tired and the dishes loom before me. So a little music and I’ll dance them washed.

But, really, what a wonderful day.

Schuyler Waynforth

Other unschooling days