Thursday, June 6, 2013

lazy days of summer

Yesterday, after spending a whole lot of the morning hours watching Pokemon (and after chumash), 9 yo decided to run a lemonade stand. It sounded so predictable that I was getting teary-eyed: he's doing a stereotypical thing for the kids his age. He wants to make money. He's willing to build it. He will put in some effort, some creativity, experience some frustration and get rewarded for his hard work. Maybe we can tie in some money math. Ahh, the budding entrepreneur, my son...

This is how it actually went:

squeezing the lemons
He wanted to build it and told me that daddy showed him some wood in the garage. When we went to retrieve it, he saw a folding table and decided to use that instead. He needed 7 yo's help to haul it out and set it up by the curb. They dragged over two lawn chairs. I envisioned a huge handmade sign, but 9 yo got on Word and printed one out, with the price and clipart. 7 yo, 3 yo and her friend were in charge of making the lemonade. They got the lemons and juiced them, then I helped with the sugar and water. 7 yo added ice cubes. Meanwhile 9 yo forgot all about the lemonade and went to watch more Pokemon. 7 yo told him that he is ready. They borrowed a toy cash register from 3 yo, got some cups, and set themselves up. They offered me a free cup, for helping.

ready for business
They sat there, waiting for a customer to come. A few cars drove by, as heads expectantly turned and followed them. Nobody stopped. I took a picture and posted it on Facebook, hoping to drum up some business. The responses came from people too far away to buy. The girls left for the swings. More cars, but no stops. The boys poured each other a cup. 3 yo came to get her cash register back. I came out to buy two cups. They did not have enough to make change. 9 yo proposed "buy one, get one free" deal to entice the customers. I pointed out that he cut the price of profit in half.

Shortly, the kids started fighting. The stand was closed for the day. Everything was cleaned up. Pokemon commenced once more.

Afterwards, I spoke to 9 yo what he could have done differently to be more successful. He suggested selling on a busier street and producing more professional signs. We talked about advertising in advance, and putting up fliers throughout the neighborhood. He wanted to make it a fruit juice stand, with more variety, but I sensed that he was discouraged by this whole experience. Oh, how I wished he would have gotten at least one real customer!

Today we reviewed Chumash. 9 yo finished the first perek, and the kiddush part of the second one. He asked about Hashem finishing work on the seventh day, and I brought up Rashi, to which he shuddered and shook, but did it. He also asked me previously about why it is E-lokim and not Hashem, to which I brought another Rashi. I think it is great that he is asking the same p'shat questions that Rashi had, but he finds it annoying that I do not just tell him the answer.

Then we went to the aquarium. Today DeepSea Challenger was making a brief stop in front of the aquarium, so we checked it out first. Yesterday it rained and rained, so looking at a submarine made sense. Then we saw the exhibits. My husband came along and he was surprised by how crowded the aquarium was. I used to be wondering about all the people lolling around during work hours: we are homeschoolers, but don't you all guys have somewhere to be? Now it does not phase me, but he was surprised.

The aquarium is loud and flashy and big. I usually get overwhelmed just by entering it. My kids have their own experiences, touching stingrays and sharks, watching the dive show and the dolphin show, seeing the otters, dissecting a virtual frog. At least, they enjoy it.

As soon as we got home, 9 yo got onto again. I unplug the kids periodically, for chores. During these breaks they remember all of a sudden that they need to use a bathroom, or that they are hungry or thirsty. Then 9 yo drifts right back.

We shut off TV/computer at 7 pm. Then, after getting pajamas on, 9 yo pulls out a highschool world history textbook and reads it. I am not so sure whether it counteracts the mindlessness of the show. I am sticking to my guns till the end of the week, allowing for unlimited watching/game playing, and I am realizing two things:
   1. It is not as bad as I think.
   2. It is a huge time drain.
For the past three nights, just as I start tucking in the baby, 9 yo mentions how he didn't sped any time with him. I find it funny: they were both under the same roof the whole day, yet his attention was so absorbed by watching that he literally ignored another person. He also complained how I keep interrupting his night reading, because he is not getting in hours and hours of reading he is used to getting. And I wish he chose to watch something that causes neurons to fire, not utterly predictable Pokemon. Good guys are walking along.bad guys show up, good guys get beaten up, pull out a new trick, bad guys are pulverized, good guys seek new adventures. Maybe he likes the predictability of outcomes, while getting an adrenaline rush.

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