This little guy/gal was on my balcony this morning when I went out to toss some left over food over the rail (I’m lazy about that whole composting thing some days, but the wildlife appreciates it). It was on the balcony, right in front of me and only backed up slightly. I tossed food over and tossed a couple almonds his way. I went back inside to grab camera and more almonds. When I opened the door again, he was RIGHT THERE and looking at me. I stuck my hand out to toss the almonds towards him and in what seemed like a nanosecond, he ran up to my hand and grabbed an almond. I almost peed myself! He backed off to go eat it. I tossed the almonds at him and began taking pictures.
The first picture was from the door way. The next, I am out on the balcony. The last, I am down on my elbows and stomach about 1 foot away from this little guy. He hung around for some time and would come closer to me if I talked to him and moved almonds closer to him.
Later, I went out to check on my garden and he was in the maple tree just barking and chattering up a storm at me. Once I went back inside and went back out onto the balcony to see if he was still in the tree carrying on, he was back on the balcony and checking me out while getting more almonds off the floor.
We have friends a couple streets over who have a squirrel that hangs out in their yard and they feed it peanuts by hand…I wonder if this is the same squirrel…
No, it’s not nearly as “cool” as it might sound. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is hosting it’s 5th annual hey-let’s-convince-parents-and-kids-that-prolonged-separation-and-early-indoctrination-is-awesome celebration. What’s better, you ask…it’s FREE and they give you stuff!
While I do give the museum credit for having good intentions and trying to make the inevitable transition from home to school for lots of 5/6 year olds less stressful and seem fun, I have a much much better idea. Why don’t all these children whose parents think that they *have to* send their children to school, want to send their kids to school or need to because of family/financial dynamics get to spend kindergarten at the museum? What I mean is that instead of being trotted off to an institution and made to sit still, color in the lines and ask permission to go to the bathroom (this one really gets my goat — prison-like…no wait, most prisoners have toilets or at least holes in the ground in their cells), they would get to PLAY at the museum during normal school day hours. No actual compulsory “classes”, no testing, no grades, just an open building of fun stuff to explore and LEARN from. AND what is even best about this is that they would be exposed to older and younger children who are members and attending with their families throughout the day as well as an ever changing traveling exhibit and all the neat special events, story times, plays and so on that the museum is known for doing. The children would still experience (and better experience) the “community support that is essential as part of our kids’ development…” as the museum claims it’s Celebration thingy promotes, socializing with diverse groups of people and develop meaningful skills (aka, learn stuff).
What’s EVEN better…is that it wouldn’t have to stop with just kindergarten…
I don’t find this solution better than being free and at home or at worst attending an actual Free School, but it does sound better than going to school in the traditional sense of the word. I’d divert my tax dollars to this effort and even throw in a few extra dollars…
So, how about it? Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, are you up for the challenge?