Since we are all so busy with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we are taking the month "off" from learning about a specific country. This does not mean, though, that we aren't still working on some ideas. Remember the last post when I asked you to help us spin the globe? It's not too late to make suggestions, we will be scheduling our 2012 "tours" after the holidays are over. I am also working on some small changes for the blog (additions, really) that I will be letting you know about and we have a couple of simple projects that we are working on. In the mean time, I decided to give you a list of some of the truths that I have discovered (or have yet to reveal to you). They are in no particular order, just some random truths for you to soak up and perhaps help you if you decide that you too want to tour the world from the comfort of your home.
TRUTH #1 (The Birth of Mamacita Spins The Globe): When I was pregnant with Aiden, I was laying down on partial bed rest (I had lots of time to think), I was thinking of the travels that I was missing. The travels that I would be missing since I was about to have a baby and not only would my wallet take a serious hit, but since I knew that I was planning to delay or skip some vaccinations, travel was going to be out of the question for quite some time. I laid there thinking, "Here I am in small town Maine, how on earth was I going to make sure that my child would know that the world was bigger than this?" At that moment, I had the idea. I was so excited that as soon as Preston got home from work, I told him all about this idea. "Wouldn't it be really cool when our kids are older if we choose a country each month to learn about and create crafts and eat foods from that country, so that our kids will be able to learn about diversity?" This was the first step, I knew that we would do this, I didn't know when, but I knew we would. Then, one day about a year ago, Aiden and I were talking and I mentioned this idea to him and suggested that maybe in a few years we would start doing this. He loved the idea so much that he wanted to start right away. After I made an announcement on Facebook about it, I had a few friends decide to adopt the idea and do the same with their families, then people were asking me to blog about it so that they could see what we were doing throughout the month. After "touring" several countries, I decided to try out the blogosphere. Then came giving a title to the blog, I had no idea it would be so hard, but after making lists and asking friends and family for ideas. I spent so much time searching to see if my ideas for names were already being used (most of them were), that I was a bit delirious and in my silliness, the blog was almost named "We Ate That Country", but since we do more than eat, I decided to keep thinking. Then, "Mamacita Spins The Globe" came to me and it felt like "the one". So, here I am Spinning the globe with my kids about five years earlier than I had expected and I am loving (almost) every minute of it.
TRUTH #2: No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to do the right thing, it will always come back to bite you. One of my biggest reasons for wanting to tour the world from home with my kids is because I wanted to make sure that they were exposed to the various cultures that our world has to offer. It has been wonderful and my kids have been learning some really great lessons and enjoying it as they learn. Recently, though, I learned that even the best lessons will mar you somewhere. Aiden who is seven refuses to use silverware while eating. We are constantly reminding him to use his fork. A few days ago, in an act of desperation, I pulled out all of the stops. I told Aiden that he was "seven years old, not two years old and that it was time for him to start using a fork while he eats." Without missing a beat he says, "I'm a Moroccan, and Moroccans use their hands to eat." Immediately, I felt my argument start to drown, my mind raced with conflict, on one hand my child was retaining what we were learning, on the other he continued to eat with his hands. The time lapse of my thoughts made me realize that for this particular meal, my argument was dead in the water. Next time my argument will be less about demographics and more about geography, maybe that will help. (See the Moroccan posts here, here and here)
TRUTH #3: Months after learning about Australia I was at a family gathering and my cousin and I were talking about my blog. As we were discussing it he pointed out that in Australia shrimp is actually referred to as Prawns and therefore the correct terminology is "Prawns on The Barbie" not "Shrimp on The Barbie" as I had titled my Australian post (see it here). Since I always try to be authentic here, I contemplated adjusting the post title, but decided that since everyone who talked to me beforehand kept asking if we were having "shrimp on the barbie" and it is heard often here in The US as "shrimp on the barbie". I would stick with the quirky US way of doing it. But I definitely appreciate the information, and felt that I should share this tidbit with you. (Thanks, Sunny!)
TRUTH #4: Since starting this blog, I have been approached by several people who think that I am doing awesome things. This is great to hear, but it is almost always followed by, "you're making me look bad." or "now my husband keeps asking why I don't do this with our kids." or even "I am going to start sending my kids to your house." So, while I would love to let you all continue to be in awe of this and think that I am wonder woman, I must come clean. I am doing fun stuff with my kids. We are creating crafts and yummy foods. If it seems like I somehow have more time in my world than you do in yours, you are wrong. I have the same number of hours as you do, therefore if you don't have time to create a Mexican Flag, or cook an Irish meal because you are too busy doing laundry... guess what's not getting done at my house while I am busy spinning the globe? Instead of doing this adventure yourself, perhaps I could just invite you over to our house to join us for a celebration... it's not likely though, I don't like to have company when my house is a mess. :)
TRUTH # 5: Even though my kids love doing crafts and they are eager to learn about other countries, sometimes they just don't want to sit at the table and do it at that moment. There have been times when I had to make them sit and create. I don't want to mislead you and make you think that I force my kids into this, they love it and when I asked if they wanted to stop doing it they both quickly responded, "NO!" It's just that somedays they would rather play with legos, or watch a little TV instead of learning about the wildlife in a foreign country. With an endeavor like this, it really is necessary to have some kind of schedule, things can get bumped around a bit if you need to, but if you plan on having a celebratory dinner at the end of the month, you had better have planned the meal.
So, there it is, simple truths of life over here at our globe spinning household in small town, Maine. Have you ever wondered about anything I do here? Please feel free to ask away, I am feeling a bit honest right now, so I will probably even answer you truthfully ;)