Goats and Ice Cream

We just got back from a trip to the county fair – a trip we’ve been building up for my 2-year-old daughter all week – animals! ice cream! cows! goats! pigs! chickens!

Guess what the favorite animal was? Bees. Yup, that’s right. The hit of the trip was the beekeeper exhibit where we got to see the queen bee in with all of the rest of the bees and got to listen to the hum and buzz of the pack (sorry, forgot my bee terminology!). Cows, pigs, horses – ho hum. All she cared about around those animals were the cool ribbons and balloons that the 4H kids hung on the fences. Seriously, the kids going to be a designer, I swear. I’m saying this after seeing how she tried to be creative with my Lix 3d pen. Oh yeah, and, Can we have ice cream now? was the constant refrain.

What will my husband and I remember from the trip? The goat trying to eat Jakes sleeve – no lie, a goat bit my sons sleeve – only at the county fair, right? What will Maggie remember? Bees and ice cream. What will Jake remember? Nothing.

The trip reminds me so much the most important thing about parenting and teaching – its not about me and what I want to happen, its about what actually DOES happen.

I wanted an idyllic farmyard experience, we got a coveting of sparkly streamers, sticky hands and honeybees. Oh, and dont forget the hungry goat.

My constant need to control often leads to frustration in parenting and was probably my main weakness in the classroom.

I just need to remember: its not about expectations, its about experiences. Maggie will remember the bees, that’s whats important. The test we didn’t take in school that day because of a fire drill? The kids will remember how the principal praised them for being so good during the experience.

I thought for a long time today about what I actually remember from school – I can promise it wasnt facts. It was bits and pieces of social interactions and getting in trouble and maybe a glimmer of the Wisconsin History series we had to read in 4th grade.

What do I remember from the ski lessons my mom and I took? Not the specifics of downhill skiing technique – I mostly remember my mom and I both falling a LOT and some snotty girls on the chair lift making fun of us while my mom and I laughed and laughed.

So as all the debate swirls around about parenting and teaching theory and how-tos, Im just going to remember the bees.

And the goat that almost ate my son.

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