The other day in history Tre learned about the great fire of London, in 1666. We talked about how it got started, how long it burned, and how much of the city was destroyed. He was especially impressed by the tales of exploding barrels of tar. Also the exploding stone in the cathedral. Exploding things are BIG with Tre. He would like to explode things at dinner, just to liven things up.
Anyhow, I got the bright idea to make paper models of houses and place them close together and LIGHT THEM ON FIRE, to demonstrate how the closeness of the buildings contributed to the fast spreadingness of the fire. No really, I thought this would be a great idea. Still do, actually. Any lesson that includes FIRE or FOOD is a lesson that STAYS. Just ask the boys what sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic rock are. They’ll tell you! Hot fudge, ice cream and brownies, that’s what they are! Well, sorta. You had to be there.
I’d told Tre about the great FIRE plan, and since it was such a COOL plan Max was invited in. He and Tre worked on the houses, coloring and gluing and plotting their destruction. When they’d been at it a while the doorbell rang. It was the woman from down the street, who was bringing her son over to see if he could play with Raphael. I was standing there at the door, carrying on a normal mom conversation with a normal mom, when Tre and Max accosted me from behind. They were leaping and shouting their great glee.
“HEY MAMA! WHEN ARE WE GONNA BURN THE HOUSES DOWN? LET’S DO IT NOW! LET’S BURN THE HOUSES DOWN!”
The other mom sort of blinked at them.
“Did…did they say…’burn the houses down’?” she said slowly.
“Oh,” I said weakly, “it’s this history lesson…we’re studying the fire… in London, in 1666…and they’re not REAL houses…see?”
I wonder why she’s not returning my calls.