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Marz & Camelia go to school

April 1, 2010

(Apologia: I brought the wrong disk home from Phoenix and my daughter Marcy is at the beach with the boys this week. When she gets back I’ll get her to send me the full size pics. I took these from the set of thumbnails that Costco gives you, hence the numbers and the blurriness. Sorry!)

Marz and Camelia had never been to school before. In fact, they had never ridden in a car.  Hesitant to get in, they scrambled awkwardly over the bumper. They stood most of the way there. Camelia was a little more at ease than Marz, who cried a little. I tried soothing them, but they were not impressed. This outing was scary.

When we got to school, both were eager to get out of the car. They shoved each other and me in their effort to escape. I had to hold on tight. Camelia jumped out gracefully, but Marz fell flat on his face — legs splayed akimbo. I felt badly that I hadn’t been quicker to block his fall.

We had to sign in as visitors, so we walked right in the front door. Eyes bugged. Mouths dropped. All work stopped. There was a scramble for cell phones and a crowd gathered. Children: “Can I touch them?”  Grown ups: “Take my picture, please.” “Hey, Ann, you’ll never believe what I’m looking at. Yeah, right here at school –Llamas!”  “Alpacas,” I corrected, “They’re alpacas!”  Ooohs and ahhhs galore. Occasions like this and down south are the only times I hear “cute” with two syllables.

Marcy, my daughter, who BTW was with us, and I walked Marz and Camelia to the playground where we were to meet the kindergarten class. (School folks don’t believe me when I tell them the pacas won’t pee or poop on the floor. They won’t.  Honest.  Nursing home folks are a lot more tolerant, saying they’re used to cleaning stuff up!)

Before the class arrived we were set upon by a bunch of 3rd graders. Luckily I got to them before they got to Marz & Camelia. I explained how pacas like calm, soft voices and slow movement. I must admit the 3rd graders were very respectful.

Then came the indergarteners, who arrived in a line, excited. I invited my grandson Nicholas (age 5) to hold Marz’s lead. Again I preached  etiquette.

Nick & Granna teach

Nick and I walked the two pacas down the line of eager hands, and I answered a million questions: What do they eat? How many do you have? Do they bite?

Eager hands

Each child stood between the two pacas, arms around their necks as Marcy snapped pictures. Only once or twice did we have to coax a child to approach the pacas, but no one refused.

After the pictures, Nicholas took one paca and I the other to help the kids walk them.

Leading Camelia

Leading Marz

Kindegarteners & Marz

The 2nd graders arrived in a crowd. I was impressedwhen I motioned them to come quietly and they did. They sat in a group on the grass while Drew, my 7-year-old grandson, and I talked about the pacas. Drew explained that they didn’t like their heads touched, that they didn’t bite and that you had to be careful around their rear ends because some pacas kick — hard.

Granna & Drew teach

The 2nd graders had been studying Peru, so their questions were sophisticated. From the looks I got from Marcy and the teacher, I gave TMI when explaining the difference between a boy and a girl alpaca. The boy that asked was big-eyed and speechless and wasn’t willing to reach under Marz to feel what I was talking about.  I forgot these were city kids!

The following Monday Marcy and I took each child in both classes their photos with Marz and Camelia and a little bag of alpaca fleece. In the 2nd grade class, I sat in a rocking chair with the whole class on a rug in front of me showing pictures of camels and camelids–my Alpaca 101. What a grand way to be a grandma. BTW, the kids now call me Grannancy!

Marz & Camelia at school

One Comment leave one →
  1. planejaner permalink
    April 2, 2010 11:39 am

    i love when learning is real, touchable, and right there! makes me miss my homeschooling days…alas.

    I have been waiting for this post! thanks!

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