Sometimes they pay attention

We do a lot with our kids. I mean we travel everywhere with them (often to the surprise of locals and other travellers, “oh, you took your kids with you?”) and we schlepp them from sight to fortress to castle to museum and back again.

Sometimes we wonder if they care especially on those days where they can’t quit whining and complaining about, well, anything.

But then there are those (rare) days when you feel like you’ve won the world like when you sit down with your child’s teacher at the parent/teacher conference to look at his “weekend journal” where he carefully describes and illustrates his/our weekend adventures. There he recaptured our “death marches” and escapes to the Mongolian countryside and talked about what he did and what he saw. It was *almost* like he really enjoyed these outings.

I should have taken a photo of the picture he drew of the Chinese Wall and surrounding landscape including the tracks for the toboggan run and the ski lift up. It seemed so accurate and true to detail I couldn’t believe it.

And then today we ventured to Hunnu Mall – a new/ish mall on the way to the airport that now houses the dinosaur museum we so desperately searched in downtown UB when we first arrived.

Dinosaurs on display at the mall - you know, another ordinary Sunday here in Mongolia
Dinosaurs on display at the mall – you know, another ordinary Sunday here in Mongolia

During the past year or so since Luca’s obsession with dinosaurs began, we all learned a lot about these creatures. We (including Juliana) can now rattle off  dinosaur names without problem and might even get some of the prehistorical periods correct in which they lived; but in all of our readings what had stunned us the most was the discovery of a fossil in the Gobi that showed two dinosaurs fighting each other when a sand dune or another type of natural disaster occurred and fossilised both dinosaurs in fighting position (read about it here). It was this fossil we had been promised to see in the Natural History Museum in UB which no longer exists and after some research, we found out that this fossil travels quite a bit around the world so we shouldn’t expect to see it just ’cause we were living in the country where it was found.

Imagine our surprise then today, when we saw it in real life. What, no picture? you say!? Yes, the ‘no photo’ rule was very much enforced there (staff following every little step we took) but then my little artist in residence came home to put marker to paper and created this:

Protoceratops and Velociraptor Fighting by Luca
“Protoceratops and Velociraptor Fighting” by Luca

I particularly like the “cronch, cronch, cronch” (he means “crunch”….we’re still working on spelling) which signifies not just the protoceratops eating the velociraptor but also the possible sand dune or other disaster.

So, see ….sometimes kids do pay attention when you schlepp them from point A to point Z and seeing those little treasures makes me want to erase the memories of whining from my mind! (Oh, who am I kidding – my blood will start boiling again the next time I hear a “but Mom, I can’t walk anymore…” “no, I don’t want to go….”)

So yes, sometimes they do pay attention. Remind me to treasure days like these ….

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