I’ve got a secret. It’s something I don’t say out loud too often because when I do people react badly. Some gasp, some try to convince me that I’m crazy, and others look at me like I’ve suddenly grown a second head. You can stop reading now if you want, I understand. [Read more…]
April 2nd is WAAD – which stands for either World Autism Awareness day or World Autism Acceptance Day depending on who you ask. My Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds were full of posts saying either “Light it up Blue” or “Don’t Light it up Blue, Walk in Red instead” or “wear rainbows for acceptance”. It seems there is a schism in the Autism community, and I’m here to plant myself firmly on the fence. [Read more…]
As a kid, one of my favourite places to go in Toronto was the Ontario Science Centre. Between the bouncy bridge, the electrostatic ball that made my hair stand up (mine went straight up and out to both sides), making paper, and the machine that said “coffee” in different pitches, it was a great place to spend a day. I went with school, with my parents, and with Girl Guides – usually at least a couple of times every year. Then when I was a teenager, I didn’t go as often – and when I did go I was helping out with younger cousins or my Brownie unit. As an adult, my experience with the Science Centre has been as a leader with Girl Guides (which includes 2 “Sleepovers” with my Brownie unit which mainly consisted of me chasing down 7 year olds who didn’t want to sleep at 3 am and trying / failing to convince them to go back to their sleeping bags) and taking my friends’ kids around the exhibits. While I won’t do another sleepover soon (my Pathfinders prefer to camp and are too old for the official “Sleepover at the Science Centre” program), I have quite enjoyed taking my friends’ kids to the Science Centre. The one problem I’ve had is that the while the Ontario Science Centre has a lot of exhibits that are of interest to adults, it can be hard to see them and almost impossible to interact with them when there are kids around. I mean I’m not going to push a little kid out of the way so that I can play with a fun exhibit – that’s a jerk move if ever there was one. Besides, it’s hard to enjoy the exhibit when you’re also watching to make sure that little Janey doesn’t disappear again or that little Johnny isn’t punching the kid behind him in line. [Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to out in public]
All of this is why, whenI heard about ScienceRocks! at the Ontario Science Centre I knew I had to go check it out. ScienceRocks! is a chance for adults (19 + as there is alcohol available for sale) to explore the amazing Science of Rock and Roll exhibit without any children present. I got a couple of girlfriends together and we met up at the Science Centre not sure what to expect but hoping for a fun girls night out at the very least. We were clearly not the only ones with this idea, and a number of couples seemed to have chosen the event as a great place for date night. If you have only been to the Science Centre with kids in tow, you need to come and see it after dark. There is something about walking through the Science Centre sipping on a gin and tonic that makes you feel like a rebel.
There were so many things to do that I stayed for the whole event (which runs from 7pm-midnight). I didn’t get a chance to see the IMAX movie about the Rolling Stones (but am aiming for it this time). I did, get a rock and roll makeover courtesy of The Beauty Team. It was amazing. I sat in the audience and listened to League of Rock do a few numbers (though if you’re more ambitious than I am, you can actually play with them). I watched and participated in a presentation on neuroscience and music where we had to clap out different rhythms at different tempos. I ate some of the Fleetwood Mac n’ Cheese (topped with pulled pork – it was amazing). Then, after taking in all of the various attractions, I headed into the main exhibit. The Science of Rock and Roll exhibit has something for everyone! I loved the history exhibits with artifacts from different decades in rock history. The reactables were a lot of fun to play with and distort all the music and see what effect changing the balance or the instrumentation has on a piece of music. The hands on demo with the different instruments that make up a typical rock band was a ton of fun – I especially enjoyed the left handed bass guitar. All the adults lined up nicely to take turns and nobody felt bad about trying things out because we weren’t taking time away from a kid who wanted a turn.
All in all it was one of the most fun nights out I’ve had in a long time. Sorry you missed it? Don’t be – there is still one more ScienceRocks! Adults Only night left – Thursday September 18th! The event on the 18th features all of the fun of the earlier dates plus a ukulele choir (I have to admit, this intrigues me). There is a hands on session where you can make your own cigar box guitar to take home which looks pretty awesome. The headliners for the evening are Steve Cropper and Jonny Rosch. I’m looking forward to finding out what Johann Sebastian Joust is all about. It sounds fun.
Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door for non members and $12 in advance or $14.40 at the door for members. Parking is free.
For more information and to purchase tickets, head to the Ontario Science Centre website.
Some recent news articles have made me think about my status as an only child. My mum, asked me a few months ago whether I felt left out because I was an only child. I didn’t then and I don’t now. I loved being an only child. I’m sure I would have loved siblings too but being an only gave me advantages I wouldn’t have otherwise had. That’s not to say that I was spoiled. My parents took great care to avoid that. For starters I had a bunch of cousins within a 10 minute drive from my house who were over a lot and tortured me like siblings. They took my stuff and roughhoused and generally had a good time.
I was also involved in Guiding, hockey, and swimming lessons plus occasionally other things like a little chefs course. I was well socialized and I’m not sure that I could have done all those things if there was a sibling in the mix.
I wasn’t lonely. I was the type of kid who was happiest reading a book, and in books I found all sorts of wonderful people and stories. I also had a lot of friends who I could go and call on and play with after school or on weekends. Yes… go out and play – around the corner or, when i got a little older, down the block and through the walkway. I played with my friends, got annoyed by their siblings and returned to my cozy home.
I am both my father’s daughter and my mother’s daughter. Mum and I would sit and do crafts and she would patiently teach me how to knit day after day when I forgot. Would we have had all that 1 on 1 time if I had siblings? Dad treated me like one of the boys – I got to watch sports with him. Hockey, Auto racing, and football. Dad loves football and as he put it, they were pretty sure they were only going to have 1 kid, there was 1 tv, mum tolerated football but didn’t love it and he wanted to make sure the vote would be 2 vs 1 FOR football. Hence my beginnings as a football junkie. I wonder if I had had a brother, if my dad would have spent as much time explaining all the nuances of football to me? I’d like to think so but I’m not sure.
I know i missed out on things by not having a sibling. Mum’s big worry is that I won’t have family to support me when they die. I told her that I have friends and that just because people are related by blood doesn’t necessarily mean that they can stand each other. I feel loved and supported by the friends I have made and that is enough for me.
I wouldn’t have minded to have had someone else to blame things on either, come to think of it. When there was trouble in the house or something got broken, it was almost always my fault and I took the blame. If I’d had a younger sibling, I could have blamed them. There’s only so much you can blame on a dog.
Overall I feel like I had a well-rounded, happy childhood. I don’t think that I missed anything huge by not having biological siblings, I have a few friends who are as close to me as they are to their biological siblings if not closer.
I know quite a few only children, and none of us feel like we were deprived in any way of part of our childhood. I’ve had friends worry that they don’t have a sibling for their child yet. Relax, I tell them, even if you don’t ever end up with another kid, your firstborn won’t be horribly scarred. I may not get the mushy “sister” cards, but that’s ok with me.