Today's experiment didn't go so well, due to small brother's refusal to be lumped in with the stinky baby. So we improvised.
We had it all figured out, all nice and tidy, swapping the brothers to make one group of six-year-olds and one group of two-or-three-year-olds, so everyone could enjoy tidy age-appropriate activities, and have such a tidy wonderful time. Except! Brother #2, of the three-year-old variety, rebelled. He is not charmed with being categorized in the younger group, and wants to be with the older kids. Not even the promise of a trip to the donut store, where any donut could be chosen, purchased, and consumed, would dissuade him. He is not a baby. Remember it. Write it down if necessary. Not a baby.
So, instead of swapping brothers, we did a realignment based on gender. I took the girls and went to the fabulous pet store. If you haven't been to Animal Jungle before, you should go. It's such a good pet store that schools take field trips there. There's a massive indoor koi pond, there are sharks, there are monkeys, there are three-foot-long iguanas, and kittens and rats and a giant blue macaw that hangs upside down, and just all kinds of crazy stuff. Here are the girls looking at chinchillas.
We were lucky (?) enough to see the Asian Water Monitor Lizard Creepy Giant Dragon of Scarification being transferred to one habitat to another. This iinvolved it skittering wildly across the floor, lashing its scaly tail and roaring through its cavernous toothy maw. Okay it just walked mildly across the floor with its mouth shut, and the rest was part of the sudden vision I had at that moment. You try taking a toddler through the reptile room, and see if nothing strange occurs to you! We also got to see the bird show. Apparently, the giant bird with the razor-sharp beak does not like children, and the demonstrated felt like that needed to be said repeatedly. More visions.
Eventually we rejoined the boys at Veronica's house for trampoline jumping, backyard playing, dog wrangling, and eating feta cheese that comes from a sheep. Here are the boys:
A good day. A fine social experiment. And a little improvisation. Next time we're going back to aligning based on age, so the mommies can go for a walk and have an uninterrupted conversation, and the kids take themselves to the aquarium to see an IMAX movie. Now that would be an interesting experiment.