While Rachel’s been away I’ve been trying to take the boys out somewhere different every morning. We’ve been to the Bodmin Railroad, to Trevethan Farm where we picked our own strawberries, and Newquay (you’ll notice there’s no writeup about Newquay on this blog because there’s nothing to write about Newquay. There were hundreds of people with surf boards, seemingly endless surf shops and arcades, and not a wave to be seen. Horrible place, best to be avoided unless you’re between 16 and 20 and have raging hormones.).
Yesterday we went to the Portreath Bee Centre. One enters on the ground floor into a shop that is chock-a-block full of things to buy, none of which I could quite bring myself to take home. Upstairs there’s a tea-room, and a door through which one can only go by shelling out £1.50 for an adult and 75p for a child (Sebastian the baby got in free). On the other side of the door is a room split into approximately two halves, the closest of which has a tv with a bee video and 20 chairs just begging someone to sit down and watch. On the other side of the room are a couple of scraggly bee hives with bees in various stages of honey making, along with pictures of some old time bee hives that were woven by hand using caning techniques and covered in cow dung to make them airtight (pretty interesting actually). Nathaniel enjoyed it, but then he saw the sheep outside and immediately wanted to go look at the sheep, so I’d give it a solid C, nice enough, but not enthralling for a 4-year old.
Outside, he wanted to know how bees made honey. I have come to expect post-experience questions from Nathaniel. He often internalizes what he’s seeing, and then comes up with a couple of questions anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 days later (the 2 day later questions can make for interesting conversation as one tries to remember what it was he saw recently to warrant the question). So in answer to his question, “How do bees make honey?", I explained what I knew, that bees visited flowers to collect nectar, then flew back to the hive to put it into the honey-combs. He then wanted to know how they stuck it in the honey-combs. I didn’t know the answer, so I said “They poop it out. Honey is just bee poop.” (I’ve since looked up how they do it on the web, and now know that bee pollen is bee poop, not bee honey, so -1 for Dad on the answer scale).
Earlier in the morning we’d been at Trevethan Farm, where in addition to picking strawberries, we’d looked at rabbits and guinea pigs and a pig. While we were looking at the pig, I’d told him that pigs were where bacon comes from, that when he ate a piece of bacon he was eating the pig. At the time he’d just nodded and asked to be pushed on the swing in the play area.
So, after looking at the sheep outside the Bee Centre, and trying to pet the ponies (who, as we didn’t have any carrots or sugar cubes, weren’t having any of it), we were finally all strapped into the car, and driving home. From the backseat Nathaniel piped up with one final question, “Hey dada, do pigs poop hamburgers out?” I couldn’t help but laugh because I knew exactly where that question had come from.
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