Saturday, June 12, 2010

Flags of the World



For several months now, Jordan has been fixated on flags. As best as I can recall, it started with a child's atlas book he received as a birthday gift. I had stored it away, and when I finally pulled it out, he was instantly hooked. He spent countless hours staring at the flags, memorizing the countries they represented. When he discovered each flag's country also had its own song (national anthem) he was mesmerized. Did you know Youtube can be used to listen to national anthems? Jordan can spend a nice chunk of the morning listening to national anthems and then humming them for us later.



He can also discuss the flags in the abstract. For example, one time, while signing up for spring classes at the rec center, he started a conversation with the woman in front of him. She told him she was from Turkey. Jordan proceeded to inform her that he liked the Turkey flag, described what it looked like, and compared it to other flags in the region. I think we made her day.

Our plans for Saturday were to take the kids to the United Nations Plaza, where right outside the building, the member state flags fly proudly along 1st Avenue. Since the tours prohibited kids under 5, we thought we'd just take a walk along the avenue, let Jordan examine the flags, and see if he could recognize them, bring his flag sticker books, and play for a bit.

Saturday arrived, and the kids couldn't wait to get to the city.

The trouble was, when we arrived, the flag poles hung barren. The flags were GONE.



photo, courtesy of wallyg.

Nothing.

No brightly waiving flags. Just the poles. Empty. Except for one - the blue and white flag of the UN standing alone, mocking us.

Such is our luck. I think that when the UN is not in session, they take the flags down.

Jordan: Mommy! Where are the flags?

me: I think they might have taken them down to do clean them. They're in the laundry.

I did remember that at Rockefeller Center, they also had a lot of flags. We headed there next.




Voila! Flags of the world.



Good enough. And we could walk around the plaza to our heart's content.



Someone was pretty excited.



Careful examination.



Jordan ponders each flag as we queried him on the country it represented. He was right every time.



We know because Jeff consulted the flag book I brought along as reference.



Mina tries to share Jordan's enthusiasm. He drags her into flag conversations all the time. She's such a good sport. And in the process, I bet she knows more about flags than any almost-4 year old girl in town. Take that all you Princess-loving little preschoolers!



All that flag quizzing worked up an appetite. Time for snacks.



Then, more looking.



I love this kid. When he's into something, he is really into something. The flag hobby is of his own doing, we never pushed him into it, forced him to take a class at the rec center, or dragged him to some after school activity. It's just something that he found on his own that captured his imagination. And he ran with it.
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