Mother-Son Bonding is for the Birds

Crows on a Human Walk
Crows out on a human walk

We stood and listened to the bird banging away at its tiny typewriter in the bushes. As is often the case with bird “watching,” we could only hear the bird, not watch it.

“That’s an Anna’s hummingbird,” my middle-schooler, the Little Monkey, informed the group of a dozen adult birders.

“Actually,” said the Audubon Master Birder who led the guided walk, her head cocked to listen, “that’s a Junco.”

“No, that’s a hummingbird,” LM corrected her.

She listened for a moment, then repeated gently, “Mmm, Junco.”

My son corrected the Master Birder twice more. When a rush of movement indicated that the bird had flown off for a smoke break, LM chased after it, in order to prove himself correct.

“How does your son know so much?” a woman asked me.

“He’s twelve,” I answered, “which means he knows everything.”Read More »

Pondering the Annual Science Fair

science project3
He wins the “I’m now twice as tall as my trifold board” award.

Here are the reasons for our school system’s annual horror of the trifold-board science project:

  1. to keep the trifold-board-making company in business and thus support the economy
  2. to give parents a better appreciation of science teachers
  3. to ask what the fuck are we paying the science teachers for?
  4. for parents to display their parenting philosophy for the edification of other parents as we all trudge around the fucking cafeteria looking at other parents’ trifold projects (when we would rather be home surfing Craigslist or Amazon but saying that we are working), determining whether each is an example of whether they
    • are a hands-on parent (i.e. I did the project for him, and that ribbon is mine for my efficiency in dispatching a stupid assignment in which nobody learns anything except where the trifold boards are located at the superstore)
    • encourage independence and creative problem-solving (I drained the whiskey bottle while he did it himself)
    • are an involved parent with Montessori leanings but believe in supporting the public school system (we did it together because otherwise our Kumbaya-raised kid was never going to get it done while he played Mortal Kombat instead).

Read more about the Little Monkey’s birding science project HERE.