Saturday, February 6, 2016

He Blinded Me with Science!

Nate had his first Pinewood Derby.

He put a lot of thought into what he wanted his car to look like.  Because he's fascinated with the ocean, he designed a hammerhead shark.  Dad did the big cuts and then Nate did all the sanding and finishing.

It has a back fin and a hammer head.  He painted it himself, including red eyes and gills.  He was very pleased with his design,

Then we started racing the cars.

Let's just say Hammerhead wasn't ahead.  A lot of the Dads had obviously helped A LOT with these cars.  

A little boy was very disappointed and I could see tears welling up in his eyes.

"Hold on, buddy," I said.  "Let's look at this."  

I pulled him up on my lap and we looked at the track and watched the different speeds for the different cars as the race continued.  I explained the design of the track and how the design of the track meant that any car with weights on the bottom had drag and friction as the weights impacted the clearance on the car.  I talked about gravity and airflow and pull.  

"All those things as acting on all those cars, Nathan, and each of those forces is impacting the speed of each car.  It doesn't mean you didn't do an awesome job or that your hammerhead isn't amazing.  It's just science and it's acting on each of those cars."

He was quiet for a bit.

"So, wait... you're saying science WANTS me to lose??"

(sigh... one more time from the top)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Many Cats. Many Bags.

A few weeks ago I walked in on Sophia sing-songing the word "Idiom" at her brother.


It was your typical, "I'm going to say this word because you're going to think I'm saying "idiot" and when you try to tattle you'll be wrong and then you'll get in trouble for tattling" kid sister move.

After listening to them bicker and sing-song, I said," Sophia, do you even know what 'idiom' means?"

"Yeah," she said.  "It's when you say something and it means something else.... like when you say, "laughing your socks off" but really it just means you're happy".

I looked in stunned silence at my kindergartner, thinking it was probably  9th grade before I'd learned that word.

I left her alone.  I figured any 6 year old who can define "idiom" deserves a bit of uninterrupted taunting with it.

She'd earned it.

A few weeks later, we were in the store and Sophia came running up to me, eyes bright and sparkling and her little finger wagging at me.

"Mom!  Don't tell!  I'm a ninja!  It's a secret!"

"Oh!  OK," I said.  "I won't tell.  But will you say that again because you're kind of adorable and I want a picture."


We finished our shopping and went to the clerk.  

Next thing I knew my daughter was saying to the total stranger store clerk, 'Don't tell anyone! I'm a ninja!  It's a secret!"

"Soph!" I exclaimed. "I need to get you ninja etiquette lessons.  You're not supposed to TELL PEOPLE you're a ninja!  Ninjas are secret and no one knows they're ninjas!" as I smiled at the clerk. . Turns out the clerk had her own 5 yr old little girl ninja.  She and Sophia shared some tips and tricks of the trade for the clerk to take home to her daughter.

Then, the other night, I was tucking Sophia into bed.  She mentioned, "idiom" again.  I asked her if she still remembered what it meant.  

"Yeah... it's when a thing doesn't mean what it sounds like... like when you talk about the cat being in the bag."

I said, "You mean, 'let the cat out of the bag'?"

"Yeah.  That one.  What does that mean, Mom?"

I said, "That's when you tell a secret you're not supposed to tell.  

"Oh!" she said, her face suddenly very solemn and knowing, "Like when I tell people I'm a ninja.  That's letting the cat out of the bag, right, Mom?"

Yes, sweetheart.  That's letting the cat out of the bag.

Monday, February 1, 2016

I Look Fantastic!

Dressed up for an evening out - Jan 2015 - wearing pink Hello Kitty gardening gloves and an understated single strand of pearls