July 27, 2009


Last week I was worried about all that stuff I've discovered I'm forgetting. This week I'm concerned about the stuff I never knew.

You might think, by reading, that I'm a reasonably bright guy but you'd be mistaken and would prove that you haven't clued into the fact that I have an elaborate computer program into which I type five or six very choppy, broken sentences and the eloquent posts you read daily emerge. That last sentence, in fact, was, in its raw form before being input into said computer program:

Me no write good. Computer poop out pretty words.

Behold the miracle of technology.

Unlike me, I believe my kids are smart. So smart, in fact, that I'm worried both of them are going to leave me in the dust brainwise, well, soon. This concern is based in part on two things.

Thing One - Owen's Mad Vocabulary. Owen can talk which is pretty standard for a kid his age. But Owen is speaking in strings of words, may of which are two and three syllable words. Which is somewhat less standard. I would not be overly surprised to return home this afternoon, after a long day at work, to have Shakespeare's sonnets quoted to me whilst wearing Edwardian dress. Because he's also a fan of dressing up though usually in Mia's princess costumes.

Thing Two - Big Bang. Mia seems to be more interested in astrophysics than she is princesses. We now have in our house books about molecules and atoms and gravity as well as space travel, the planets and the big bang. Mia even delivered a long musical number the other afternoon about the aforementioned big bang. It was hilarious and scarily technically correct. We have spent evenings on YouTube watching shuttle launches and seeing the first men hop on the moon. This kid? She's incredible.

These kids are going to reach a point at which point they're too smart for me. And that point very well might be Thursday. And, because I'm not very bright with respect to some things, Beth and I have already divided up elementary through high school curricula and decided which of the two of us is best able to address them.

Math (including basic elementary math through algebra, geometry and trig)
Science (life sciences, geology, biology and physics)
World and American history
Social studies and civics
Health and safety
Performing and visual arts

Music (though not if I have to read music)
Computer science

You see my concern?

Posted by Chris at July 27, 2009 6:45 AM

Just the little pick me up I needed this morning. Take heart...this list looks the same at our house, only in reverse. :)

Posted by: Erin Oltmanns at July 27, 2009 7:48 AM

Just the little pick me up I needed this morning. Take heart...this list looks the same at our house, only in reverse. :)

Posted by: Erin Oltmanns at July 27, 2009 7:48 AM

If you want to beef up your list, you can add photography and humor to your list.

Posted by: MariaV at July 27, 2009 7:51 AM

You know I love a song by Louis Armstrong. It's called "What A Wonderful World". In it is a phrase: "I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow
They'll learn much more.....than Ill never know
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world"

It's sort of how I feel. After my head injury I realized that there is much I can teach my (hopefully someday) grandchild. But none of Beth's list is on mine. I can teach making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, how to do laundry and how to use a remote control. LOL!
Still, What a wonderful world!

Posted by: Maribeth at July 27, 2009 8:14 AM

It is pretty amazing how smart kids are, isn't it? I have a couple brains in my house too. My 5 year old son corrects my grammar from time to time, which I knew would happen eventually, just not so soon! I throw all this at the feet of my super smart husband and leave the keeping up to him as I sit drooling in the corner.

Posted by: Elizabeth at July 27, 2009 8:29 AM

At least you aren't forgetting their names right? See the positive in everything, and plus if they are brilliant then maybe a career in quantum physics is in Mia's future and that way when you get decrepit she can take care of you and you can live out your remaining feeble years in comfort.

Posted by: Dee at July 27, 2009 8:55 AM


"Me no write good. Computer poop out pretty words."

Needs to be put on a t-shirt.

Posted by: Angella at July 27, 2009 9:01 AM

By the time they're adults, I'm sure that robots will have taken over, so your knowledge of computer science will probably save their lives or at least possibly help them play a role in the rebellion against our mechanical overlords.

So, yeah. Stop being so hard on yourself.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at July 27, 2009 9:22 AM

Ah...and there in lies ALL of parents anxiety! We are all that way! You are doing it right if they come out smarter and kinder than you! ; )

And maybe Mia will come out to my neighborhood and work at Nasa and I can tell her some day all about how I read about her growing up! LOL ALL of her life!

Have to agree with the PUT THAT ON A T-SHIRT!!!! And write a book! You can do it! Fly!

Posted by: Gypsy at July 27, 2009 9:52 AM

The computer pooping. Somehow that just fits with all your bathroom posts.

Posted by: Heather at July 27, 2009 10:12 AM

If Ms. Mia gets all into physics and needs explanations, we (Alektra and the Boy) can handle some of that with a good dollop of glee.

I wanted to be a paleozoologist when I was Mia's age. And yes, I said that word back then. So look out, she might scare you, but she's likely a smart kid who will love you dearly as long as you let her be smart without making her feel weird about it.

And even if you do? She'll still love you dearly anyway. (Dude, my dad didn't know how to turn off his computer four years ago. You and Beth have this covered, ok?)

Posted by: alektra at July 27, 2009 10:46 AM

I totally agreee, your kids sound way smart! Smarter than mine, though I'm finding it's not that hard to surpass us parents.

My son also loved dressing up in his sister's pretty things. I'm gald you are handling it so well. My neanderthal would get all bent out of shape at the little fella.

Have a great day and thanks for keeping up the Monday Haiku.

Posted by: debb at July 27, 2009 12:03 PM


We gotta introduce Mia to Jake. When he was her age, he was asking stuff like,

"What is the composition of AIR?" instead of "Why is the sky blue?"

My way of surviving was to read lots of books and teach him how to look things up on the internet, besides finding him people who could answer those questions.

These days I can't even repeat the questions. They are in some weird science lingo that I don't even understand.

Posted by: Scattered Mom at July 27, 2009 12:51 PM

Hey, maybe she'll be the first woman on the moon. You never know.

Posted by: Dianna at July 27, 2009 2:02 PM

Add Current Events, and Media (Social and Otherwise) to your list of curricula. Oh, and bathroom weirdos.

Posted by: coolchick at July 27, 2009 2:53 PM

My 4 year old and I had a huge conversation about the differences and similarities between: trees, forests, woods, branches, limbs, sticks, twigs, boughs (when the bough breaks!) and logs. I did not realized he'd be familiar with more than tree and stick, but he showed me! I am constantly amazed at what he already knows.

Posted by: Lisa at July 27, 2009 3:05 PM

Have you seen the show "Big Bang Theory" Mondays on CBS? Mia might dig the theme song - it's by Barenaked Ladies. Here it is on youtube:


Posted by: erin at July 27, 2009 10:33 PM

I dread the days when we have to go through her math homework and I can do none of it and she realizes that I am just a pretty face (maybe not so pretty then either).

Posted by: DCUrbanDad at July 29, 2009 10:43 AM