(At the dinner table last night)
Dr. Free-Ride: (to younger offspring) What are you learning about in nature study these days?
Younger offspring: (slurping noodles) Turtles.
Dr. Free-Ride: What are you learning about turtles?
Younger offspring: (chewing) Turtles.
Dr. Free-Ride: What?!
Younger offspring: (taking another bite) Reptiles and amphibians.
Dr. Free-Ride: Child, it's Thursday night. I'm working against a deadline here!
Dr. Free-Ride's better half: (to both offspring) Remind me now, which of you is the reptile and which is the amphibian?
Elder offspring: No! We're both mammals, silly!
Dr. Free-Ride: (still determined to wring information from younger offspring) Hey, do you guys have a new song you've learned in nature study? You usually learn a new song when you're learning new nature study stuff.
Younger offspring: (chewing) Yeah.
Dr. Free-Ride: Can you sing it for me?
Younger offspring: (with an evil grin) Mammal, mammal, their names are called --
Elder offspring: They raise a paw --
Both in unison: The bat, the cat. Dolphin and dog, koala bear and hog!
Dr. Free-Ride: That's not a Montessori song! That's a They Might Be Giants song!
Elder offspring: The whale, the snail --
Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, a snail isn't a mammal! It's a gastropod!
Dr. Free-Ride's better half: It's a mollusc.
Dr. Free-Ride: It's a nuisance.
Younger offspring: I'm an arthropod!
Dr. Free-Ride: No you aren't. Bugs are arthropods, like at the Insect Zoo. You're still a mammal.
Elder offspring: "Pod" means feet, so arthropod means --
Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Arthur's feet.
Dr. Free-Ride: wistfully) Do you think some day one of our kids might grow up to be an arthropodiatrist or a gastropodiatrist?
Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Maybe a cephalopodiatrist. (Takes a swig of Fresca)
Elder offspring: "Gastro" means smelly, like gas, so a gastropod is a creature with smelly feet.
Dr. Free-Ride's better half: You nearly made soda shoot out my nose!
Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, we're discussing taxonomy here, not fluid dynamics!
Can I come over to your house for dinner sometime? I'll bring the escargot!
I know a song!
You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals,
So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel ...
OK, maybe the kids didn't learn that one in Montessori.
I love these friday posts. They make me laugh. My office mates might think I'm a little weird.
Time zones vs. "cute on demand"
I checked when I got to work this morning (9 EST) and was disappointed not to find a new Sprog Blog. When it did appear, your I'm working on a deadline here exhortation hit me as a blogger's equivalent to a photographer's "Sit still and smile. Look like you like each other and are having fun so I can get this picture." And you remember how many tries it took to get the 4 of you in the frame and not looking like someone (sibling or parent) was beating up on at least one of you.
Tell your better half it's dangerous to drink in front of the sprogs.
Tell the sprogs that mammal podiatry is a full-employment career in the coming years with the number of aging feet in the b-b generation. But I'm sure their main concern at this point is only keeping the parental units busy, despite full employment.
Thanks for letting us tune in to your dinner table.
The last instance of that section of Mammal (I have that on MP3 as well =P) continues:
"The bat, the cat; dolphin and dog, koala bear and hog; the fox, the ox, giraffe and shrew, echidna, caribou".