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The Science Fair

It’s science fair time, and around the SFM house we’re all hard at work on our project. Of course, when I say, “We,” I mean my husband and I.

The 8 year old, who is supposed to be the scientist, has an attitude that can best be described as, “Meh. Whatever.”

A couple months ago I left him to his own devices to do his wildlife report, and we, ‘er, he…earned a three instead of a four.  You can bet your poster boards I’m not letting That happen again.

He’s chosen something involving strawberry DNA for his project. I know this makes him sound like some kind of crazy kid genius, and let me just assure you-he’s not. Don’t get me wrong, he’s plenty smart, but he’s also the kid who still hasn’t figured out how to flush the potty (How old do your kids have to be before you can start using the word toilet again???). Anyway, he went to a science event with his Cub Scout pack and learned a little bit about DNA, which is where he got the idea.

I wanted to make sure he at least understood what DNA was, so I gave him a little pop quiz. Turns out, he does, sort of-which is about the same level of understanding I have, even though I read a book about it in college. So far, so good. Then, he looks at my husband and says, “One thing I don’t get, though, is how Your DNA got in Mom. That’s creepy.”

My husband said…wait for it….”You’re right. That is creepy.”

So, to sum it up: Our 8 year old understands DNA but not the birds and the bees, and no one here really wants to deal with it.

Later that night, we discovered another area of omission. Floss.

We had just gotten back from the dentist, who had reiterated that this same child has not one, not two, not three, but Four small cavities, which might not have to be filled if he flosses enough. The dentist must know what a cheapskate I am because he added, “Just so you know, since they’re in between teeth, we’d have to bill them like eight.”

Naturally, I freaked out and loaded the kids’ bathroom with floss. There was already a ton of floss in there, which should have been my clue that it wasn’t being used. At any rate, I filled the cupboards with a year’s supply, and the cavity filled scientist pledged to use it. So far, so good.

Then, I had to ask, “You do know how to floss, right?”


Naturally, I hollered at my husband, “Honey, the boys need someone to show them how to floss.”

He hollered back, “Go for it!”

So, I showed the kids how to floss.

Guess what that means my husband gets to cover?

Somewhere in my DNA there is a sneaky mom gene, and every once in a while, it pays off.