Over dinner one Sunday night, the subject of ketchup came up. Specifically, the various ways of storing it. Mommyo had always refrigerated ketchup bottles after opening them, so The Nine-Year-Old was somewhat shocked to learn that once upon a time (and even now in certain households) ketchup was not refrigerated.The Nine-Year-Old, aghast, “Not even after you open it?”Uncle Phil, Ketchup Maven, “Not even then.” Naturally, The Nine-Year-Old wanted to know: Do you really have to refrigerate ketchup?
As you may remember from last week, The Nine-Year-Old and I have a working theory that her crickets, Narmer and Charles Allen, may have actually died from fright. We thought it was possible that after a certain unfortunate event, a surge of octopamine (the cricket version of adrenaline) flooded their system and caused their hearts to stop. Daddyo was not convinced. “Do crickets even have hearts?”
For her third grade science project, The Nine-Year-Old has been keeping a series of crickets at home. I say series, because all the male crickets keep dying off. We can’t figure out why the one female cricket would be fine, while all the males are dying. Our working theory is that upon exposure to the Cricket Hellscape that is the 9YO’s room, the males are dying of fright. But can crickets die of fright?
Astronauts living on the International Space Station still have to brush their teeth every day, preferably twice a day. There’s no “out in space” exemption for dental hygiene. But how do you get the toothbrush wet in zero gravity? Where do you spit without a sink? Why doesn’t all that mess end up in your hair? How do astronauts brush their teeth in space?
Back when The Eight-Year-Old was only five, we spent a lovely afternoon building a village for her toy dinosaurs out of Lincoln logs. After carefully installing a sunlight in the roof of her sauropod stable, my daughter asked, “Mommyo, did any of the Presidents not like toys?” When I said that surely they all played with toys as kids, she clarified: “No, Mommyo, I’m talking about grown-ups. Did any grown-up Presidents not like playing with toys?”
When The Eight-Year-Old asked me why my hair was turning grey this last week, I was so tempted to simply answer with a quick and trite: “Parenthood.” The real answer, though, has more to do with melanin – or the lack of it.
The Eight-Year-Old wandered into the kitchen the other day while I was prepping a blueberry and spinach smoothie. While watching me stuff the blender with spinach and almond milk, she asked, “Mommyo, if you ate only spinach, how much spinach would you have to eat to maintain your weight?”
One of the things I love most about reading old books are the weird medical terms you can find buried within them. My daughter, running across the term “fever and ague” in a Little House on the Prairie book, naturally wanted to know what it meant.
This week, the Six-Year-Old lost her first two teeth. Or rather, The Six-Year-Old went to the dentist and the dentist pulled them out for her. That bit was a little rocky, but once we were home again, my daughter spent the rest of the day happily speculating about what her buddies at school would say when they saw her. There was a slight bobble at dinnertime, when she realized that the Tooth Fairy would come and take away both of her teeth overnight. That’s when the negotiating started.