Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parent Homework

Zoe Bug is in fourth grade this year, and at the moment they are studying Earth Science and the layers of the Earth. She came home with a piece of paper about a week ago, explaining that the students were to create a 3-D model of the Earth with each of its layers labeled.

I took one look at that little slip of paper and I groaned. "Ugh. Parent Homework. It begins." I'm sure those of you with school age kids know exactly what I'm talking about.

I delegated this particular assignment to Peanut Head on account of he is a Geophysicist Geek, and he knows more about the Earth than most people would ever care to hear about. No offense, Peanut Head, it's just not a riveting topic for the general population. Most people, whatever.

Yeah, he got this assignment because of that and because I had my own Parent Homework for Girl Scouts and Brownies. I'm cursing myself at this moment for even opening that can of worms. Apparently, I needed just one more thing.

Zoe called Peanut Head from school a couple days ago to remind him that her 3-D layers of the Earth model was due the next day and they hadn't even started on it. She was starting to panic. 

Peanut Head instructed Zoe to bring her science textbook home with the exact measurements for the layers of the Earth. If they were going to make a model of the Earth, it was going to be proportionally accurate, dang it.

I think this request worried Zoe, as she didn't know how to slow down the freight train that is Peanut Head on a mission to make a proportionally accurate model.

"Dad, it's just a model. We just have to show the core, the mantle, and the crust. It could be made out of cake. Or Jell-O. Or clay even. Dad?"

Zoe, being the compliant child that she is, did as she was instructed and brought home the textbook. With worry in her heart and trepidation in her soul.

May The Force be with you, Girlfriend. You are about to embark on a science project with Daddy.

I'm just going to step back and record the memories. Pretend you don't see me.

As soon as Peanut Head got home, he proceeded to consult the index of the fourth grade science textbook for the Periodic Table of Elements. Because he likes to complicate things.

I know. She's in fourth grade. That's exactly what I said.

They don't teach the Periodic Table of Elements in fourth grade.

And therefore, it is not in the fourth grade science textbook.

Peanut Head was aghast. "What kind of science book doesn't have the Periodic Table of Elements?" he screeched. 

Um . . . a fourth grade science textbook.

Oh, but the Encyclopedic Dictionary and the Children's Dictionary do have it, and, of course, we do have those. Dang it.

Zoe sighed heavily.

She was quite the trooper though, and sat through the entire lecture. She forced herself to remain conscious and alert, although I did see some mental eye rolling going on.

Oh snore.

At one point Peanut Head asked Zoe, "What's 20% of 4?"

She got a scared look in her eyes as she searched for that bit of knowledge that, yes, you guessed it . . . has not yet been bestowed on fourth graders everywhere.

I whispered to Peanut Head, "She wouldn't know the answer to that." He ignored me and got out some money to teach her what 20% of 4 is. He's very stubborn.

It's a wonder we manage to coexist at all.

Zoe is very patient though, and she is usually happy to indulge Peanut Head in his pedantic rantings.

I've been waiting for years to say that in a sentence about Peanut Head. It's one of his favorite things to say about windbags. Not that he is a wind bag. It's just that I've waited forever to have the opportunity to turn it around and use it on him. And it feels gooooooood. Real good.

I love you, sweetie. Really.

Do you like Peanut Head's new Star Trek t-shirt? I think it's hilarious. He's a walking oxymoron.

Like adult male. Or accurate horoscope . . . arrogant humility . . . advanced BASIC. I love oxymorons. They're so fun. And just in case you're interested, there are oodles of them listed alphabetically here.

Expendable is the last thing Peanut Head is to us. As much as I tease him (and suffer his pedantic rantings, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha), I wouldn't trade him for anything. He is always the first person to help out a friend in need, and he will do anything for the people he loves.

And yes, we love him too.


  1. Your husband and mine would get along just fine! Mine is a high school math teacher and he gets overly excited at doing anything that has anything to do with math. I joke that he can take something exciting and turn it into a math problem and take all of the fun out of it.He also is filled with millions of useless random facts that he throws out here and there and you can't help but look at him and wonder how he can know something so off the wall like that. But I love him, that's how he is!

  2. That sounds like what my husband would do.

  3. Even if he complicated the process,... what a great dad! Thumbs up Peanut Head.

  4. hahahahahaha :) Oh that made my day :)

  5. I can see and relate to that look your daughter has. My dad was the same way, especially with bringing in random math problems that didn't really relate but needed to be solved anyway!

    Love the pictures!

  6. You crack me up! Can't wait to see how you've applied your scrapbooking and organization skills to Girl Scouts! I'm always looking for good tips!

  7. Hahahaha! I dont do parent homework. If the older kids dont help them, they turn in something that looks like they made it themselves. I refuse to do parent homework. I dont even fill out forms and shit they routinely send home. I think they waste too damn much paper and time on unnecessary things. Such as sending me a letter saying that my son called the teacher an idiot... a letter that arrived 10 days later and had no details... when they could have called me at home and I would have driven the 2.5 minutes to the school immediately... and probably agreed with the kid that the teacher was an idiot (that was a bad year).

  8. She's got a glazed look. Bless her heart~

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Well, I think they waste too damn much paper and time on unnecessary things. Such as sending me a letter saying that my son called the teacher an idiot.