Some scenes from our annual family vacation at the lake:
On a walk with 3 kids, ages 6, 5, and 3
“Guys, see that flower? It’s called Queen Anne’s lace. Isn’t it pretty?”
The kids pick it, sniff it. One says, “It kind of smells like poop.”
“Yeah, it smells like POOP!” the others agree. Giggles all around.
The kids run around marveling at the fish, frogs, snakes, and turtles in tanks. There is also a large stuffed bear.
Kids: “Is that alive?”
Dad: “It was, but now it’s not. It’s stuffed.”
Kids: “So it’s dead?”
Dad: “Well, yeah.”
Kids: “WHEN was it dead, Daddy? How did it GET dead? Are there real bears here, Daddy?!”
On a hike
My niece and I pick a bouquet of flowers on a nature walk to bring home to my mother. (NOT including Queen Anne’s lace.) Later that evening after the kids are in bed, looking at the lovingly handpicked blooms displayed in a water glass, Gram says, “That one’s deadly nightshade. I didn’t want to say anything earlier.”
Me: “So, wait. It’s poisonous? It can KILL you?”
“Well, slightly.” Huh. I didn’t realize there were degrees of deadliness.
Kids: “Can we go fishing now? Fishing! Fishing! Daddy, take us fishing!”
Dad: “OK. Who’s going to put the worm on the hook?”
Kids: “Ewwww! Worms are slimy! Gross!”
Sitting on the dock, a power boat goes by, creating waves.
“Aaaaahhh! Scary! Daddeeee!” The 3yo screams in fear as the dock rocks gently.
Dad: “Hey, we caught one! Guys, come look.”
In their defense, this particular fish WAS sort of scary. We learned later at the nature center that it was a chain pickerel, which is apparently a voracious carnivore that attacks prey several times its size.
Maybe the kids should stick to picking stinky, poisonous flowers.