You know what one of the greatest things about parenting is?
Seeing the world through Evan’s eyes. He’s a curious little bugger and has been ever since he started walking and talking. In fact, he was such an early (and prolific) talker that I wondered if he would ever shut up. (In case you’re wondering, they do shut up. Right about the time they’re old enough to play video games. Although, even then, he likes to talk through his video games like he’s narrating a YouTube tutorial).
I don’t mean shut up in a bad way. He’s really, really talkative and for that reason, I love forcing him to put his video games down and ride in the car with me. That’s when the questions start pouring out.
Mommy, is God a boy or a girl?
Mommy, isn’t it weird that we’re alive?
Mommy, how do girls grow up to have boy babies? I used to think boys had boys and girls had girls. Note: I glossed over this one.
It’s not that he’s weird. He just looks at the world in so many different ways and asks questions that would never have occurred to me. Or maybe they did once upon a time.
I also like to see his personality emerge. Just the other day, he started speaking to me in a foreign tongue. What foreign tongue, I have no clue. But it reminded me that I, too, once spoke my own language that used the word BOSAY a lot. So it become known as the bosay language in my house. I’ve forgotten how to speak it but I love seeing Evan create his own oddities.
It’s probably also why he loves his “Weird But True” book from National Geographic Kids. We read it once and loved it. And now that his reading is really starting to catch on, he wanted to read it together the other night.
We took turns reading facts like,
There’s a forest of crooked trees in Poland.
Astronauts say space smells like metal and seared steak.
The original architects of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco considered painting the bridge black with yellow stripes instead of orange.
Fingerprints can last up to 40 years on paper.
And every time one of us finished, we’d look at the other and exclaim, That’s weird!
Bottom line is that kids like weird stuff and, frankly, I do too. It’s why we loved the “findings” in a recent survey by National Geographic Kids. In its survey, they asked their readers to determine what is weird and wonderful about themselves and the world around them. And here’s what they came up with.
- Weirdest law in the United States:
- It was once a crime to look gloomy in Pocatello, Idaho (38 percent).
- Runner-up: Owning confetti is not allowed in Mobile, Ala. (35 percent).
- Weirdest name of a U.S. city or town:
- Pee Pee, Ohio (49 percent) <= seriously, that is weird (and funny)
- Coolest weird fact about first lady Michelle Obama:
- She has watched each episode of “The Brady Bunch” at least 50 times (29 percent).
- Runner-up: She’s taken part in two Guinness World Records feats — one for the most jumping jacks and one for the largest online photo album of animals; she took a picture of first dog Bo (24 percent).
- Coolest weird fact about you (some of our editors’ favorites):
- Bodily functions — I can lick my elbow; I can make my eyeballs shake; I can make my tongue into a clover; I can make my eyebrows dance to music.
- Ketchup — I can chug ketchup; I eat ketchup on mac and cheese; I hate ketchup.
- I have memorized 63 digits of pi.
- I like to eat… pig stomach; pickles with whipped cream; honey on peas; lima beans; ranch dressing on spaghetti.
- What makes your parents weird but cool?
- Dad… can wiggle his ears; burps the alphabet; does ’80s dances; roller skates; says “yo” all the time.
- Mom… runs 100-mile races; does weird dances; does judo; is crazy about bats; calls “gangnam” style “gum gum” style.
- They… sometimes forget rules they make up; always sing commercial jingles; say “maybe” but they really mean “yes”; dress like superheroes.
- Weirdest fact you love about your teacher:
- Our teacher calls our parents “owners” and they “collect” us. <= that’s a teacher with a sense of humor!
- My English teacher made a plan for what would happen in a zombie apocalypse.
- My science teacher loves bacon and has a sign that says “If you don’t like bacon, you’re wrong.”
- My teacher puts Milk Duds in her coffee.
- My teacher has sneezing contests with our math teacher, and he always wins.
- Weirdest thing you have eaten:
- Peanut and pickle sandwich
- 1,000-year-old egg
- alligator pirogue
- boiled cow tongue
- chocolate-covered grasshoppers
- roasted worms.
- Weirdest holiday tradition you love:
- Acting like a turkey on Thanksgiving.
- Baking 84 dozen cookies each Christmas.
- Destroying gingerbread houses with a remote-control truck.
- Eating 12 skinless grapes on New Year for good luck.
- Finding the pickle in the Christmas tree.
- Figuring our how an enormous Santa can fit down our chimney.
- Leaving a shot of brandy for Rudolph so his nose stays red.
See? It’s not just that kids like weird stuff. It’s that THEY are weird TOO!
I’d have to say the weirdest thing about my kid was when he started a collection of all of the red wax covering that came off of the Babybel cheeses. When we moved last year, I had to inform Evan that his “collection” didn’t survive the move. Luckily, we just laugh about it now.
What’s the weirdest thing about your kids?
Oh hey. I’m a National Geographic Kids Insider. It basically means I love them and they love me but no money ever exchanges hands (they’re a non-profit organization). They send me books from time to time and I write about them if I feel like it.