My kindergarten kiddo came home from school today talking about mammals vs. non-mammals. How exciting! I taught my own kindergarteners about mammals when I was a teacher, and remember some of the cute and funny things that we talked about. I couldn't wait to elaborate on what my daughter's class had talked about at school!
Me-"Remember that mammals have live babies instead of laying eggs and they have a little bit of hair (even though you can't always see it at a distance). Are birds mammals?"
Her--"Nooooooooooo!!!! They lay eggs!"
The conversation went along this way for only a couple of seconds before I realized that I had led myself and my child down a path that I did not want to go down today.
Her--"Yeah, and birds can fly, so..."
Me--(Trying to fill her with all of the details that she'll need to know to lead a full life) Yes, but there IS one mammal that flies. Do you know what it is?"
Her--"Give me a hint."
Me--"It doesn't have feathers...."
Her--"Give me another hint...."
Me--"It starts with a b..."
Me--"Right! A bat is the ONLY mammal that can fly!"
Pause for 30 seconds
Her--"Mama? I don't think reindeer can really fly."
Me--Oh, my gosh. How did I get to this place? She has already skeptically asked me how Santa could fit her brother's big train table in his sack. This will surely seal the deal.
Me--"Oh, I think, uh, hmmm...surely...why not?"
Her--"Well, reindeer are mammals. Trying to cover up that she is WAY more than a little skeptical at this point..."I think they fly on an airplane."
And the conversation just went downhill from there.
My first kiddo believed until she was 9 or so. My second child is only 5. Of course, we'll continue to play it up without actually lying and telling her that the big guy does so make it all around the world in one night and even stops at every single house. But, inside her little head I think it's over. She's so practical and detail-oriented that it would have happened soon even if they hadn't talked about mammals at school today.
But, can I just cry?