Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The friggin' Science Expo

Medium and I have been working tirelessly on this Science Expo project.  He loves to do little experiments with his science kits, so when the paper came home describing the Science Expo at school, I, in all my infinite mothering wisdom, decided that this would be a good opportunity for him to showcase his talents . . . specifically on a tri-fold board purchased from Staples. 

Because Medium is the middle child, I worry constantly that he’s not feeling appreciated or valued.  He and Large are only 20 months apart in age, so Medium feels competitive with his older brother, and yet he doesn’t understand that there’s an almost two-year age gap between them.  Medium is easily frustrated and gives up much more quickly than Large does, so this seemed like a good opportunity for Medium to excel at something.

When we got the info about the Science Expo, I set it aside for Medium.  When Large asked if he could participate in the Expo as well, I said no.  (It felt sorta like the night I told them “No, you can’t read books; you’re gonna watch a show and then go to bed!”)  I told Large that he could NOT participate in the highly educational, extracurricular school project because this is going to be Medium's thing.

Since Medium is only in Kindergarten, our his experiment is very basic: do oil and water mix?  He conducted his experiment and I took photos because the students are not allowed to bring actual science stuff to school. 

A condensed list of what they CANNOT bring to school:
  1. living organisms, including plants.  (Don’t want anyone forgetting their marijuana seedling or their grow lights at school!)
  2. taxidermy specimens
  3. food
  4. body parts or body fluids  (Good call, Public School system!)
  5. chemicals
  6. sharp items
  7. fire
  8. business cards
  9. glass
  10. combustibles
I kid you not; every one of those items is forbidden at the Expo.  Body fluids, fire, business cards.  Makes total sense.

I remember the year my dad I made a terrarium for plants.  Because what 7-year-old girl isn’t fascinated by a big glass case of dirt and store-bought plants?  We were so rebellious, with our glass terrarium and our . . . um, plants.  I guess the ban on plants is understandable.  Family legend has it that my uncle had a lovely plant sitting in his window sill and my sweet little grandmother watered it religiously.  It was totally pot.

Upon further inspection, I discovered in the fine print that this Science Expo is indeed an EXPO.  It’s not a science fair where the biggest nerd gets the biggest ribbon.  

But we’ve done all this work!  

Fellow Mommies, I know you understand.  The actual experiment was a breeze.  Oil.  Water.  Shake.  But I made my Kindergartener write out the process.  It is easier to free Prisoners of War than it is to get a Kindergartener to write.  It took three days.  There were tears involved.  His AND mine.   We used three different colored crayons, because, f*ck it, I don’t care anymore.   Oil is spelled “oyo” and water is spelled “wotr.”  (It’s cute, right?) 

And then I realize that it’s an EXPO?  An everyone-gets-to-feel-good-about-him/herself EXPO?  

F*ck that!  I want a medal!  I want a big blue ribbon that says “Suck it, losers” and a medal that indicates that my Medium earned 1st place in the Kindergarten category because I’m secretly harboring the hope that he is the ONLY Kindergartener to enter. 

So now I need to go to Michaels to purchase supplies for making a first-place ribbon.  Yes, I want him to feel good about himself for participating, but dammit, the kid deserves a ribbon and he’s gonna get one.  Mommy deserves a glass of wine, but I’ve already got the supplies for that. 

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