Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fantasy child

Tuesday, February 21, 2006:

I guess I can get a little linky here ....

A Tampa, Fla., 12-year-old girl created a media stir with her science experiment that apparently shows ice from fast-food restaurants is dirtier than the water from a toilet.

Student Jasmine Roberts (do a search of her name, and you’ll find she’s rather media-savvy) logically explained her hypothesis and experiment, and she claims 70% of the time, the water from your toilet would make healthier ice than what you’d get at fast-food chains.

Why am I bringing this up?

Jasmine Roberts is the kind of child my husband presumes we’ll have. After all, he was a school science fair winner himself many years in a row.

To tell this story right, I have to go back a couple years to a nature festival we attended. During one of the presentations, a girl who couldn’t have been older than 7 nearly showed up the presenter with her knowledge of the subject -- I think it was bats. She made quite an impression on us. And this was way before we thought about having a child.

Today, my husband and I have this shtick in which we impersonate the precocious bat lover. We put on our best little-girl voice and announce all kinds of scientific facts we have just learned from the news or from reading. Over time, my husband has broadened the shtick to include one of my hobbies (because he claims if we have a girl, he wants her to be just like me, which I doubt would happen), which is sewing -- yes, I said sewing, so sue me for trying to save money on couture and window treatments. Now the little girl not only knows loads of facts, but she sews pants -- for spiders. Every time one of us starts talking like a little girl, we know what the other is thinking: somewhere in the future, there may be a fact-spewing, spider pant-sewing, squeaky-voiced child in our house.

It could happen.

I realize every parent thinks his or her child is a genius. But it would be OK if our child weren’t. In fact, the real child growing here inside me will surely delight my husband and me even more than this fantasy child we have pieced together.

Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that truth truly is stranger and more interesting than fiction.

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