This morning I saw Gabriel and Markus playfully rubbing their backs against each other while eating chicken drumsticks in the kitchen.
“What are you doing?” I asked. “Oh, I know,” I ventured a guess, like we were playing charade. “You are chickens.”
They stopped then chuckled.
“Mom, chickens don’t do this.” Gabriel said. “It’s a bear and a tree, Mom.”
The two started laughing.
“Yah, chickens do that. They rub their backs against each other.” I insisted.
They laughed all the more as they imagined the impossible.
“OK, they rub their BUTTS against each other.” I continued.
The boys couldn’t stop laughing.
I admit I have some challenges with animals. I confuse a seal with a penguin, a wolf with a fox, a raccoon with a skunk. I can quickly identify a lion but not a lioness. My knowledge about animals greatly expanded only after I started having kids. I learned from reading The Animal Alphabet to them, and watching kiddie movies like The Lion King and The Jungle Book. I still learn by occasionally watching shows on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet with my kids. But while they retain the information, I often don’t. I can’t remember what Pumba and Timon are.
Gabriel and I were watching TV not too long ago and I identified a flying bird as a penguin.
“Mom, penguins don’t fly,” he said, chortling.
“Oh, yeah.” Good point.
When I rearranged the young boys’ bedroom, I put together the parts of a red Ikea lamp that had long been disassembled. When done, it was the figure of an animal that nicely fit their their room.
After I had set it at their bedside, I proudly told Gabriel, “I fixed your dog lamp.”
He thought for a moment and said, “Mom, you mean giraffe.”
Oh, I should have known.