Sunday, March 06, 2005

Penguins don't fly ...or do they?

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.

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