|Beth:||[age 4] "Daddy, sometimes, you're funny."|
|Me:||"Oh? What am I the rest of the time?"|
|Beth:||"Umm... not funny."|
|Me:||"But I'm still cute, right?"|
|Beth:||[sighing] "Daddy, that is /such/ a complicated question."|
Like a bottle of champagne
And the top fires off."
a nature haiku by Luke, age 8, for a school assignment.
I’m not sure if I should let the teacher know we don’t actually drink much champagne.
|Beth:||[age 4] "Hold this ice crystal, Daddy. It will change you."|
|Me:||"Change me? How?"|
|Beth:||"I don't know how it works, it just does."|
|Me:||"Do I get taller? Do I turn colors?"|
|Beth:||"No, Daddy. You don't change on the outside. Ice crystals change you on the inside! If it doesn't, you just are not paying attention."|
|[Scene:||Beth, age 4, is on a nature walk with me when she stops suddenly]|
|Beth:||"Beep beep! Stop, Daddy."|
|Me:||[looks over] "What's wrong?"|
|Beth:||[holds up rock and presses it with her thumb] "You are a robot, Daddy! And this is your remote. Stop walking!"|
|Beth:||"Beep beep! Now look around carefully."|
|Me:||"Okay." [turns head around, surveying the area]|
|Beth:||"Beep beep! Nothing found. Keep walking."|
|Me:||"Okay." [resume walking]|
|Beth:||[waits five seconds] "Beep beep! Stop walking!"|
|[the stop/look/resume process repeats 3-4 times]|
|Beth:||[pressing madly on the rock] "Uh oh, Daddy. The 'keep walking' button is stuck!"|
|Me:||"So what does that mean?"|
|Beth:||"I think the batteries are dead. You're just going to have to stand here while I go in for hot chocolate. Sorry, Daddy!"|
SEA JELLIES: original video from Andimthedad.com
This past summer, on a visit to Boston, we took in the jellies exhibit at the New England Aquarium. Beth, age 4, didn’t really care about them — she was more into the penguins — but Luke, age 8, was totally enamored. He especially liked the small phosphorescent “sea walnuts.” He grabbed my iPhone and started taking photos and videos.
In order of appearance, the types of jellies in this video are:
- Leidy’s comb jelly (“sea walnuts”)
- European moon jelly
- Pacific sea nettle
- Australian spotted jelly
- Atlantic sea nettle
- Leidy’s comb jelly (again)
- European moon jelly (again)
- Lagoon jelly
Luke was the camera man and/or director for most of these shots. He also helped me picked out the clips to include from the ~40 minutes of footage. I handled the final video edits and scored the music. The basic contours of the song had been floating around in my head for awhile and, in a fit of insomnia, I finally connected with some kind of sea jelly inspiration. I work with digital media professionally, and have written a lot of songs over the years, but this one is gratis: If anyone wants to use it for anything, the MP3 is up on Soundcloud for downloading under a Creative Commons license. You are free to share it and remix it, but please drop me a note by e-mail or Tumblr ask to let me know what you’ve done with it.
As with the prior And I’m the Dad nature videos on hummingbirds and bees (or that strange tutorial on bristlebots) this is one minute long. I have no explanation for the chosen length, other than that it is an easily digestible time, and that forcing a boundary keeps you focused on quality.
Would it be even cooler if these were live shots in the wild? Yes. Can I afford the money or time to take my kids on such a trip? Unfortunately no. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this.
that was the best segue into the sex talk I’ve ever seen! nice job and you’re so smart to do this early on. my brother is 8 and he knows a lot from his friends at school, but not much of the important stuff you mentioned to luke, he needs a talk lol
I couldn’t have planned the deer tracks, but I was already planning on starting with nature. It is spring, after all, and there are baby animals everywhere.
That whole “knows a lot from his friends at school” thing is what I want to avoid. The things I learned from my friends at school about sex, was not what I needed to know. My parents didn’t talk about sex with me, ever.
And as with everything else I’m trying to teach my kids, this is just the beginning of a conversation that will take years, if not a lifetime.