Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I bought The Dangerous Book for Boys as a gift for Jeff back when I was still pregnant. It bills itself as, "The perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty." It's filled with old school facts and activities designed for the male of the species. Jeff looked through it once and then the book took residence next to the bed in the to-be-read pile between a Dave Eggers thing and some Japanese graphic novel.
Bob1 pulled this book from the pile shortly after his second birthday. He loved the pictures of the bugs, and the fish, and the planets. He memorized the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the names of the cloud formations, and other bits of information that at his age were precocious and a little weird. If he managed to hold onto this knowledge until grade school it would charm teachers while simultaneously acting as an open invitation for other kids to beat him up.
Last week I was trying to help Bob dress for pre-school. He wriggled and shouted and refused to let go of the tape measure that he informed me he was using, "to measure your headache, Mama." I asked him why this had to be such a battle. He stopped moving, looked me in the eye and shook his head, "No Mama, this is not a battle. A real battle is the Battle of Cannae." I had no response to this other than the gut tightening I get when watching Jeopardy and I've never heard of the category, much less the actual question.
Page 55 of The Dangerous Book for Boys informed me that Cannae was a battle fought in 216BC between the Romans and the Carthaginians, or something. I sort of blacked out after the first few lines. I read enough to know that if this happens again, I will respond with, "Oh yeah? Well don't even get me started on the Punic wars Mr. Fancy Pants."
I do not know what the Punic wars are but it sounds dirty and I think I've just convinced all of us that Jeff will be the "homework parent."
1Bob is feeling so much better after the crazy night of barfing and howling and sweating and shivering. I am recovering from sleeping on a dog bed on the floor. Thanks for asking.
Labels: The Bob