As I look back at the times when I mention or talk about my eldest, the infamous 8th wonder (as in, sometimes I wonder what gets into his fool head) known as 8YO, it’s usually in a less-than-favorable light, or in ways that don’t always accentuate his best features. Now, in my defense, 8YO does shit that is so outlandish, so ridiculous, and so off the wall that I can’t help but to talk about him. But I realize that I need to be more fair and balanced in my reporting, lest my dear readers get the impression that my child is a half-tamed banshee/werewolf who we shave down twice a month for school purposes and have to feed with a slingshot. And that’s just not completely true, because there’s no way I’d have enough motivation or energy to shave him down that often. In all honesty, he’s a pretty good kid…very compassionate, smart as a whip, and funny as hell. I should emphasize some of those traits more, and I will.

As you may recall, 8YO had to do a science project for his 3rd grade class, something I found to be utterly ridiculous at that age. I mean honestly, that’s just too young and the projects themselves would just be too crappy to be interesting. And if you’d seen the list of projects they COULDN’T do, it would shock you to the core, because all those old and venerable projects you used to do (or not do, as I not-so-cleverly demonstrated)? Not allowed. So we pushed forward with the chemiluminescence project. I say “we” because really, a 3rd grader with ADHD and a natural aversion to work doesn’t have all the get up and go required to follow through with a complex set of instructions and directions that go into a science project. That “we” is real, baby.

The good thing is that the teachers know that parents have to be involved with the projects, since very few 3rd graders can go to the store, look for all the materials, curse loudly when they can’t find them, leave Wal-Mart and go to Office Depot, look for the materials again, find them at about 30% higher cost, curse loudly again, pay for them, go home, discover they forgot an item, curse loudly once more, return to Wal-Mart, get the 1 1/2″ black letters you forgot, go home and find out you needed 2″ letters, and then start making up curse words because you plum ran out of the old ones. It’s a lot to ask of a child, if you ask me. Naturally, since I was involved, the project didn’t kick off until damn-near when it was due, which was Wednesday. It’s me we’re talking about, folks. That’s how I roll. Fortunately, the experiment itself wasn’t complicated, and we (I mean, 8YO) was easily able to do it. All it involved was activating light sticks and exposing them to different temperature extremes, and recording the results. Our (his) hypothesis was that colder temperatures make the light sticks stop glowing, and that warmer temperatures make them glow brighter. Sounds easy, right? It is. It’s very easy, which is why we (he) picked it. The best part was that we (he) didn’t even have to include the light sticks as part of the display – all we (he) had to do was take some pictures and put THEM on the presentation board. OH – if I may take a quick ADD tangent for a second – kids today? They have it made. Nowadays when kids need to do their science projects, they use these pre-made, tri-panel presentation posters with nice cardboard backing. When I was in school, we had to go buy three pieces of cardboard, figure out a way to make it stand up (usually involving masking tape, several wooden rulers, and a pound of pure hope), and then use some superior penmanship to make it look less like something you slapped together at 11pm the night before. Today, the projects are all standardized, and use identical labels that you can (gasp) buy at the store. That’s bullshit, but in fairness, it made our (his) job easier. After taking the pictures, printing them out at a Kodak kiosk (say that 3 times fast), and staying up past midnight to get the whole thing typed and put together, this was the final result:


Don’t be pointing out shit like the fact that it’s kinda crooked. We couldn’t have it looking like it was done by an architectural firm. It’s for the THIRD GRADE, people! Despite that, when it came home on Friday in the hands of a broadly-smiling 8YO, it looked like this:


FIRST PLACE!! He got first place in the WHOLE THIRD GRADE!!!! I’m so proud of him. Don’t think that we overdid it, parentally – all the project displays had to look like this, with all the color-coding and neat section titles and whatnot. I hope that this success will show him the results of hard work, and spur him on to do bigger and better things. I just wish that I could use some of this effort retroactively on that aborted debacle of a science project I tried to fake in high school, but oh well. I’ll just revel in this minor little victory, and bask in the glow of reflected glory.

Until the next science project comes along. Ugh.


EDIT: No Badger the Witness today, folks. Elle’s on the mend. Until later!