Dear Kid,

In case you haven’t been keeping up with Science (the magazine), The New York Times reporting, or NPR’s on air coverage, there are new developments in the realm of eggs.

Which is to say, there is nothing new in eggs, but there are new understandings about eggs.

I don't care what the trend is, I'm laying eggs the same shape I've always laid them. DearKidLoveMom.comFor years, people have known that different species of birds lay different shaped eggs. Scientists were reasonably sure this was not so that people could nearly wipe out some species collecting their eggs (yes, egg collections were a thing in the 17th and 18th centuries) and they were reasonably sure it wasn’t just trendiness (yes, but rounder eggs really are the latest, my dear), but they didn’t have a good explanation for the differences.

Presumably the birds have understood the importance of their eggs for a long time (it’s just that they weren’t telling), and now we (and by “we” I mean humanity) has a better guess as to why some birds lay rounder eggs, some lay oval eggs, and some lay pointy eggs.

Turns out there is an egg shape-flying type/wing shape correlation. If you are a strong flier, you are more likely to be of a species that lays long or pointy eggs.

To figure this out, researchers looked at over 50,000 eggs. That is a lot of omelets. Just sayin’.

Bird experts are very excited about this new theory (and by “theory” I still mean guess) and plan to continue refining their studies.

Unfortunately, none of this research has answered the most important question, so we still don’t know which came first, the birdie or the egg.

Love, Mom

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The Puppy Takes Over and Writes About Gardening

The Puppy Takes Over and Writes About Gardening

Dear Kid,

Mom has been very busy gardening. That means I get to go outside with her and watch. And nap in the grass which is very nice.

I’ve learned a lot from her.

Did you know that when you’re ripping weeds and grass out of an area where you are going to put down rocks and you find a worm, you say, “Go help the iris” and throw the worm into other plants? Apparently worms aren’t very smart because you say it a lot.

And did you know that when you wander away and Mom chirps, “Puppy, come!” and you go running over with your ears flapping you get a piece of turkey jerky? That’s my favorite part about gardening. DearKidLoveMom.comAnd did you know that when you wander away and Mom chirps, “Puppy, come!” and you go running over with your ears flapping you get a piece of turkey jerky? That’s my favorite part about gardening.

I also like the digging part. Last night when I was digging, Mom looked over and said, “What are you doing?” but she said it in a happy voice so I kept digging. I didn’t find anything so I went back to sniffing which is one of the things I’m VERY good at.

Then Mom dumped the firebowl and she made mud. She dumped it because there was a lot of water in it and she explained that you can’t make fire when there is water in the bowl (which is fine with me because I don’t like fires). She made mud because she isn’t a very good dumper and the water didn’t exactly go where she wanted it to. She said some things in a not so happy voice.

Do you know what Mom says when you play in the mud she just made? It’s not “Go help the iris.” It’s not even the same thing she said when she made the mud. And it’s not in a very happy voice.

And then she said, “Oh, Puppy….” and the next thing I knew I was having a bath.

Love, Mom Puppy

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Weirdness Strikes | Dad Is Providing Blog Ideas

Dear Kid,

As if we didn’t already have enough proof that the world was crazy, Dad has been giving me ideas for writing to you.

Dad. Who has been busy ignoring this project since I started.

Ideas. Good ones. (OK, not all of them are good, but enough so that I’ve noticed.)

And not just by providing experiences like Chicago in February (which was excellent in and of itself). He found the article about the crazy dress code in London.

The times, they are a’ changin’…

Love, Mom

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Animals Sleeping and a Reaction in Three Parts

Dear Kid,

Statement I read on the internet:

Humans are the only animals that willingly put off sleep.


Reaction Part I: Some of them do put off sleep.

Have you ever seen the Puppy fight sleep? When he wants to stay awake and be part of whatever’s going on but he’s so tired his eyelids take control? He’s at least trying to willingly put off sleep.

Working dogs put off sleeping while they’re on the job all the time. And they do it willingly because they love their work and their people.

Reaction Part II: Of course they don’t put off sleep.

Hippos don't have the dexterity to handle a remote control. So of course they don't have to put off sleep. DearKidLoveMom.comI’ve never seen a hippo with the dexterity to channel surf.

Giraffes don’t care for binge watching Netflix. If they even get Netflix to begin with.

Very few manatees have access to caffeine. Even fewer have access to a Keurig.

Pandas don’t have school or work deadlines that cause them to pull all-nighters to get the darn things done.

Whales communicate brilliantly during the day. They don’t need to stay up all night texting each other.

Cats don’t care about cat videos.

Skunks never worry about staying up to finish reading a really good book. They know they can finish it tomorrow. Or the next day.

Sloths pretty much sleep all the time. There’s nothing to put off.

Turtles never get the bright idea to yell, “Party!” and stay up all night drinking beer.

Tuna fish swim in schools, so the teens don’t need to have sleepovers and stay up all night painting their nails.

Reaction Part III: Does it really matter?

Not really. And the Puppy is sleeping right now (willingly or not), so I think I’ll go cuddle with him. Because whether they sleep willingly or not, most animals are adorable when they snooze.

Love, Mom

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The Truth About Dust and Dust Dragons

Dear Kid,

Some dust is good. Think a dusting of powdered sugar or a layer of gold dust. Lovely. Lovely and delicious.

Most dust, not so much.

According to the people who get to make up the rules, Dust is fine particles of matter. (Fine as in tiny, not as in good, not as in fine-Fine-FINE!)

Some dust is good. Think a dusting of powdered sugar or a layer of gold dust. Lovely. Lovely and delicious. Most dust, not so much. DearKidLoveMom.comStill according to the scholars, dust “generally consists of particles…that come from…soil…volcanic eruptions, and pollution. Dust in homes, offices, and other human environments contains small amounts of plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, human skin cells, burnt meteorite particles and many other materials.” Dust scientists are clearly into ellipses (which kind of look like dust).

Is it any wonder that I can’t keep up with the cleaning? Basically, dust has taken over and there’s no getting dust-free.

The dust dragons just peeked over my shoulder to read that and they snickered. Have you ever heard a dust dragon snicker? Not pleasant, my friend.

Not only is dust omni-present on the planet, it is everywhere in the galaxy (I’m taking the scientists’ word on this not having personally visited all corners of the galaxy). I don’t know whether knowing there is dust everywhere makes me feel better or worse.

I was going to share Interesting Facts About Dust with you, but when I looked them up (and I did) I decided I had no interest in repeating them. So I will summarize: ick.

The dust dragons are offended by that characterization, but I’m standing by it.

I can say with certainty that the dust here in southwest Ohio is tame compared to wild, ravaging dust of New York City. In NYC, black dust dug its way into all our furniture no matter how often we cleaned. One of the reasons we moved was to protect your little lungs.

Since dust, no matter what city we’re talking about, refuses to clean itself, I am off to gather up the dust dragons and cull the herd.

Love, Mom

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When Following the Rule is a Bad Idea

Dear Kid,

One of the things we’ve tried very hard to teach you and Pi is to try new things, especially new foods. However, I have just discovered there is at least one exception to the Try New Things rule.

We were watching Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network. It was the episode where Marcus Samuelesson battles Bobby Flay. Because it’s Bobby’s show, the guest gets to choose the dish. And Marcus chose Chicken Doro Wat which is a spicy Ethiopian chicken stew and which Bobby had absolutely no idea how to make.

The King asked the Queen and the Queen asked the Dairymaid “Could we have some butter for the Royal slice of bread?” And NO ONE asked for funky fermented butter. Ever. DearKidLoveMom.comThat’s not the interesting part, nor is it the part about you not trying things. My understanding is that doro wat is about a zillion kinds of delicious. (So be sure to try it if you have the opportunity.)

One of the ingredients Marcus used was funky fermented butter (I’m quoting). Well-known (and pretty funky herself) chef Anne Burrell went over to check on Marcus’ progress and asked if she could taste the funky fermented butter. Of course he said yes, so she did.

And the face she pulled was priceless.

Apparently, funky fermented butter is delicious when used as the base for Chicken Doro Wat but not something one should eat plain.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

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The Puppy, the Robin, and the Worm

Dear Kid,

The Puppy and I saved a worm today.

Puppy's (temporary) new best friend. DearKidLoveMom.comWe were out for our morning walk (as we do in the morning), and saw a robin yanking up a worm for breakfast. The worm seemed to be exceptionally reluctant to be eaten; the robin seemed to be exceptionally intent on eating it.

We were curious, the Puppy and I. So we gently, ever so gently, took a few steps forward to get a better look-see.

We did not intend to deprive the robin of his morning repast. We did not intend to rescue the worm.

But the robin got a little spooked and took off and the worm dove underground. The robin didn’t go far and in no time at all was chomping on some bugs and listening for worms.

Listening for worms? One of the world’s Top 10 Silent Creatures?

Apparently so.

Birds use sight (oooh, look! Worm tail!), sound (me thinks I hear a worm!), scent (fe-fi-fo-fum, I smell worm!), vibrations (the earth is shaking! It must be a worm!), and Google maps to find their prey.

Worms on the other hand have far more limited skills. They eat dirt so you really can’t expect highly developed brains. Worms can feel vibrations but too often instead of interpreting the vibration correctly (dang! It’s bird! Dive! Dive!), they poke their heads up (forgetting that they are blind) to see what’s going on (Hey, wanna be friends?).

While the worm we saved didn’t stick around to award us the Badge of Worm Savior, we waved good morning to its tail and went on our way.

Love, Mom

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