I introduced you to Abigail officially with my post on Rise of the Guardians, but something happened last night that I wanted to share too. Abigail has been watching a show recently called Sid the Science Kid on PBS. The general format of the show is that Sid discovers something weird when getting up in the morning, talks with his family about it at breakfast, his mom drives him to school, he seeks out his friends on the playground where they show off their dance moves, he interviews his friends about their observations about the scientific phenomenon, then they go to class and discuss it together with the teacher. They learn an important word related to the scientific principle, conduct an experiment based on it (these are cool and involve live segments showing schoolchildren doing these experiments), play games on the playground based on the principle. Sid shares his scientific findings with his grandma who drives him home from school, and at the very end, Sid poses an imaginative “what if” question related to the scientific principle.
I wasn’t too impressed with the first episode I watched (Other than the ride to school where Sid sang “I love my mom, My my mom is cool, but now it’s time to go to school!” I would love for any offspring of mine to sing that in the car to me. No separation anxiety, just a smooth transition from one awesome thing of being with his mom, to another awesome thing of enjoying school. I am dubious as to whether I would ever hear such a thing simply because I live in Arizona, with one of the worst public education systems around, but I can dream.). After a few episodes, though, the show has been growing on me, except for the weird arrival-at-school dancing segment. I mean, the whole chunk of driving to the car in school and arrival on the playground is pretty much in every episode I have seen, and seems to be a place that the show skimps on its animation budget by reusing a large hunk of animation every episode. I personally like the repetition of the car scene: It gives me more hope that such words would get stuck in the brain of offspring happily complimenting their moms and being excited about going to school. But the dance segment is weird. When the lyrics of the song are about “showing off what I can do”, and they do the same dance every episode, it makes the kids seem oddly stagnant and like they aren’t learning new things even though the whole point of the show is learning new things.
The other night, Abigail gave me a new perspective on this show when I tucked her in for bed. Normally, she says her prayers. She doesn’t always pray to the same god every night, and sometimes she even prays to Superdog, thanks to a personal anecdote of Peter S. Beagle, but she does pray regularly at bedtime without anyone asking her to. She prays for the health and wellbeing of people she cares about, or people she’s heard about. She prays for adults she knows to find the jobs they are looking for, and her prayers are a sad window into the state of the economy. The first one she prays about is almost always her Daddy. Abigail chose who her Daddy is, someone she loves and cares about and is immensely loyal to. Because he is a Daddy by choice and by need rather than biology, though, he doesn’t have legal visitation rights. She does not see him nearly as often as she wants to, but she prays for him every night.
The other night, though, I tucked her into bed with her stuffed cat. (She insists that it is the cat that drools in his sleep, not her.) She broke out with “I love my Dad, My Dad is cool, but now its time for cats to drool!” ala Sid the Science Kid, and giggled for several minutes before starting in with her prayers. I wonder how long she’s been planning that one.