Thursday, June 30, 2005

Family Schedules

Being the Chicken Pot Pie Family that we are, we need to have some organization around the house. Not that hubby & I are poster-children for organization. Hardly. We have to over-come our natural tendencies toward creativity, spontaneous activity, & impulsivity.

But if we are to survive as a family, and enjoy our lives, as we travel 800 miles for one child, return in time to get the other child, fit in counseling, work, & feed ourselves, we needed a plan.

In the creation of our plan, we focused not just on the things that needed to get done (as self employed folks, we need to schedule work time so we can pay bills), but we looked at the things we weren't doing (as in no one wants to return from a 9 hour drive, unload the van & then clean the house -- no matter how bad it looks), and we kept an emphasis on the fun things we can do as a family.

And we needed to be flexible, because no matter how well we plan, how great our intentions are, 'things' just crop up, and bite us in the old scheduling-butt. So, our plan includes parent meetings to discuss work & family priorities, allowing for us to adapt the schedule as needed.

While the schedule is flexibility based, there are some firm plans:

Monday is "Family Game Night"
Wednesay is "Cleaning Day"
Saturday is "Family Movie Night" **

Now, while I said these are 'firm,' obvisously, we don't let plans get in the way of The Point. The Point being our work as parents. So, if the children are not behaving, be it one or all of them, they loose the privledge of game or movie night.

And recently, when our central air died, we didn't really do the cleaning we ought to have -- it was never lower than 87 degrees for 3 days (yes, even at 2 a.m.). Why be firm on the schedule just to flex with the trip to ER?

And then, we have daily things as well. For example, we all go on family walks (weather permitting).

The bottom line: Organizing your family should be workable, which means flexible, and always focused on your family goals.

** This family activity, does count towards 'TV Time.' Yes, we are those kind of parents. More on that next!

Family Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, there were two little girls. Young as spring, fresh as morning, and sweet as Georgia peaches. Well, one was, the younger one was a brat. But that is for another time.

Because the little girls were so loved by their parents, they were often given snacks. Not just any snacks, no, they were often given healthy snacks of natural foods, such as fruits (which could just as easily be described in terms of the oldest girl herself!). This was as much for allowing their bodies to grow healthy as it was to make the girls smile.

One fine day, the two young ladies, after properly & politely requesting a mid-afternoon snack from their PaPa. They were delighted to watch him unwrap the cellophane from the snack-pack-set of Sun Maid raisons, and gleefully clapped as they awaited to receive a box of delicious, juicy raisons - yes, one whole snack-pack-sized box each!

PaPa was in the kitchen, and his two cherubs (well, again, the older one was anyways!) gently opened the boxed there, in order to snack & converse with their beloved PaPa. (Chewing with their mouths closed, and not speaking until they had properly chewed each mouthful 20 times before swallowing, as it should be done.)

And so the happy family, sans the mother who was likely working at a restaurant - waiting on some impolite family with ungrateful children, chatted happily in the kitchen.

Suddenly, the oldest child flushed with embarrassment, cried out 'Oh PaPa! We never even offered you any of our lovely raisons! Here, please, take some!' and she thrust the box toward him, offering him the open end, so he could help himself.

PaPa was happy to see his eldest sincerely offer to share, but he was not hungry himself. As he thought of a polite response that would not make the little girl fret with worry that his refusal was based on her proffering the raisons late, he took a peek into the box before him -- Oh, my!

At this moment PaPa grabbed the box, then he grabbed the box from the youngest girl's hands (which I might add, took a bit of a tug, because the little sister didn't like to share!), and then he quickly turned & just as quickly ran.

The girls were too shocked to be upset - never had PaPa moved so quickly!

Naturally, they ran after him. 'PaPa! PaPa!' they cried.

They followed him all the way to the bathroom, where he held the boxes above the toilet. It was at this point that PaPa saw the tears streaming upon his firstborn's face, and he knew that the little girl thought this was some punishment for being late to offer to share. He knew he had to tell the little girls the truth, but he didn't know how...

How could he tell them without upsetting them more?

Slowly, he lowered the two boxes of raisons, and told the girls to look inside...

The two girls peered inside the boxes, past the folded box flaps, down to about the halfway point where the remaining raisons rested. At first they were confused... what did PaPa want them to see...

Then suddenly the oldest gave a yelp, and then clutched her stomach. The youngest screamed & jumped back. There, mixed in with the dark black wrinkled raisons, were little... tiny... white... squirming... worms!

It was then that PaPa threw-up.

The remaining raisons & their 'friends' were dumped into the toilet as well, flushed to hell, as they should be - for God's creatures should know better than to mess with such a nice family's food.

The boxes, the two empty ones & all those that remained in the cupboard, were thrown in the trash. Double-bagged. Then removed from the house.

And that was the end of that.

No one from the family will discuss the event.

No one from the family ate raisons for 10 years. And then, it was only in baked cookies at holiday time.

And no one, I mean no one, chews their food 20 times before swallowing - even if it is after inspecting it closely, which should always the be the case.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Fancy Water

"Water flows uphill towards money."
~ a saying in the American West, quoted by Ivan Doig in Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert, 1986 ~

Everybody is big on water. Hmm, that sounds like a statment regarding bloating....

Well, anyway, every one is talking about how great water is for you.

Water helps to flush toxins out of the body.
Water is involved in every metabolic function in our bodies.
Water makes up 75% of the body's muscle.
It distributes nutrients properly throughout your body, promotes healthy skin and aids in digestion.

And there are many dieting tips as well, like this one:

Drink cold water: the body burns 100 more calories per liter when a person drinks cold water.

All of this has made Americans guzzle the agua.

A 2003 study performed by the Beverage Marketing Corporation, shows that for the first time ever, Americans bought more bottled water than they did coffee, milk or beer. Not surprisingly, bottled water has become an $8.3 billion business and has been increasing rapidly each year.

However some say that bottled water is no better than tap water, really. It's treated more and may taste subtly better & it's very convenient in a plastic bottle.

But the Natural Resources Defense Council, and environmental group that did a similar study in 1999, argues that most Americans don't know what they are paying for:

"Many bottles of water are sold with pretty mountains on the label, with evocative name like Everest, that suggest it comes form a pristine mountain stream, when in fact, many bottles of water come from city tap water. Bottled water has a huge marketing campaign to try to persuade the public that it's cleaner and purer and safer, and that's why the bottled water business has been booming in the last 10 years," said Erik Olson who led the NRDC study.

But nutritionists and environmentalists say for the most part, bottled water is well, water. Even the brands that come from mountain springs are not much better for you than the stuff you can get from your faucet.

Which means, once again, that Americans are willing led by marketers, eager to buy convenience products. Big business makes a killing off bottled water drinkers.

Folks who would be just as well drinking from the tap.

Did you also know that 88% of Americans who drink bottled water reuse the container? It may help the environment a bit, but there are a few other things to consider...

New research shows that the type of plastic (called PET plastic) used in most disposable bottles isn't sturdy enough to be used on repeated occasions. It also isn't sturdy enough for dishwasher treatments, direct sun, high temperatures, or rough handling.

During the research, a variety of water bottles were used in these stress tests, and researchers have found that the longer bottles were reused, the more likely plastic materials from the containers were to leach into the water. Other research demonstrates that frequent washing may not prevent bacteria buildup in reused PET bottles.

It's ok to reuse the bottle once or twice, but it's not considered a wise decision to prolong it's life too long.

Which means you might be just as well off to drink from the garden hose...

...unless you'd like to support those in marketing *wink*

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Given the complicated status of our family, and the plethora of birthdays in our household (Allie was 19 on May 30th, Hunter became 5 on June 10th, Destiny is 9 today -- Happy Birthday, beautiful!, myself on June 21st, & Derek on June 29th), we had one large family gathering on Sunday with all the local family & my parents who came 'up' from Wisconsin.

I'd like to share with you some of the gems of the day...

Just as dinner is finishing up, Hunter pipes up with "I love this Fargo house." Several folks comment, "Good!" and "Isn't it a nice house!" Then Hunter says "I like it so much, I don't even care what it looks like." He giveth. He taketh away.

Destiny reads her birthday cards, in a very clear, loud voice, mostly very expressive. She gets to the scripted signature and reads "Dr Grandpa" instead of "Great Grandpa." Which naturally became the joke for everyone to do when reading their cards -- poor kid makes one mistake, and she can't live it down... Then again, she's such a ham, she probably did it on purpose!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Most Bloggy of Entries

I promise not to write about my cat's digestive issues, or how I have nothing to write, but from time to time I will make posts that are more of the snippet/link combinations simply because I am in a time crunch. Today is one of those days.

We've been having rummage sales to make more room in our basement -- in light of leaving 2 booths in the antique mall, our inventory grew faster than we could list it -- it runeth-over & we need some space. While I stood guard over the sale, hubby ran back & forth teaching the middle child, Destiny, how to ride her bike. As I tried not to watch her (she was extremely embarrassed & frustrated), I did notice how many passes he made up & down the block...

Since there's a-whole-lotta-bike-riding-goin'-on, we did have our first flat bike tire too. Hubby let Hunter watch as he took off the tire, exposing the balloon tube beneath. They both found the hole, and then later told Destiny all about it. Such men! lol

I am so lucky I am to have hubby. For so many reasons. But I was acutely aware of how much better he is at the 'Daddy Jobs' involving large muscle groups and tools.

I was also aware that this automatically leaves me the "body changes" talks -- because I'm the Mommy. Hopefully this is a ways off yet... The oldest still has issues with this, so I'm not looking forward to Round 2 of Girl Talk. (Though, oddly, I am interested in how it will go with the boy...)

In other news, let me gush about how brilliant hubby is. OK, being short on time, it's more like 'show you' what cool thing he's done now...

Monday, June 06, 2005

The 'Chicken Pot Pie' Family

According to popular notions, when parents get divorced (or when one is widowed) and then remarries, bringing their children together to create a new family, it is called a blended family.

I don't like the phrase "blended family." You might just think that this is my aversion to anything related to cooking or the kitchen, but it isn't.

Blending involves sharp whirling objects designed to rip things apart as well as have them merge into one flavor, as in 'blend/puree until creamy.' What you get is well, a slimy goo, with one flavor. Think of things like baby food & fruit smoothies. Nothing remains as the original...

Isn't it important for the individuals that make up this new family unit to still feel like individuals? Shouldn't they be able to keep some things that identify themselves, and their former family traditions?

"Blending" doesn't do justice to the the individuals, not the work involved either (dump all, press 'blend' and voila!)

I liken this new family construction to making a chicken pot pie.

Once you break open the flaky crust, you ought to not have 'goo' of indeterminable origins. No, you want to identify the contents: the chicken, the potatoes, the carrots, peas, onions, etc. Each ingredient should also taste like itself - hopefully, even a bit better than if on its own.

Let's say one parent it carrots, one is peas - the veggies. Pea & carrot both need time alone, so they retain their flavor, but as parents, they will need 'veggie time.' Now peas arrived in the pie with child 'potato' & has visitation wither her other child 'onion.' (So, sometimes the pot pie is without onions, sometimes it has onions...) Peas needs to be with her taters & onions, alone, and with each as individuals. Carrots brought along a child, 'chicken.' So, carrot with chicken. Plus, peas & chicken; chicken with potatoes & onions; carrots with potatoes; carrots with onions... anyone else hungry?

Anyway, you see my point of the mixing & pairings... right? Now let's say that peas, potatoes & onions have a set of traditions... or is that a casserole recipe?

Maybe this is too confusing...

But do you get the idea? Peas remain peas. They don't become carrots. Or chicken. Or some liquid pea-carrot-chicken-onion-potato goo. Each individual should remain solid & strong, yet be something better because of all being together.

That is where the gravy comes in.

Gravy is the way all new family members bond. It means including new individuals in the 'old' traditions; it means accepting new ways that are tradition to others. And it means creating new traditions with each other.

Gravy can be tricky. Sometimes it is smooth, other times, even if you do all the right things, it is like lumpy paste... *sigh* But we keep trying.

(In case you were wondering, the 'flaky crust' would represent the physical household: finances, home security etc. Remember to poke holes in the top so the steam can get out! If you have ever made pie crusts, you might understand how delicate that is... And that some families are flakier than others!)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Punch Line:

Enter the youngest daughter. She has a question.

Before she can get to ask it, I notice her jeans are unzipped. "Why are your pants unzipped?" I ask.

"I don't know."

"Zip them."

She says ok, but struggles... "They were like that all day, weren't they?"

"No" reply her lips, but her face says "Yes"

The Delivery

At dinner, we discuss numbers. The girls, the 15 but-not-really year old, and the 8 year old, have beliefs that are not correct.

They believe that at age 12 you can choose where to live, at 16 you not only get a license but a car, at 18 you can move out.

We try to set them straight. As usual, I take the lead; hubby is backup.

We get thru 12 ok. But at 16 we hit a wall. The oldest explodes into how she's leaving, she's getting an apartment with 1 or 2 friends from 'back home in Wisconsin,' & they are going to create their own Anime books. They will not have bosses, they won't have to answer to anyone. We try to explain how this is unlikely, how she hasn't thought things through -- this time we use questions.

How can they get an apartment? "Money from the book."

How are you going to get the book published? "I'll go take the pages to a place with the copier."

That costs money. "No it doesn't"

Yes, it does. :Pause:

"Well, then I'll get a publisher to print it."

Sure, but then they are your boss, they'll tell you what kind of book they want, how it must look - "No, it's our book."

Sure, but they will only print what they want.

This goes on & on, right, so I'll spare you the 45 minutes. Eventually we get to the facts of the reality that she may never live on her own. (A moment I have been dreading, but perhaps the time has come.) I am in the midst of explaining how she needs to learn how to be responsible, to take ownership of the things she does. How if she wants to live on her own, she needs to prove to us, to teachers, that she is responsible. And the best way to do this is to do what is asked of her. No arguments. No excuses. When the teachers say she is to do 12 math problems, to just do it. When hubby asks her to clean the litter box, to just do it -- She attacks, as a 5 year old will, absolving herself of any responsibility, 'I am embarrassed to be the child of a mom whose dad hit her mom.'

How's it out there in left field?

We are used to it however. And we proceed.

Repeating, hoping, as we have been told, that simple repitition (including the same words & phrases over & over again) is the key to garner understanding. There are tears on her face.

And then, it is over.

She jumps up, gives me a kiss, & heads to her room.

The Set Up:

Eldest child, who shall not be able to live on her own, brought home an assignment -- homework for both of us. We were to discuss & write our comments on what is love, how is it different from infatuation etc. Now, mind you, my daughter has the emotional age of approximately 5 years of age. Her body is 15, complete with hormones & menstruation. Her mind, struggles with learning disabilities, but she is too high in IQ to be called 'retarded.' So she is expected (by those that claim to know) to finish this homework.. Which means I am expected to do so. So we struggled through, as best we could.

Page 3 has more difficult questions: What changes when a person becomes a parent?

My reply: Everything.

She laughs.

I am serious.

I call the hubby in for backup. He agrees. But we cannot get her to understand.

Nor can I get her to even try to spell 'responsibility.' She keeps trying to make me spell it. Ironic, huh.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Apnea or Apathy?

Patients who snore or have other symptoms of sleep apnea often undergo testing in a sleep laboratory to measure the number of breathing pauses and arousals that occur while they slumber. But doctors find these tests do not effectively predict daytime consequences suspected to arise from sleep apnea, such as sleepiness in adults or hyperactivity in children.

"We looked at the relationship between one EEG signal and the breathing cycle, and in most of the children we found significant correlation between the amount of energy in the EEG signal and different phases in the breathing cycle," says Joseph Burns, Ph.D., a senior scientist who led the effort at Altarum.

A small number of children initially tested, however the strength of that correlation did show some promise as a predictor of sleepiness and reduced attention, so researchers are now studying more children.

"This could give us insight into the physiology of how sleep apnea causes sleep disruption, daytime sleepiness, attention deficit and behavioral problems," Chervin says. "Currently, we think sleepiness arises because apneas cause arousals that we can easily see in brain wave patterns. Maybe these obvious, full arousals are less important than thousands of briefer arousals, or microarousals, that can only be detected by computers. If we could prove this, we might improve our ability to identify who has a serious sleep and breathing problem and who might benefit from treatment."

This is simply fascinating to me... For all my daughter's visits with doctors, counselors, neurologists (including many EEGs), etc, it took them 12 years to discover that she had problems with her tonsils and adenoids -- affecting more than 80% of her nose breathing, and 40% of her mouth breathing. After surgery, it still took another year to 'discover' that due to her teeth & palate, that she cannot properly, nor fully, close her mouth. This also affects her ability to chew, swallow & yes, breathe while eating.

To adjust this, she needs orthodontics, which of course everyone fights paying for, saying it is 'cosmetic.' Without insurance, she must remain a mouth breather...

Yes, she also snores.

I have suspected a lack of oxygen could aggravate - if not explain - her learning disabilities, attention problems, behavior issues & moods -- but what can I possibly know of such things? I am "only a mother," not a Wise-God-Doctor. (Yes, that's annoyed sarcasim you hear.)

Why doesn't the medical community use K.I.S.S., "Keep It Simple, Sweety" (yes, I am trying to be nice), and look at logical problems first? Or at least include basics in their approach? I know all of her special needs are not due to breathing, apnea & mouth problems, but they sure must impact negatively...

Seems to me like these professional are sleeping on the job.

Research & Reading:
UMHS, Altarum study finds sleep apnea disrupts sleep throughout night

Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dr. Alan Greene on Sleep Deprivation and ADD/ADHD

Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Establishing Positive Sleep Patterns for Young Children with Autism Spectrum

Sleep Apnea (Sleep-Disordered Breathing)

"In the United States, even the Grim Reaper is flabby."

According to University of Missouri-Columbia biomedical researchers Frank Booth and Simon Lees, if the current trends continue, every U.S. child will be obese by 2044 and every adult by 2058.

Despite the endless ads on television and media hype of the latest diet fads, despite the latest research about the negative effects of obesity on Americans being public knowledge, & The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports efforts to promote the healthy effects of exercise, the rate of increase in overweight and obese Americans continues to climb.

"If all the work we are doing to promote physical fitness is working, than why does the problem continue to get worse," said Booth, who gave the Joseph B. Wolffe Memorial Lecture at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual conference today. "We have increased sedentary activities for children by 4.5 times since 1950. Children and adolescents now spend 45 hours each week watching television, working on the computer, playing video games or watching movies.

Booth believes the increase in obesity is due to an incompatibility between human genes and societal pressures. Human genes evolved to support a great deal of physical activity, yet in the last 20 years, physical activity has decreased dramatically in the United States, Booth said.

In a recent study using rats, Booth found that a 48-hour period of inactivity can lead to a large increase in the amount of fat and the size of fat cells in the body. In a similar study, Booth found that insulin sensitivity decreases when a body is inactive for two days. This decreased insulin efficiency may be a precursor to diabetes and other related diseases. Both studies were published in The Journal of Physiology.

Being fat and physically inactive now has a name: Sedentary Death Syndrome or "SeDS." Approximately 2.5 million Americans will die prematurely in the next ten years due to SeDS, a number greater than all alcohol, guns, motor vehicles, illicit drug use and sexual behavior related deaths combined. Research has identified SeDS as the second largest threat to public health (next to heart disease as the number one cause of death for Americans -- which is related, yes?).

All of this is expected to add as much as $3 trillion to healthcare costs over ten years -- this is more than twice the tax cut recently passed by the US Senate.

According to Booth, other problems associated with inactivity include:

* Earlier death Just 20 years ago, the U.S. population ranked first in longevity on the planet, but today, American women rank 19th and American men rank 28th.

* Earlier onset of adult, or Type 2, diabetes Increasing numbers of children are getting Type 2 diabetes & The Centers for Disease Control predicts that the number of Type 2 diabetes cases in the United States will triple to 39 million by 2050.

* Onset of different types of cancer Other medical research has linked inactivity to breast cancer, colon cancer & pancreatic cancer.

In his lecture, Booth challenged scientists and the public to enact a series of policies to counteract the inactivity problem.

"We scientists need to stop labeling control groups in our studies as those groups who are inactive," Booth said. "In studies today, researchers are examining the effects of exercise on a number of diseases. In effect, they are using sick people as the control group and using the people who exercise as the anomaly. This needs to change. The public also needs to start taking responsibility for childhood inactivity. Children are not mature enough to make informed decisions about their eating habits and activity without instruction from adults."

According to Booth, it takes only 10 unburned calories a day to produce a pound of weight in a year & decreasing the amount of activity by less than four minutes each day can result in a person gaining one pound of fat in a year.

Booth said fitness can be achieved by incorporating simple things into daily life -- for example, walking just 500 feet burns 10 calories. So by adding short walks, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking the dog rather than letting it out the back door & other simple activities we can make positive impacts.

All of these things can be done by & with children.

Additional reading:

Sedentary Death Syndrome? It's Real

New class teaches healthful lifestyle: The course at University of Missouri-Columbia will focus on the lifelong cost of not exercising regularly.

Exercise and gene expression: physiological regulation of the human genome through physical activity from Journal of Physiology (2002), 543.2, pp. 399-411

Frank W. Booth, Ph.D. contact information.

Forget about Baby Einstein...

All 5 of us are at a restaurant, with my parents. It's hard to follow the conversation of everyone with all the noise & all the different conversations.

The eldest daughter is sitting (far) across from me, and I hear her say something with the number '5.'

My son, 4 years old, hears the '5' and says "Zero is when you have nothing, & 5 is when you have something."

I reply, "Yes, on your birthday, you will have 5 years!"

He replies, "And when I am dead, I will be zero again, & have nothing."

*silence as I try to gather myself & act natural*

"Yes, I guess that's right" I say, even though I am mortified at the concept of his death & at the same time struck by how philosophical he is...

Hubby's comment: "No more Baby Nietzsche for him."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

How To Organize Children For The Summer

I read an article about "How to organize your kids this summer" - well, actually, I started reading the article.

Once I discovered the tips were not how to file them in color-coded folders, I kind of took a pass on the rest...

It just seemed like too much work for me.

Special buckets for outside toys. Why? Our toys have no special designated titles as 'inside' or 'outside.'

At our house, if it is to big to get in through the door, it is outside, everything else is a crap shoot.

Pre-make all your rainy day activities so you are prepared for foul weather. This sounds like a mini-Christmas as far as the time needed to generate such a project.

"Make your own play-doh?" "Shop ahead for sequins, glitter, glue, construction paper, beads & the like. Store items in a special container that you can put away and only bring out for inclement weather."


First of all, I don't get to shop alone. If it goes into the cart, it is opened in the backseat of the car, or in the driveway. After I gather, sweep up & otherwise manage to clean the remnants of glitter, beads etc., who has the energy to place the snippets into an organized container? (Which by the way, the youngest has turned into a fort for his Lambie & friends, so getting it back will be no simple task.)

Second of all (or is this third?), if I did get to shop alone, that would be my time to get personal items such as bras & tampons (because the fitting room experience is beyond words, and the tampons themselves run the risk of being dispensed in the car or driveway), or fragile items, such as 'indestructable plastic party cups' (which the dogs will shred all thru the backyard after the kids have left them heedlessly on the lawn).

Generate a schedule to simplify your days and to provide structure for the children. They have that already:

* Fill up on sugar, both at home and at neighbor's/friend's houses.

* Litter food & drink wrappers about neighborhood.

* Run around frantically, making as much noise as possible. Irritating any hearing or sighted being within a 100 yard radius.

* Come in and whine that there is nothing to do.

* Stomp upstairs, mumbling.

* Stomp back down, begging for food.

Repeat until parent passes out, or darkness falls, whichever comes first.

Well, at least the wrappers provides a trail for those nighttime child scavenger hunts.

....But I still am looking for a "how to" that will really organize my children.

Or maybe I am just going to have to put myself in the blue folder, and call it a Summer.

Girls Who Hate Math

"I hate math."

"Yeah, I hate math too."

That's daughter A to daughter B. Two girls, very different, now sisters via a marriage that takes male parent of A, adds it to the female parent of B, to equal a family of 5 - give or take an error percentage of 1.

(The error percentage refers to the youngest child, male, who is shuffled between 2 states -- two states in the United States of America, not like 'two states of matter,' solid or gas...)

That's our family math. These two girls, who really are sisters (willing to kill one minute, giggling & working together to topple the parents the next), are very different. Yet they can agree on the hatred of mathematics.

It seems to me that most girls say they hate math. And math being such a large part of science, many girls say they hate science too. Which is sad, for both these girls are naturals at science.

They question.

They ask for proof.

They are fascinated to see things work.

Hell, they laugh at examples of gravity - i.e. people falling down.

They just don't see how science is everywhere. Or how it could be. And if they did, they'd avoid it like the plague -- just because it involved math.

Math is really a small part of science. It's merely the language of measurement. And unlike most languages, it has rules of order & arrangement which do not change.

You never hear of "1 + 1 = 2, except after 50."

You memorize even numbers: say 2,4,6,8 -- there is no "& sometimes 7."

There are no tricks. For example, you need not worry about the silent 3 in 5,446.

Math is the language of measurement, & the easiest part of science really. It's the part that never changes; it's constant, consistent & clear.

The difficulty in science is all the 'other stuff.' The ability to question. The ability to frame the question in a framework which can be measured. The ability to rebound when the measurement isn't enough evidence to support or disprove your question.

But these are all the areas the girls excel:

They question regularly.

They love to weasel their way out of the rules, and so could easily re-work a question to fit their needs.

They often fall & get back up again.

All they need to do now, is see that math is a reliable way to talk about it all.

They sure love to talk...