Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mr. Suggestible Strikes Again

Remember the whole Predator/Prey relationship I discussed before? For some reason I'm always the prey in Zaya's imagination. It's all taken a rather vicious turn in the last few days.

We've been reading a book called "Epidemic" which details the appearance and behaviors of many bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa and their effect upon people throughout history. Big mistake, as I'm sure you've guessed.

This morning Zaya has been Penicillin, and I was bacteria, of course. Daddy was smart and became a virus instead. But then Zaya decided he could eat viruses too. Why not? He has also been a yeast cell (Candida, no less) and Histoplasmosis, and a horrible variety of other things. (Shigella, E-coli, Adenovirus etc.) He's also been a macrophage (of course, I had to be a Shigella bacteria then.) and he swallowed me whole and than stuck a little piece of me out for his T-cell to come and recognize.

And we, as the victims, have to behave just right. When Zaya was Penicillin this morning and Art was supposed to be an E-Coli bacteria he said, "Daddy, that's not how you die. Your cell wall is supposed to break down." Art's cell wall broke down appropriately. Then Zaya the Penicillin decided to eat his nucleus. It's no fun to just keep your enemy from reproducing, apparently, you also have to ingest him. (Mim has thus far refused to participate. I wouldn't say she has a firm grip on reality either, but firmer anyway. She was busy playing with light and shadows in the bathroom with a flashlight.)

You might say that all of this is damaging to the psyche of a young child, but I remember reading my father's diagnostic manuals when he was in nursing school and I was Zaya's age. I don't remember thinking that it was gross or strange, just fascinating. And I turned out normally...right? Right?

Art says we need to get the little guy some basic physics books about machinery and such to counterbalance all the biology. If there's one thing motherhood has taught me thus far, it's that you can't make a kid enjoy something. It has to just happen. I wish him luck, though. There are no victims in physics. (Except the students, but there I go injecting my own prejudice into it.)

Art did get Zaya to draw out what he was imagining, and that actually worked for a time. He drew a Penicillin fungus and a bunch of different bacteria around it with cracks in their cell walls. Then he decided that this particular Penicillin could also destroy viruses and protozoa, so there are a few of those too. They might be hard to see in the picture above, but I labeled them.

What cracks me up, is that his post-PreK test showed that he had trouble with "visual memory" because he couldn't make a shape out of blocks that the teacher had built and then removed. However, every single one of these cells and organisms look exactly like the pictures that he saw yesterday when we were reading his book. (This test was to decide if he was ready to learn to read. Frustrating...and flawed, apparently.) More proof that kids will learn what they like. He never did enjoy playing with blocks. That's always been Mim's thing. (Maybe the physics books will be for her instead.)

In any case, I've had enough of being ingested and destroyed and chased around, so I stuck both kids in front of Bugs Bunny for a few minutes. Maybe that will reset the imagination train and I can cope with the rest of the day.

Tonight is the 4th of 5 nights of VBS at Grandma Lilibeth's church. That will be a post of its own, though. This one is already long enough.


Lilibeth said...

I'm guessing you'd better plan for home least for science class and reading. Can you imagine him learning in kindergarten next year that we get milk and cheese from cows and that our sun is a giant ball of fire many many miles away?

Lilibeth said...

Oh, and maybe it's your turn to be penicillin...balance thing out a little. Mim, with her flashlight, can be a scope and seek out the hapless bacteria.

aftergrace said...

Wow, I don't think I could keep up with your kids! They're way to advanced for me!

Thank goodness for VBS, that'll keep them busy!

Chandelle said...

Hope that VBS was fun!

I like Zaya's drawing. He is very creative!

JAM said...

Get him some books on plumbing or doing electrical work. That's some real money for his future.

The place I work has literally thousands of engineers and the electricians who are always upgrading the wiring in our buildings for our mad inventions make more money than us.