Earlier today I started a blog about Darwin being my gateway drug into skepticism. I fell asleep while writing it, and I tend to believe that if I bore myself to sleep while talking about me, I can only lose friends if I bring it up amidst company. So I decided to talk about how I spent my Darwin Day instead.
This morning while my husband was getting dressed for work, I was telling our son that today was Darwin Day and that we would celebrate today with monkeys.
My husband interrupted, “Is today really Darwin Day?”
I told him it was. Then he asked, “And that’s how you celebrate? With monkeys?”
He obviously thought it was a bit silly that people around the world were “celebrating with monkeys”. (Personally, I can’t think of any celebration that couldn’t be improved with a monkey or two.) But I set the record straight and let him know that, no that’s not how everyone celebrates Darwin Day, that’s how we would be celebrating it while he was at work.
So today I spent the day doing monkey things with my son. We played with his toy gorilla, read books about monkeys, looked at pictures of monkeys, sang songs about monkeys and I did imitations of monkeys. Of course, his response was usually to bounce up and down for a few seconds, spit up, then to turn his attention to the dogs.
I tried telling him that he’s going to need to understand a few things about evolution if he’s ever going to get into a genetics graduate program, but it turns out explaining grad school to a 6 month old is like explaining mustard to a frog. So I went back to making monkey sounds while he showed off his mad raspberry-blowing skillz. And we danced around while I made up more monkey songs.
He was exhausted from all of our monkey-buisness, so at 7:00 I read him his monkey book again and put him to bed early.
Once he fell asleep, I was pretty happy that I made the decision to start a Darwin Day tradition, as silly as it is to do with such a young kid. And I’m hoping that in the years to come, he will be as excited to learn about science as I am to teach him about it.
So here’s my questions to you guys – Did you celebrate Darwin Day with your kids? If so, what did you do? Do you celebrate every year? Do you have any science-y traditions? What do you do to keep science fun for your kids?