Monday, June 11, 2012

The Things We Learn

We learn a lot of things from being a parent, and it's not just the things we expect. Sure we learn how to feed our kids, we learn how to take care of them, we learn how to sacrifice and put someone else's needs before our own. But we also learn other things, things I certainly didn't realize the importance of before I had kids.

It's a little different for everyone, but my guess is every parent has a list of things they've unexpectedly gotten to learn. For me, it started with the names of all the Thomas trains.

Yes, I can probably name every train in that picture without having to look them up.  My younger two were that obsessed.  (Luckily, the makers of these trains provide parents a built-in cheat sheet by printing the names on the bottoms of the trains themselves.  Someone is brilliant!)

I've also learned the names of quite a few of the Transformers.

I already knew the names of quite a few Transformers, but I've learned quite a few more.  We're still in the Transformers phase.

I've probably learned the most about dinosaurs.  Do you know how many different types there are?  Hundreds.  I certainly can't name them all, but you'd be surprised at how many I can name and identify.  Probably more than you've ever heard the names of.  And do you know how much more they've learned about them since we were kids?  It turns out Triceratops likely had feathers.

The other thing I've learned a ton about recently that I never expected to is sea creatures.  I already knew there were tons and tons of different kinds (and that they're always discovering more), but I never expected to be able to tell you so much about them.  This happens when your child is obsessed.  This is one of Spencer's current favorite creatures:

Those are cookiecutter sharks.  They're only about 20 inches long, but they can take huge, round bites out of the sides of much bigger creatures, like whales or dolphins (thus the name).  Spencer thinks they're awesome.  He wants to see one.  I don't know of any aquarium that has one, but if one does we might end up traveling however far it takes to see one.  Even though I don't think they're that impressive in person.  That's what happens when your kids are obsessed.  But hey, he's learning, I'm learning, his dad and brothers are learning, we take field trips to educational places on a regular basis, and the kids like it.  You can't get much better than that, right?

So, share with me.  What unexpected things have you learned about since becoming a parent?

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