You think you’re pretty smart until your second grader disdainfully corrects you while you’re driving him to school so he can turn in his rainforest toucan diorama project. He rattled off more facts about the rainforest than I’ve learned in a lifetime.Cameron: “Mom, did you know that the canopy is the most famous part of the rainforest?” Me: “No, why is that?” Cameron: “Because that’s where most of the animals live. There are so many different species of animals in the rainforest. Toucans, macaws, parrots, turkey vultures, capybaras, howler monkeys. Howler monkeys are the loudest animal of the rainforest. They’re louder than a hundred screaming babies. Ocelots, blue morpho butterflies, tapirs, jaguars, poison dart frogs, piranhas, red-eyed tree frogs, harpy eagles, tree snakes, oh, and mosquitoes. It would be so hard to sleep in the rainforest because of all the mosquitoes.” Me: “Yeah, that sounds uncomfortable.” Cameron: “You know what the largest tree is?” Me: “What?” Cameron: “The buttress tree. It has roots that grow so big. Animals live in the roots.” Me: “I thought redwoods were the tallest trees.” Cameron: “Mom, that’s in the TEMPERATE forest. The buttress tree is the biggest tree in the TROPICAL rainforest.” Me: “Oh.” Cameron: “Did you know there are temperate rainforests too? I know where they are in the United States. In Washington and Oregon and California.”
At that point the science lecture abruptly ended and he moved onto other topics of great concern, like if David was going to be punished for exceeding his texting limit.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011