Is My GEEK Showing?

My parents did not really care for science fiction and fantasy. I grew up watching The Lawrence Welk Show, The A-Team, Bonanza, and Dukes of Hazzard. My father preferred his daily newspaper and ball games on TV. My mother savored supermarket tabloids and the occaisional romance novel that friends would pass along.

My brother and I are a different story. My brother discovered comics at an early age. To this day, I am not sure if he’s a DC fan or Marvel but I’m pretty sure he owns both. We loved Saturday morning cartoons. We watched The Justice League and Smurfs and other such fantastic characters. I read realistic fiction and was mildly surprised when I enjoyed a fantasy novel. As we got older, we got a taste of the blockbuster movies of the 80’s like the Star Wars trilogy (no, I do not acknowledge “the first three”, aka Episodes 1-3) and Indiana Jones.

You already know of our love for science nerds; R and I being two of them.

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Like any parent, I encourage my kids to read the book before the movie. The Hunger Games (for the oldest) and Harry Potter (will be read alouds for the girls soon) are no exceptions. There are entire worlds of science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, and post-apocalyptic just waiting to be discovered.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Doctor Who.

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How could I have never watched Doctor Who before? This year the series turns fifty years old! We are having a blast learning about the Doctor and though we still have yet to watching the older episodes (we are only on season four of the newer series), this is a series that we absolutely adore.

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The youngest L has renamed some of her miniature dolls to the names of The Doctor’s companions. She has even found a giant blue lego block that she calls the TARDIS. The middle daughter goes around telling everyone about little fat monsters called Adipose which quite literally are little fats. The oldest has made the inside of the TARDIS with his legos. We all freak out a little when we see statues by screaming, “DON’T BLINK!”

Now tell me honestly. Is my GEEK showing?

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Someone had written BAD WOLF in the Monterey sand dunes with nature stuff. I tried to take a better picture the following morning but it was gone.

The Big Bang Parenting Algorithm, Part 2

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Why I Let My Kids Watch The Big Bang Theory

(#5 was “It’s okay to be smart”)

6. …but it’s not okay to tell everyone
Sheldon’s mom told him when he was a little boy, “Because people don’t want to hear it!”

7. It’s okay to make mistakes. If you make a mistake, apologize.
In The Apology Insufficiency, Sheldon accidentally ruins Howard’s chance to become an astronaut.

8. There is such a thing as too many cats
See The Zazzy Substitution.

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9. True friends stick by you no matter what
Watch the series. See how many times:
* Sheldon insults his friends but they still remain his friends
* they defend each other from a cyber bully, Penny’s ex-boyfriend, and Wil Wheaton
* they take care of each other when one is sick (except when the boys make Penny look after a sick Sheldon)
* they help each other through tough times like break-ups and broken Star Trek toys

10. Sometimes songs will make you feel better although my kids will tell you that Soft Kitty is only for when you’re sick.

The Big Bang Parenting Algorithm, Part 1

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Why I Let My Kids Watch The Big Bang Theory

1. Exposure to science and scientists
My son recently looked up “Schroedinger’s Cat” in a physics text. On his own. And my kids know who the guy is sitting next to Sheldon.

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This picture is from The Hawking Excitation.

2. References to Pop Culture every kid should know
Without TBBT, my kids would never have known who Wil Wheaton was. I was never a Trekkie but I do remember him from Stand By Me. I swear I saw him at a club in the City back in 1993 but I will never be able to verify that information. Shame too because Wesley Crusher is a good dancer.

Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, ComicCon, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, Marvel, DC, and the list goes on and on.

3. Science is cool
Liquid and solid moving to music. Pranks involving slime and YouTube. Going camping to see a meteor shower. How cool is that?

3. Alcohol is bad
In the The Pants Alternative, Sheldon accepts an award from the university while he is piss-ass drunk.

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“Mommy, why doesn’t Sheldon have any pants?”
“Mommy, why did Sheldon moon everybody?”
“Mommy, why is Sheldon talking like that?”

“He’s drunk. That’s what happens if you drink beer. You do stupid stuff. Don’t drink beer.”

4. Reasoning is an art form
My kids watch their favorite fictional scientists banter back and forth but it’s more than that. They see how articulate they are, their well-structured arguments, and logical reasoning.

“I think we should have a cupcake because we did not eat sugar all week and we drank milk every day!”

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While this adds up to complex conversations about EVERYTHING, I do appreciate that they can explain their opinions instead of throwing tantrums.

5. It’s okay to be smart
All of the scientists have doctorates in their respected field. Except for Howard. He ONLY has a Master’s degree.

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Yes, ONLY a Master’s degree. From MIT!

The Teacher Mommy Curse

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The rules of the house are quite simple. No TV during the week. No video games during the week. Read everyday. Go outside and play everyday. Trying to limit fast food to once a week or even less. Save treats for Movie Night (setting up camp in the living room and watching DVDs on Friday nights). Milk everyday; soda for when we go out to eat. (The last one is tough to enforce with their grandma living around the corner and my brother telling them, “It’s okay. Don’t tell your mommy!” That’s nice.)

I do not mind the video games the kids play so long my husband has played them and deemed them appropriate for our children. Minecraft is one of those games.

I have not actually played Minecraft but some of my friends’ kids play it and love it. There is a lot of extensive detail to playing the game which I won’t go into here. I will say that there is a free version that M has been playing and loving.

So much that he would like the paid version if he once again receives straight A’s on his report card. That, we do not mind.

I did mind, however, when he came home from school today and asked me, “If I do all of my homework, can I play video games?”

I felt a power struggle being born.

The educator I am replied, “What do YOU think the answer is?”

“Why not?” he exploded to which I raised an eyebrow. “ALL OF MY FRIENDS get to play video games ALL WEEK!”

I breathed. Slowly. Purposefully. Remember, I said to myself, keep your cool. Do not engage in an argument or you lose, Mommy.

“What your friends do is irrelevant to what YOU do. How I raise you has nothing to do with how other parents’ raise their kids. Also, how many of your friends get straight A’s?”

He gave me a few names plus more of his friends who are trying to raise their grades to get the coveted straight A report card.

I asked, “How many of those kids get to play video games during the week?”

He thought about it and said, “I don’t really know. I didn’t ask.”

“ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS? ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS?” I asked in true Sheldon fashion from The Big Bang Theory. “ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS get to play video games all week?”

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Source: Google

He smiled.

I added, “By the way, never start off saying ‘All of MY friends…’ because I can always find one of your friends who doesn’t.”

Such is the curse for having a teacher for a Mommy.

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