Dia de los Muertos

Little and I had another fun outing yesterday. She’s shown interest in nature and science, so I thought the rainy day would be perfect one for a trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. I’d also read somewhere that there was a family friendly event for the Dia de los Muertos, which I was pleasantly reminded of when we arrived (because I’d forgotten I knew about it to begin with). It was great for her to get a context of the real thing, knowing only that it’s a central concept in the Disney Pixar movie Coco.

She’s a smart kid and I love any opportunity to challenge her. I’m nerd like that. Looking at all the amazing skeletal dinosaur displays, when we saw a Mastadon, she said, after I mentioned that they were kind of like elephants “Elephants are the largest animals in the world”

“Well, that really close but think about it – who lives in the ocean who could be bigger?”

“Sharks…” she thinks on it “Whales!”

“Yes!” I confirm and she beams, “Smart kid”

Later I quiz her about another skeleton when she says something about it walking. “Well, look at those “feet”…if they were covered in skin, what do you think they’d look like?”

She ponders this and comes up with “Oh, like, fins?”

“Yup! I’m pretty sure this was a swimming dinosaur of some kind”

Curiously, many of the subjects in the displays had only scientific names. It was a shame that they didn’t say, where applicable This Beepboopbobosaurus is most closely like an elephant we know today. And it ate the equivelent of 2 tons of lettuce heads daily!

But, it is Harvard so maybe they’re not into that stuff.

We killed easily two hours, and as we walked back to the car I offered her some options for lunch “Pizza, soup and sandwiches, or burgers and fries?”

“Well, which do you want to do?” she always asks me this. We both think of it for a while, because I really want her to choose. To help, I eventually answer, “How about I make it a little easier by eliminating ‘soup and sandwiches'”

“That helps,” she answers “Nobody eats those anyway”

I tell her sometime a tomato soup with grilled cheese is good then I remember I’m talking to an eight-year-old so I leave it at that.

Back in the car, she still hasn’t decided, so I offer up a coin toss. Nothing makes someone who’s shy about a decision speak-up faster than a coin toss – the threat of the unfavorable choice is too much! She likes this idea, although with nervous excitement.

We decide on heads for pizza, tails for burgers, and just before I flip the penny in the front seat, I hear her whisper a quiet, quick prayer from the back seat “Please let is be pizza. Please let it be pizza…”

“I knew that’s what you wanted!!!” I burst into laughter, hearing her true hopes coming out.

“No no! Do the coin toss! I want both! I can’t decide!” she says, perhaps because she wants to be accommodating, perhaps because she really can’t decide.

“I tell you what. We’ll do pizza this time and next time we go for a meal, we’ll do burgers, ok?”

She agreed and the pizza was delicious.

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