Early in September I took off work one morning to take Yoselin to a program at the local nature center about spiders. For some reason Lyndie wasn’t enthusiastic about taking part in this, so just the Bean and I headed off to Shawnee Prairie to learn a thing or two about our eight-legged friends. I’m not sure any actual learning took place, as not a single real spider was presented at the spider presentation, but several other neat things did happen:
Neat Thing that Happened #1: I was the only man-parent there, which always makes me self-conscious. Not being the only man, but being the only dad. All the other kids were there with their soccer mommies, and I always wonder if these moms think I’m clueless. And since many of these moms already knew each other, I was left making minor small talk and trying to find a real spider to show my daughter. I’m not usually awkward at all with women, especially since I knew several of the moms already, but this particular situation made me feel like it was 1992 all over again, the only difference being now I have body hair.
Neat Thing that Happened #2: Yosi made a complete mess during craft time, which is to be expected. What was awesome was that she far outstripped her peers in messiness – all of them. The craft was to mix cooked spaghetti noodles with Elmer’s glue and then stick them on a sheet of paper to make a web. The other kids daintily rubbed their noodles in the glue while Yosi crushed it in both fists. By the time she was done she had no noodles left longer than an inch and Elmer’s glue past her wrists. This no doubt assuaged any concerns the moms had about my parenting prowess.
Neat Thing that Happened #3: We all took a walk along a nature trail under the pretense of looking for spiders, only no spiders were actually spotted. None, that is, until I found a robust wolf spider scurrying across the path on the way back. Assuming the others who had come to the spider presentation wanted to see spiders as much as Yosi and I did, I trapped the ugly dude and announced I had found our target. Everyone except my daughter walked right on past me and kept going. It was awesome.