It’s not Halloween. It’s not Christmas. It’s barely back-to-school. Can we please just tackle one theme at a time? (Citizen file)

Sarah Simpson Column: Use your smarts to slow down early holidays

It’s Friday the 13th. There’s a full moon. A rabid bat is lurking around an elementary school in Central Saanich. OK, OK, they’ve caught it…but are there more? What’s worse, “pumpkin spice” lattes are already in stores. All this and it’s not even October. From my past Halloween columns you’ll remember that I’m not all that fond of the ghoulish and sugary. I’m generally against any holiday a month earlier than scheduled. Take, for example, Christmas in September. Not cool in my books. But lo and behold, there are decorations lining the shelves of more than one store right now and that’s excluding the Christmas Store in Chemainus.

It’s just weird. I’m a one-holiday-at-a-time kind of gal. Part of the fun of special days or times of the year is the anticipation of it all. Halloween? Christmas? We haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet!

Truth be told, I’m not even over the back-to-school stuff. I know it’s not a holiday but it’s kind of a themed part of the year, so it counts.

Speaking of education, we were at home and cleaning up after dinner one evening earlier this week when my husband and pre-school-aged daughter started talking about lions and tigers. My daughter is adamant they’re the same thing and will not be swayed from that belief. Her go-to stuffie friend is technically a lion but she believes with all her heart that it’s a tiger. Well, she may know it’s a lion but she’s like her parents and is stubborn to a fault so she’d never let on if she knew she was wrong.

Anyway, in an attempt to change the subject and avoid an argument my husband asked her what the difference between monkeys and apes is. I thought to myself, is he kidding me? She’s three!

My dear, dinner encrusted daughter, piped up and said: “Monkeys have tails, Dad. Apes don’t,” and went back to eating her popsicle while she smeared its drips around the dinner table, presumably in the name of art.

Then my husband asked her which kind of monkeys have prehensile tails. She said “Old World monkeys”. That’s wrong. It’s New World monkeys apparently. What struck me is that she knew what “prehensile” meant and that there were New World and Old World monkeys. I don’t. I still had to Google “prehensile” while writing this column…just to make sure. (It means an animal’s tail or limb is capable of grasping.)

My kids are little academics. I always dreamed of sitting on the bleachers or a lawn chair watching them play baseball or soccer but I might end up going to science fairs instead and I’ve grown to accept that.

When I was young, I could work a computer better than any adult in my house and I could program the numbers into the fancy new cell phones and figure out the VCR timer so my mom could watch Oprah and All My Children and I was able to figure out how to set the timer on the new microwave and whatnot. It never really occurred to me until recently that my kids will do that to me. Aren’t kids always smarter than their parents? I mean, I didn’t think they would start outsmarting me when they were five and three but I understand.

So what if my kid can recite what planets are gas giants and I can’t?

I guess the point I’m trying to make in this entire rambling story is, if our kids are so much smarter than us, why on earth can’t they find a way to contain Halloween to October?



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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