Mom, Killer of Sharks

Shark Boy with Catfish

Shark Boy loves sea life. He is obsessed with sea life. He can't wait to learn to dive so he can go scuba diving with his dad. He's a scuba diver for Halloween this year (Honey Bear is an octopus). He wants to be a marine biologist. He fills the bathtub each evening with toy whales, sharks, seals, penguins, squid, octopus, fish of all sorts, corals, sea horses, sea snakes, little scuba divers and submersibles. He knows which whales have baleen instead of teeth, he can tell a nurse shark from a lemon shark from a great white, a black tip reef, a bull, a maco, a sandtiger, a thresher, a whale (yes, there is a whale shark), a wobbegong, a zebra, etc... At bedtime we don't read stories, we read non-fiction. We read The Sea Life Dictionary, Sea Critters, Guide to Sea Creatures, Sharks of the World, The Best Book of Sharks, Amazing Sharks, and so on. We just bought new sea life books. I'm reading to him and I turn the page to this:

Look, he says, a frilled shark! He can't read. So, how did he know that? Does this look like a shark to you? The frilled shark isn't in Amazing Sharks or Sharks of the Universe or any other shark book I've read, and I think I've read them all. Then we turn to: He sees the frogfish, which I've never heard of in his other sea life books, and says confidently, "This must be related to the Anglerfish." Sure enough, they are related. Shark Boy also loves to eat fish. Last month Kroger had fresh shark steaks and I bought some and made them for dinner. When I told him I made shark for dinner the look on his face made me instantly start calculating the therapy bills. He looked slightly shocked and just stood there, looking at me. His own mom, a shark killer. I carefully reminded him that shark fishing is regulated, like whaling (don't get him started about the horrors of whaling), and it's OK to catch some sharks. He relaxed. He ate it. He ended up telling his friends at school the next day that he had shark for dinner and thought it was kind of cool. I will stick with mahi mahi from now on.

Shark Boy conducting jellyfish field research this summer

Perdido Key, FL

The unlucky jellyfish that had to be dissected for scientific purposes


Deb said...

I fear this is what I have to look forward to as the mother of a son. It could be worse than sea life, right?

Amy said...

We started with construction when he was 18 months (only 18 months). Loved "bull-dogens" and "espsivators". Then dinosaurs, which he still loves. But sea life - OMG. I think it could be a lot worse...monster trucks anyone?

Mrs. Fussy Fussypants said...

Oh, mothering boys. I know every animal that has EVAH. been on the earth. I know the dinosaurs all the way to the freaky little Aye-Aye that taps trees with an elongated middle (!) finger to eat bugs.....My two oldest were Jeff Corwin & Steve Irwin for Halloween a couple years ago!
I was an only child, I never imagined having a son. Especially not FOUR sons.
I love it. As I see pictures of your little guy catching that little jellyfish- my heart leapt. So sweet!

ps- glad to hear his momma is a frump fighter! Bravo. ;)

S said...

I love their obsessions at that age. Ben's was dinosaurs. Once we were in the Museum of Natural History in NYC when a group of 5th graders on a class trip came through with a guide, who was asking them questions about the dinosaurs.

Ben, at five, kept shouting out the correct answers. It cracked me up.

Your son is adorable.

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