Parenting Gone Awry

When Leaves Fall Moose Mate

So then, Sean’s homework assignment for tonight was to draw a picture representing fall.

I was excited about that project because of the many creative possibilities.  I envisioned that he would draw a field of pumpkins or falling leaves. Or maybe pumpkins or falling leaves. Or something like that.

So I gave him a piece of paper and read to him the task as stated on the assignment sheet.

Side Bar:  I learned early on in college that if you can figure out what the professor wants and give it to them on time, you can raise your letter grade by at least a factor of one.  And the way you figure out what the professor wants is by reading the syllabus. The professor often explicitly states what is expected of you on the syllabus.  That’s just a little trick I learned.  So if you are in school right now and you are reading this, here’s a little golden nugget of advice:   Read the dadgum syllabus. Read it twice.

Then I gave him some art supplies and said, “Go to town Picasso!” And he did.

When he handed me his masterpiece for inspection, I was a little bit surprised. There were no falling leaves or pumpkins. There was what appeared to be a moose staring at a tree.

So I asked him, I said, “Sean how does this represent fall?”

And he said with a bit of exasperation as one might have when speaking with someone as unlearned as I, “Mom. Moose look for a mate in the fall.”

So I said what anyone in my situation might say. I said,  “Oh.”

And then I scratched my head and wondered if maybe we might be watching a little too much Animal Planet.

And now, I  want to take this opportunity to apologize to the parents whose children might come home from school tomorrow with a little too much information regarding the mating habits of moose.


Mr. Moose looking for a Mrs. Moose.   Clearly.

39 thoughts on “When Leaves Fall Moose Mate

  1. For nearly six, that is one great-looking moose. And he spent a lot of time on those leaves. You have yourself an artist and a zoologist!

  2. Adorable, and it looks quite blustery to me 😉 My Jack has a book called “Animals Nobody Loves” – he’s learning tons and hopefully gaining a little sensitivity 😉 Maybe Sean would like it, too!

  3. That’s hilarious, but what a great pic! I think its very clever to think of the mooses – (meese?) 🙂 He didn’t want to go the obvious route of pumpkins, leaves, etc…

  4. My husband the college professor especially appreciated your sidebar – it’s so true!

    * * *
    I graduated with highest honors relying solely on that principal, showing up for class and a little hard work. Certainly ain’t cuz I iz smart. ;-p

  5. Too cute! And don’t worry about Sean’s picture providing too much moose education to his classmates … I don’t think anything could ever beat my daughter’s birthday party a couple of years ago when our yorkie decided to get “romantic” with our chihuahua in front of God and everyone. A little girl came running in the house hollering “Your dogs are stuck together!”

    I just wanted to die.

  6. Tell Sean that he’s a terrific artist! My brother lives in Alaska and often has moose (mooses?) stop by his yard. I’m going to send him a link to this post,
    he’ll love it.

  7. Love it! But makes me think of all the times my divergent-thinking child complied with the assignment precisely as Sean did here, only to have the teacher mark his work down a grade or two for not following directions. For many kids learning to produce what the teacher (or professor) is thinking year after school year restricts their abilty to think outside mainstream.

    I love, love, love how you consistently encourage his individual expression! I hope he hands in his picture without adjusting one tiny thing…and finds a way to cope with teachers along his path who won’t bother to ask what he was thinking.

    * * *
    I think the secret is learning how to negotiate fulfilling the assignment as prescribed while bringing some creative expression to it. An academically savvy kid figures out how to do both or at least discerns what is appropriate for the task. Creativity is good, but reading and following directions is a crucial life skill.

  8. This is GREAT…it reminds me of when my daughter was in kindergarten, she was asked what are the seasons– she answered,
    hunting season, fishing season,camping season…
    Now she is in third grade and she wants to investigate any dead things we happen to find, road kill or things that Daddy has come home with, fish,deer…ect!

  9. I love the picture.

    Doesn’t the moose (or it could be deer) rub their antlers on a tree as a mating call or something. You might have to ask Sean to be sure. Ha-ha

    His drawings are so detailed for his age. It always surprises me to see that kind of detail. I love the bird carrying off a stick like he is off to make his nest for the winter or something.

    Very outside the box. Sean is wise for his age. 🙂

  10. Love it! You sound like an amazing mom with a wonderful little boy! I, too, try to encourage the creativity in my youngest. Being a melancholy, I can tend to want things perfect from my own perspective. Fortunately, however, i have enough of my creative mom in me to embrace the free-form creations of my young artist, too.
    I love when you talk about parenting – makes me think about what kind of parent i’m being.

  11. i dont think you have to worry so much about what sean is teaching the other kids….some other mom is still apologizing in her sleep that her kindergartener last year described for all the world how c sections are performed cause the mommy cant squish the baby out her hiney…..(not sure where he got all his facts as this was NEVER part of my explanation)

  12. Sean has great attention to detail. I like his birds, and he is indicating flight patterns with the blue whooshing lines. Notice, Mr. Moose is looking – he hasn’t found Mrs. Moose.

    When I was in first grade, a boy drew a cow and bull that had found one another… and were mating. I just remember poor Miss Norton stammering and stuttering.

  13. Awesome!! I love that Sean marches to his own drummer. And don’t stop watching Animal Planet – what’s better than having a child who learns and thinks for himself… and thinks OUTside the box? 🙂

  14. I think his artwork is fabulous and the way his mind works is so much more interesting than the average little boy! I love how our children teach us way more than we teach them. Just yesterday my 7 yr old daughter and I were having a discussion following her comment regarding a “black skinned” girl. I made the suggestion that she merely say “black girl” or “African American girl”, to which she replied, “How can I call her that when I don’t know where she’s from, but I do know that she has black skin?” That’ll be another conversation for another day!

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