It’s that time of year again. Science Fair! It’s the clearest way to divide parents into overachievers and us.
As you’ll recall, last year we gave Elijah zero parental help, which resulted in a delightful mess. But we were a little embarrassed next to the fully sentient robots and volcanoes with real lava imported from Hawaii.
This year Diana decided to be 5% more involved in the project. In so much as she handed Eli his science experiment on a silver platter. There’s a thing she does at the wine store where you plug your nose while eating a jellybean to prove how valuable your sense of smell is to taste.
When she described the experiment to Eli, all he heard was “jellybean” and he was in. Poster board, box of jellybeans and a tiny bit of showmanship and he was done.
The night of the actual Science Fair, I felt like I was a guinea pig in a giant experiment titled, “How Long Can Two Hours Surrounded By Screaming Grade Schoolers Feel Like?” The hypothesis was it would feel like 18 hours.
After eating twelve jellybeans and making two rotations past the exhibits (3 volcanoes, 2 potato radios), I was done. After checking my watch and realizing it had been four minutes I needed to plan my escape.
I needed a diversion. And that diversion appeared in light up Spiderman shoes.
“I’m hungry,” Luca said.
“Oh man. There’s no food here. Actually, there is pizza. But you can’t have any. That’s for the bigger kids. The bigger kids who secretly hate you and your Spiderman shoes. Life sucks, huh?”
At this point Luca melted to the ground. Parents clucked their tongues as they stepped over him. Luca lolled around, collecting dust and baking soda on his jacket.
I spotted Diana, who had taken over Eli’s experiment. I gestured to the prone Luca and pantomimed needing to get out of here asap.
Diana gave me the ok to leave and I scooped up Luca. We skipped through the gym and danced out the front door.
As I unlocked the car door, I noticed Eli and Diana hurrying through the parking lot as if pursued by attackers. The Experiment “How Long Can The Hamanns Stand The Science Fair” had officially concluded.