WASHINGTON, D.C.— Technically this stop on the Boogie Wipes Tour is in Takoma Park, Maryland. But since that area is considered a D.C. suburb AND I passed the Washington and Jefferson Monuments as I drove in from the airport, I’m totally counting this stop as a visit to the nation’s capitol. Pity we won’t get to the Smithsonian. But gawking at art is not what we were there for. We were looking for Debbie Grossman’s house.
Debbie was my husband’s classmate (and a year ahead of me) at Oberlin. And while I didn’t know her at school, Debbie has become such a super fan of Science of Parenthood, she was only too happy to host a late afternoon house party at her home.
I admit I was a bit nervous. Debbie’s husband is a physicist (and judging by his proficient beer-brewing skills, a bit of a chemist too). Plus, she’d invited other scientists to come.
I knew we could make parents laugh. But would actual scientists find us funny? (Oh, dear God, I hoped so!)
Once everyone settled in with their home-brewed pints, I crossed my fingers and started to read from our book Introduction.
“… Jessica and I have discovered that parents are a lot like scientists. Maybe we don’t have nifty gizmos like the Large Hadron Collider in our garages. Or a stash of Plutonium-238 in our pantries …”
Now there’s one particular joke in our intro I always hope will get big laughs.
“But just like our buddies on the front lines of science—Galileo and Newton, Einstein and Hawking … Masters and Johnson…”
An editor friend had added the “Masters and Johnson” reference on one of the final read-throughs, and mixing the famous sex researchers in with the great-granddaddies of science just absolutely tickled me. But I’d read this line at other readings and … crickets. Really, if it was going to get a laugh anywhere, it would be in a room with scientists.
I paused and held my breath. Was it funny? Was it?
Then … LAUGHTER!
I exhaled—whew!—and continued on, “… just like our buddies, we always have to solve for y. Or rather, why?”
It was smooth going after that. And it was great to see our favorite super-sciencey cartoons get some love:
I gotta say, this one, done in the very early days of Science of Parenthood, is still one of my absolute favorites …
Now, homework is a topic guaranteed to get parents talking. Homework assignments have provoked many tears in our household (mostly mine). And so I offered a fridge magnet, featuring our Mother’s Homework Prayer—something I’d written after a particularly challenging homework episode—to the parent with absolute worst homework story.
That magnet went to a mom who’d supervised TWENTY-FOUR science fair projects. She is made of stronger stuff than me. By the way, speaking as a pseudo-scientist now, this would make an ideal screening question for would-be parents wondering if they’re ready to take the plunge. Think hard about how many more science fair projects you want to do in your lifetime. If the answer is Zero, you might want to reconsider that whole procreation thing.)
Meanwhile, everyone who didn’t win a super Science of Parenthood fridge magnet still went home with some lovely parting gifts courtesy of our sponsors Boogie Wipes, Sprucies, Dr. Woods and Mary Kay!
It still amazes me how much stuff we can stuff into those bags!
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Till next time!