My son thinks I’m a murderer of the Earth.

Just in case you didn’t already know this, first grade turns you into genius.  During the course of your first year in elementary school, you will in fact become an expert on many topics, thereby learning that your parents are idiots.

(The subtitle of this post is:  Why I want to kick Grant’s science teacher in the knees.)

Thanks to Grant’s science teacher, our first-grader has become an environmental vigilante.  Never mind that we already have a fairly well-coordinated recycling program in place.  My recycling garbage can is always at least as full as my actual-garbage garbage can, we trade in our printer cartridges for refills, use rechargeable batteries, and replaced all our lightbulbs with those twirly-whirly- save-lots-of-money lightbulbs that I can’t remember the name of.  If the tree-huggers could look past my compulsive paper towel use and occasional paper plate use, I think they might be kind of proud of us.

I do not know if Mr. Science Man has a program in place where he bribes small children with treasures untold if they can confiscate half of their family’s belongings and bring them directly to him to be disposed of properly, but I have my theories.  Several times, Grant has tried to grab all our printer cartridges and convince us that he needs to take them to his science teacher, along with all our batteries.  That same self-proclaimed genius cannot seem to comprehend that I will recharge and refill them on. my. own. (thank you?) and thereby save our family some money.  “But Mr. Science Man says we have to bring them to him!”   No matter how I try to make him understand that his teacher’s intention is to keep those items from being thrown away, and we are NOT throwing them away, he still thinks I’m ruining his life as an activist.

Today he came from school and enjoyed his after-school snack for a few seconds before he jolted, quickly remembering that he is a man on a mission.

“Mom!  Do we have milk cartons or boxes or things that we can use to make other things?”

“They’re in the recycling bin, Grant.”

“No, mom!  We’re not supposed to throw them away.  That’s a waste!  We can use them.”

“Grant, when they are recycled, that means they can be melted down and use them again.  We are not wasting them.”

He began digging through my garbage.  I began picturing his science teacher in that torture machine from The Princess Bride.

He grabbed a ziploc bag and held it above his head, victorious.  “Do not throw these away, mom!  That is a waste.”

I rolled my eyes, “What?  Do you want to wash them out?”  “Yes!”  “Fine, you can do it.”

He kept digging.  “I need a bottle or something for my agates (small rocks designed to make your mother curse when she does the laundry).”

“Grant, the bottles are in the recycling bin which means they are going to be re- … never mind.”  I give up.

Anyway, I think educating our children is severely overrated. I offered him this box from the garbage to carry the rock collection he’s accumulating so he can impress Mr. Science Man.  I’m sure he’ll be thrilled when he sees how resourceful we are in our family.


 

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23 thoughts on “My son thinks I’m a murderer of the Earth.

  1. Awesome!

    I am still giggling. Mr Science Teacher would have a coronary if he ever came to our house. I recycle, but only when it’s convenient. Maybe I should start working on it before LQ goes to first grade and starts calling me an earth murderer.

    • I’ve used cloth pads. They’re actually quite comfortable, but I need a lot more and a lot thicker pads than I currently have, so they don’t get used much.

      The crocheted tampons though, just, ouch.

  2. Kids do get feeling a little superior when they start school. A couple of years ago, my then kindergartner son says to me one day, “I’m smarter than you, mom, because I go to school and you don’t!” Gotta love ‘em!

  3. We use paper plates. I expressed once how we are NOT doing the earth any favors, and JOel said “we are actually – saving you from extra housework, and getting to exhausted and then taking it out on me – saves my world. So its worth it.”

  4. Oh, that’s hilarious. My son went through a recycle nazi phase… any little thing that I threw away, if it had any part that could possibly be removed and recycled, I was blasted. I’m pretty good at recycling, but I tell you what, there were some days I wanted to throw it ALL away just to spite my six year old.

  5. I get really irritated when my kids come home having been informed at school about the “right way” to do things here. A note on ensuring proper nutrition results in cookies for dinner. Recycling reminders are met with dumping the next milk carton into the garbage. My friend’s daughter was told her granola bars weren’t healthy enough to bring for lunch so she packed twinkies the next day. Probably why we’re friends.

    As far as your son and recycling? “I do not think it means what [he] thinks it means.”

  6. It is hard to go through these years where they think they know everything, when nearly the opposite is true. Too bad it takes them so long to realize what we already know!

  7. So it’s not until they get children of their own that they really think mayby you’re were smart all along.

    And then the “how-did-you-do-it-with-so-many-kids” phase comes. It’s a great ego booster! You only have to wait 20-25 years or so to hear that Hang in there. LOL!

  8. My dd found out from her 6th grade teacher that our whole house was wrong. He has a brand new ultra earth saving house 1/2 hour from school. Our shades were up when they should have been down, we don’t have a solar cell heating our water, our carpet wasn’t made from recycled fibers,… I pointed out that her father works within walking distance. The teacher and his wife drive everyday to work. We use cloth napkins most of the time and rarely use paper towels. I cook most of our meals, so we don’t have extra packaging. But we don’t have all of our lights changed over and we leave the lights on too much. Face it, we’ll never win the “green” competition! Thanks for letting me vent!!!

  9. When my daughter was in first grade she came home looking very worried. She looked at me and said, “I wish, oh I wish there was something I could do to protect and save the rain forest!” Close to tears. She then started looking around our house and our non-recycling, take a big bag of trash out every day, life style. She was very earnest about trying to make the changes that would protect that sweet little rainy forest, you know, like not using saran wrap, saving milk cartons and using them again…for something…or even better, pay triple the price of milk and have it delivered. They pick up the used jugs and use them again. Every suggestion the teacher made was very much taken to heart, and became a new law in my daughters head. Yea…we still don’t recycle.

  10. I think there’s a little hero worshiping problem with those early grades. My daughter’s first grade teacher got her hooked on evolution, and at the time, there was nothing I could say to convince Emma that Heavenly Father did not create us from apes. It took Emma a few years to understand that her teacher had different ideas, but she never could wrap her little mind around the fact that her teacher could possibly just be WRONG.

  11. My oldest son (currently in second grade) got an early start on the my-parents-are-idiots philosophy. When he was 3 years old he used to tell us he knew more than we did because he went to college in Florida before he was born!

    You are right – there is just something about first grade that completely overturns the hierarchy at home.

  12. My oldest is in second grade this year and she was the green nazi last year. And I remember vivdly her digging through the trash to reuse garbage to make other things. Like crafty garbage. That will just then be thrown away a second time. (But I didn’t have the heart to tell her that. Stupid first grade science teachers!)

  13. I am new here and I LOVE IT! Just wait until 3rd grade…The 3rd classes at my son’s school are going on an OVERNIGHT (he isn’t going-we are going to party like rock stars at at home for those 2 days) field trip (that would cost 180 for us both to go- I would never ship him off for 24 hours with, for all intensive purposes-STRANGERS!!!) to a place 2 hours a way about the environment…Not going to happen. We recycle. We turn off the lights when I leave the room. I love the earth but I also love that my sweet and innocent 8 year is more excited to stay home with me. See how smart they get in the 3rd grade? It is the whole age of accountability thing…It is amazing!

  14. i cracked up over this post and especially your son’s “special” box that he gets to keep his agate collection in! go, mom!

    did i tell you i had a dream about you last week? darn, i should have emailed you immediately because now i can’t remember anything about it– except that when i woke up, i thought how funny it was that you were in my dream when i’ve never met you irl. but that didn’t occur to me in the dream at all.

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