Warning: This is gross.
My daughter is a scientist.
I think I first began to realize this when she was about five, and her younger brother broke his head open. I was trying to shield her from the medical procedures and all the blood, but I gradually noticed that she wasn’t scared, and was, in fact, trying to peer around me to see what they were doing.
Ever since, she has been more fascinated than horrified by all kinds of gruesomeness. When the cat ate a (pet) mouse, she wanted to see the remains. She has an active leaf-pressing project ongoing.
Milk carton project, nature poster, messy desk
When it came time for the science fair, she came up with the idea to see if snails moved more quickly over different surfaces. She got a 4 on her science fair project, the equivalent of a third-grade A+. Her grandparents gave her a microscope for Christmas, and she launched the great search for examination materials project.
Microscope, slides, random wire
Her room is full of small cups of rotting debris. She has ruminated over becoming either an ornithologist or a marine biologist. When I’m not feeling angered by it, I attribute her messy room to her creativity. It’s basically a rat hole. So at least I’m hoping it’s creative and not neurotic.
Aging acorn caps, more slides
The problem with scientists is that they aren’t always super connected to reality. On the last day of school, my partner made us a special french toast breakfast. I stood at his elbow as he cooked, taking whiffs of the fragrant breakfast. Enter Selah.
“When I woke up, I got a really bad bloody nose!” she announced. I cringed slightly, but understood, because this is a common family problem.
“It bled and it bled and it bled all over the place!” I noticed Leon’s skin crawling, and opened my mouth to stop the breakfast discussion of blood.
Before I could say anything, she announced gleefully, “Then I barfed up this really gross thing that was all bloody!” The boys crowded around, their interest piqued.
“OK, that’s enough! Please stop,” Leon begged. I shuddered. Selah nodded, looking surprised but then as if she grasped what the problem was.
So I guess that’s why I only found out by overhearing her conversation with a friend that she had immediately taken the barfed-up object (blood clot?) and examined it under the microscope. “It really just looked like a red blob,” she said, disappointed.