Those of you who follow my blog will already know about my – probably Aspergers – four year old, Gabriel and his gigantic obsession with astronomy, planets, stars, anything vaguely space related. But specifically our Solar System and the order of the planets and the sizes of the stars, from ours right up to the biggest known stars in our Universe. In fact, the only way they are managing him at school currently is to allow him to draw and label the solar system over and over for half the day while we’re waiting for him to be “statemented” and they can get an extra person in the classroom for him. He then comes home and does exactly the same thing for around two hours after school. Oh, and did I mention every second of every day that he’s awake he’s is talking at us, constantly telling us facts like “Mummmeeee? Pluto’s orbit crosses Neptune’s… Dadddeeeee? VY Canis Majoris is a red hypergiant… Riegel is a blue supergiant, Titan is yellow, did you know our Sun has hydrogen and helium?” He barely stops to draw breath from one end of the day to another and it is exhausting to listen to but we kind of love it. He is so completely passionate and his little face lights up with glee reminding us of those crazy super-animated physicists talking on the History channel’s ‘The Universe‘ programmes who we find really sweet! “Obsessed” doesn’t quite cover it.
So, I was delighted and amused when Gabs came home from school with something he had written which wasn’t planets-related and which I’m pretty sure – judging by the spelling – he had done all by himself:
I had to get him to translate it for me. It says,
“To my Gabriel..”
(he wrote it to himself in the manner of little love letters I write to him sometimes!)
“… and I love my Lucian (his little brother) and I love my mummy and my daddy and my cousins. Actually the most I love my mummy but daddy does silly things. Why does Daddy do silly things because he does..”
Sounds spot on to me! 🙂
So, back to planets. Gabs spends a lot of time watching his favourite learning videos on youtube and he often gets me to type things like “Space videos for kids” and “Sizes of the Planets” into the search bar as those are his favourites. He particularly likes one where they start with a closeup of Earth and then each frame zoom out showing the relative sizes of bigger and bigger planets, the whole solar system and then the bigger stars like Pollux, Aldebaran and VY Canis Majoris. This pen comes down and circles Earth to draw attention to how tiny it is in comparison! I’ve never watched it all the way through but I know he finds it hilarious because eventually Earth becomes invisible in the scale and I hear him snorting away to himself…
Anyway, I should have paid more attention to this particular video because here’s what I found when I came downstairs from bathing Lucian last night… Gabs had drawn the “Earth is Invisible” video frame by frame, sounding out the names himself and missing out most of the vowels in the process, but I knew what he meant and he showed me Oh, so proudly which order they went in…
Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto
Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus…etc.etc..
Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, (Earth)
“Ahh, how sweet!” I thought.. “He’s remembered the video exactly and tried to ‘sound them out'”! And then I saw the last one:
Antares, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Riegel, Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, and WTF.
Antares, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Riegel, Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, and WTF!
Errr, wait a minute…. “WTF”?!!! Wtf?!
A quick look at the end of the video revealed all (skip to 1:05):
He was very excitedly telling me,
“Look Mummy, that’s Rigel, and that’s Sirius, and that’s the Sun, and that’s Whatoof! Hahaha, Whatuff! Where’s the Earth gone!“
He was so delighted by his discovery of this new word – which from the context he understood perfectly to mean something along the lines of “OMG!” – that he kept holding his hands out to the side and pronouncing it dramatically,
“Whatuff, whatuff, whatuff Mummy!”
And then he went back to his drawing:
*Sigh!* I had to take his little collection of artworks into school and explain what had happened in case he decided to write it while he was there, but he hasn’t… yet! If your kids have done anything similar which has got, or nearly got you in trouble I’d love to hear about it!