Paige's class doesn't do show and tell--they do show and teach. Each kid has to bring something that they can teach the class about. Because Paige is toward the end of the alphabet, we got to hear about what the other kids were doing before she had her turn.
Paige raved about Abbey's show and teach about the Chinese zodiac. Abbey even sent everyone home with a handout that told what years were associated with each animal. Paige spent the afternoon saying, "Dad, you were born in the year of the monkey. Mom, you were born in the year of the goat. Great Grandma was born in the..." and on and on.
But Abbey's presentation paled in comparison to Hector's, who brought real life shells all the way from a beach in Mexico. All of the kids even got to touch the shells and put them up to their ear so they could hear the ocean.
When it came time for Paige's turn, she really wanted to share something good.
"Maybe you could take one of dad's keyboards and teach them some of the things you've learned at your piano lessons," Traci suggested.
Nope, not good enough.
"Maybe you take some of Curtis' monster trucks and teach them the scoring rules of Monster Jam," I suggested.
No matter what we offered up, it just wasn't interesting enough, Paige protested.
That's when I got an idea.
"Mom, are you going to the ranch this weekend?" I asked my mother over the phone. "You are? Would you mind picking up some sheep bones if you see any around? Excellent. Thanks."
Real life bones. That'd be better than a handout or a stupid shell, for sure.
"Paige," I said, "Do you think you'd want to take some bones for your show and teach?"
Her eyes lit up and her head nodded in approval.
When we got to my mom's to pick up the bones, there was a surprise for us. My mom hadn't settled for some boring old sheep bones. She'd brought home this:
Paige was ecstatic.
"I think a few of the neck vertebrae are still attached," my mom exclaimed.
I was a little bit nauseous.
Sure, a real life cow skull seems awesome enough. But it smelled horrible. And I was a little hestitant to actually touch it.
"Oh, and I put a dead mouse in that bag, too," my mom added, "in case Paige wants to take that, too."
I was about to throw up.
The skull proved to be unwieldy at best. We couldn't find a box big enough to carry it in and it smelled so bad (even after I soaked it in bleach) that we had to keep it out on the side of the house until the day Paige took it to school.
When the big day arrived, the skull wouldn't fit in Paige's backpack. And I ended up having to carry it to her class for her. "Uh, hi first grade teacher. I'll just set this box o' cow skull on this desk over here."
When I got home from work that night, I was pretty excited to see how the presentation had gone.
"Paige, how'd it go? What did the class think about your skull?"
"They liked it. My teacher passed it around and let everyone touch it if they wanted to."
"So, what did you tell them about it?"
"I told them the things we practiced." [The number of bones in a cow's body, what bones are made of, etc.]
"But I added one part to my speech."
"Oh, yeah. What was that?"
"I told them, 'These are bones of a cow who trespassed.'"
Wow. I'm not sure where she got that from. But I guess all you cows out there better beware.