Kindergarten, Planets, and Fist Fights

It’s not often my five-year-old twins end up in fisticuffs. For this I am thankful. It’s not that my refereeing abilities suck; it’s that if fighting were commonplace I’d have to actively parent.

The boxing matches have started the past three nights, after the good night tuck in. Evidently, William and Vivian, each surrounded by a menagerie of stuffed animals in their twin beds, thought this was a good time to debate what they’ve learned in their respective kindergarten classes.

I May Ban All Interplanetary Conversation

Night 1, Fight 1

So there I was sitting in the living room, drinking tea with a friend while Norah Jones crooned softly on the stereo. This peaceful tableau lasted about five minutes before being interrupted by murderous screams.

I climbed the stairs in three strides and started with my usual parenting question: “Hey, Hey, what’s going on here?” [For full effect, insert Canadian accent. If you don’t know how to do this, imagine the vowels are flat pancakes instead of perky cream puffs].

“He’s hitting me,” Vivian screamed.

“She hit me first,” William countered.

You know how this goes. The tennis game continues, with blame being volleyed over the net with surprising endurance. Then the time out, a metaphorical one, where I attempt to figure out what the real problem is.

“William says there’s lava on Neptune,” Vivian shouts.


“I mean fire,” says Will.



“There’s no fire on Neptune,” Vivian says.

“Yes there is.”

“No there’s not.”

“Stop!” I shout.

I can’t remember how I resolved this, but I eventually got them into their beds and asleep. I do know that later my research assistant, Google, told me that an album by the heavy metal band Ancestors was called Neptune with Fire. I’m hoping that’s not part of the kindergarten music program.

Further research courtesy of my Physics friend revealed that one of Neptune’s moons, Triton, has volcanoes on it that shoot out something akin to frozen Nitrogen pellets.

But they couldn’t have covered this in Kindergarten, could they? What happened to learning about colours?

Night 2, Fight 2

Interplanetary Warfare, Take 2.

With both kids safely tucked in, I watched the Oscars, in spite of the fact that I’ve seen only one movie in the past three years. Somewhere during one of those categories that no one really cares about — like Best Make-up – the screaming started again. This time Vivian and William yelled and wrestled their way downstairs.

“Mom,” asked Vivian, “what’s the hottest planet?”

“Umm, I don’t know – Mercury?”

“See, I told you so,” said Viv.

“No it’s not! It’s Venus,” said William, clearly miffed.

“Well, Mercury is the closest,” I added, proud that I knew one scientific fact.

“But Venus is hotter!”

“No it’s not.”

“Okay okay. It’s a tie. They’re both hot. Now go to bed. Now!”

My husband later informed me that he thought Venus was hotter, something to do with the atmosphere. And he was right: Venus is indeed hotter as massive amounts of carbon dioxide in its atmosphere create a greenhouse effect.

Night 3

No fight, but both kids rushed into our bedroom to inform us that Pluto sometimes orbits closer than Neptune.

Now excuse me as I go scour Wikipedia, trying to prepare for tonight’s fight, which I’m predicting is going to be “Is Pluto really a planet?”

Not sure what I’ll do when they hit Grade One.


  1. says

    Gosh. Your part of Canada is light years ahead of my part. When we were in BC, they were doing numbers. And colours. Not space time continuum and planetary environmentalism. Zoiks!

  2. says

    Not sure if it’s ahead or just different. Although I do know this: 5-year-olds (or at least mine) are able to absorb a lot of information. Last night there was talk of a new planet named ???

    • says

      Apparently (according to my DD) there’s some new planet that starts with S. She knows the name…I want to say September, but I think that’s a month.

  3. says

    Things that crossed my mind as I read your post:
    – the days that require actual active parenting are a bummer, especially when they get in the way of the Oscars.
    – it is likely that most 5 year olds know more about planets and stuff than I do
    – i fear for what I will be Googling every night in years to come trying to help my kids with their homework, and in a weak attempt to appear learned and wise.
    – Never heard of the heavy metal band Ancestors. I’m either that old or that fortunate.

    Funny post!

  4. says

    This reminds me of that smarter than a fifth grader show. There are so many things kids learn that none of us remember as adults. Planets is cetainly on topic. By the way, I am still upset that Pluto got demoted. I feel cheated.

    • says

      My daughter calls Pluto a “dwarf planet.” I said, “Shouldn’t we call it a little people planet?” She gets intro Physics, but not my humour, which is much more base.

  5. says

    Heehee – Hate that voice!! And if it helps my 7 month old just got his foot caught in the dishwasher (don’t ask).

    I’ve got a whole bunch of adoption-related comment peeves from strangers, which I wrote about in my post “Daddy must be a black, black man” – things like coming up to me and saying “What is he?” or “How long did you wait?” or ” Is he yours?” and “Why didn’t she keep him?”

    • says

      I can’t believe the “black, black man” comment. That is just wrong on so many levels. Great post, by the way (I commented back at your site).

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