I don't know how to say this except to come straight out with it. There's a dinosaur lurking in my backyard woods. It's hard to say how tall it is because, so far, it just peers at me from a menacing crouch. The nose to tail tip length, though, is about nine feet. It appears to be constructed of paper mache, and there's a good chance that I made it myself. I'm not a teenager anymore, you know, and forgetting things is what I do best these days.
I have never regretted that my children are all girls. Yet I admit to occasional pangs of envy while observing the sons of my friends effortlessly sweep up bags of groceries, twist jar lids open, or shoo away a garden snake for their moms. At our house, all four of us girls huddled and squirmed together on the couch waiting for daddy to come home and transport a spider back outside where it belonged. Girls in a creature invasion crisis? Worthless!
But now I have grandsons! - big and brave four year olds who thrilled to the task of taking up shovels to venture into the woods to hunt and gather dino eggs. Grandma can't handle a dozen pairs of beady ping pong eyeballs back there after the next crop of thought-to-be-extinct reptiles hatches. My fearless twins have made certain that will never happen.
This is the story of how we accomplished that formidable task......
Gathering time on Dinosaur Day was noon. Lunch was in order. What better place for a mood-setting edible Jurassic park than my kitchen table?
Let's see...an active mashed potato volcano is standard fare at a dino buffet. I guess it's because hot lava was a possible cause of extinction. Gooey tar pits didn't help early mammals stay healthy and happy either, but this curious gang doesn't seem troubled by the imminent danger. Must be that extra small heads encasing extra small brains = not a care in the world. Ah, to live like that! If only for one day!
A grove of bread stick trees provided a place to nestle a clutch of green grape eggs. It set the stage for the boys and their parents to graze on a meatball meal....if they could grab them before the four-legged carnivores did! But not to worry! The menu included something for everybody.......
The friendly Brachiosaurus eats shoots and leaves.
His companion, the ferocious T-Rex, eats, shoots, and leaves!
I'm actually a little annoyed at the Smithsonian Museum right now. They claim there were no dino bones found in the famed La Brea tar pits - only those of other species well after total extinction occurred. I didn't know that! How do I explain my chocolate-pudding-mini-Halloween-bone-sprinkled lake of doom to the boys?
|"See anybody you know in there?"
Can you believe how realistic these candy rocks and pebbles are? They are filled with chocolate and taste great!
As soon as teams were sated with shoots, leaves, bones and rocks, real work for real men commenced......
What if the boys encountered a problem out there?.........
.......After all, our little hunters ventured into a suburban area not one hundred feet from the nearest house. They arrived slathered in sun screen and bug spray, toting maps, a set of walkie-talkies, parents to team with, and a pair of overly anxious grandparents who hovered with cameras and home made energy bars! Any wonder why I'm called "Grandma Dino-Maniac?" (That's Paleontolian for "nervous one who leaves no fossil fragment unturned!")
All geared up and into the woods we go!
"Take ten big steps, count twenty more....jump up and roar like a dinosaur! Stay on the trail that's long and narrow, dig where you see a big red arrow!"
Mommy and daddy read clues from maps so digging took place only where evidence suggested there'd be a find!
Walkie-talkies made it easy to contact brother for extra help as needed.
With a total of eight eggs from five digging sites
it felt good to take an occasional break.
Was curiosity one of the things that killed the dinosaur? We're not sure, but we were certainly anxious to see what was hidden inside those eggs!
Will you look at that?! Toys and Candy! Dinosaur stickers! Bubbles! Glow Sticks! Play balls! Star Wars toothbrushes! Matchbox cars! Freeze dried dinosaur food! Silly String! WOW!
How could we possibly be afraid of that prolific and generous egg layer who makes her home in grandma's woods? She's our big green friendly friend!
We introduced ourselves and promised to come by often to play. She bellowed out an affectionate roar, exclaimed that she'd love that, and promised us she'd make every Halloween an unforgettable candy-collecting experience!!
How'd you like to open your door to this?
"Trick or Treat!
Fill these pumpkins!
BOTH of them!
Or I'll huff and I'll puff and
I'll blow your house down!"
Dinosaur Day was over. I sat down to enjoy a moment's satisfied reflection. Happy grandkids a happy grandma make. That is, until a horrifying thought occurred. What if the boys are sent to Kindergarten Time Out for challenging teacher on the extinction of dinosaurs? What if they enthusiastically wave their hands to proudly tell that it's not true?....that they themselves dug dino eggs in grandma's yard as recently as this summer?
So now it's back to the drawing board. I need to create a small paper mache brain inside a small dino shaped head for myself. Perhaps one of those would allow me the stumbling, bumbling, worry-free "what's-that?-a-tar-pit?" bliss that those creatures enjoyed. If only that were possible! Oh what a happy Dino-Maniac I would be!
See Notes From A Dino-Maniac for further details on everything you see here!