Snow and Zygotes

First, the snow. The snow fell and fell. All day yesterday. All through the night. Until about 3 o’clock this afternoon. At least 15 inches. Probably more.

The girls could barely walk in the pile of white stuff. Sophie struggled mightily to remain standing. But boy did they have fun. The photo below also depicts the freaky French snowman (in a semi-melted state) I described the other day.


Now, the zygotes. I tried desperately to get some work done today, and succeeded for the most part. Except when the girls invaded the attic space to complain that they were bored. And that they had nothing to do. During one of those visits (I think there were about 10 of them during the course of the day), Chloe asked me what a zygote was. So I explained that it was a cell formed by the union of a sperm and an egg.

That’s when she started to grin. “What’s a sperm?” I explained that male animals produce sperm and female animals produce eggs. “Does that have something to do with how babies are made?” Here we go again. “Yes.” More smiles. “But I thought babies are made when a man’s you-know and a woman’s you-know touch.” Chloe actually used the correct terminology, but I don’t want to attract weirdos to this blog by using words that perverts would Google search. “That’s the very basic gist of it. How’d you know that, anyway?” I inquired. “A friend told me about it last year.” More smiles. “I need to get back to work now. I’m really, REALLY, busy,” I told her, hoping against hope that she’d sense the desperation in my voice and leave me alone.

However, it then occurred to me – where had she heard the word ‘zygote?’ It turns out that her teacher had asked the students to flip through a dictionary and choose 10 words and write down their definitions. Chloe went to the letter ‘z’ and chose ‘zygote’. I asked her if the teacher saw her list – I’m thinking this is not a word the 3rd grade teacher is going to want to discuss in class. But it was Chloe’s lucky day, because before she had a chance to present her list, another girl had chosen the same word for her list (it must have been the last word in the dictionary they were using). And she presented it to the teacher, who nixed it. When Chloe’s classmate saw that Chloe had also chosen ‘zygote’, she warned Chloe that it was on the banned word list and Chloe diligently crossed it out.

Zygotes. God help me.

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