Thursday, 9 March 2017

Penguins Can't Do Star Jumps.

I am only very, very occasionally wrong, but when I am, I try to really go for it.

The 5 Year Old has had an exciting day at school full of all sorts of adventures. "We sat on the carpet!", just to give you a flavour.

Anyhow, the list eventually ends with "We had Eric, and it was about a penguin!"

Crikey. "What's Eric?"

"You know, Eric!"

"Well, obviously not. Is Eric one of your teachers?"

"No, it's a type of reading lesson. Eric."

"I think you might have misheard that, darling. I doubt that there is a reading scheme called Eric!"

Now, little did I know at this point, but my hubris was already starting to show. When I laughingly typed "Eric Reading" into ye olde internet later, I discovered it meant "Everyone Reading In Class" and really was an actual thing. Still, enough of this nonsense!

"Well, it is, and it was a story about a little penguin," The 5 Year Old persists. "I'm a penguin!" And she begins to walk in much the same fashion as when she was a robot, only with arms at her side.

"Is that how penguins walk?" I muse.

"Yes," she nods, "and this is how penguins do star jumps!" Which is like normal star jumps, only with immobile arms once again. "And the splits!" Likewise.

"I don't think penguins do star jumps," says the smuggity-smug Eric-denier.

"Why not?" asks the star jumping 'penguin'.

"Well, they only have one leg, don't they?"

"Why has the penguin only got one leg??" She is horrified enough to freeze on the spot.

"No, that's not what I meant. I mean, sort of, one foot."

"Did a polar bear bite their other foot off??"

"I'm not describing this very well," I soliloquise. "What I mean is, their body isn't split into two legs, it goes all the way down to the bottom and then two sort of joined together flippers stick out."

I'm struggling to describe this, so call on all of the literary techniques I learnt in my English degree. Then give up and do a little mime of something whose body goes all the way down to the bottom and then two sort of joined together flippers stick out. Walking.

The 5 Year Old joins in. She tries to jump without separating her legs. She cannot.

"Penguins can't do star jumps," she sighs.

"I know," I say. A tiny piece of her imagination dies, but at least my superior scientific knowledge has triumphed.

Except, there's that infuriating internet ruining things again! Not only do most species of penguin have two very distinct legs, on which they walk very much like a 5 Year Old robot, but YouTube is full of videos of them leaping six feet in the air, doing somersaults and, yes, something approaching a star jump. Seriously, who knew?

It's OK, though. She doesn't know the Wi-Fi password...

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