REGURGITATE: to throw or pour back or out from or as if from a cavity
I try to be supportive of Son’s interests.
When he went through his cheetah phase, I checked out lots of books on the subject, researched the difference between cheetah and leopard spots, and participated in countless races.
When he went through his Star Wars phase, I found him a Darth Vader mask, solicited his talented grandmothers to make him a cape and chest shield, engaged in light-saber battles, and humored the “hide the Chewbacca figurine” game that lasted for weeks.
Now, he’s moved on to birds of prey. Everything was going great. In fact, his interest even overlapped with an owl unit at his preschool. He’s been painting owls for art. He went on a field trip to see owls at the zoo. Everything was going great until the regurgitated owl pellet was sent home.
For those of you not familiar with owl digestion, let me educate you:
Owls don’t chew their food. They swallow it and pass it directly to their two-part stomach. The soft parts of the food are ground up by muscle contractions. The insoluble items such as bones, fur and teeth are filtered out and compressed into a gizzard-size pellet that is regurgitated.
Well, as I was saying…Son brought a regurgitated owl pellet home from school. I found him intently concentrating on dissecting the pellet with toothpicks on our coffee table. There was a pile of rodent fur and various pieces of a rodent skeleton. Jaw bones, ribs, etc.
I’m a fan of science. I want to foster curiosity in my children. I, myself, enjoyed dissecting an owl pellet in elementary school. However, the years have changed my perspective on a regurgitated fur-ball filled with bones. Seeing a pile of rodent residue in the spot where I place my evening tea and popcorn totally grossed me out.
Since then, I’ve been doing my best to re-direct the bird of prey fascination toward activities that are less disgusting. To that end, I offer you our most recent baking activity (photo is from the FamilyFun website, but ours was equally adorable):
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life puts regurgitated owl pellets in your child’s backpack, you distract him with cupcakes.