Loveliest of All

A long time ago, when the Earth was green
There was more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen
They’d run around free while the Earth was being born
And the loveliest of all was the unicorn. — Shel Silverstein

I learned recently that Kaiya is interested in sharks. In fact, she’s interested in – and quite knowledgeable about – many kinds of animals. She discounts a lot of the things she tells me about herself by adding an I’m not very good at science disclaimer, which troubles me some. I tell her endlessly that I think she’s very good at science (or math, or making friends, or whatever else she discounts), and that we all have different strengths and likes and dislikes.

But I was struck by her telling me how much she likes and knows about sharks because it’s something in which my niece Jessie also claims interest. Every year during Shark Week on the National Geographic Channel, Jessie posts something on Facebook about being glued to the television because, well, Shark Week, which is apparently a Thing.

Anyhoo, Monday night I was watching the kids at their house while their Mommy and Daddy went on a date. Kaiya turned the television to the National Geographic Channel so that we could watch Shark Week programs just likes she watches with her dad. Except that I’m not particularly interested in or knowledgeable about sharks and he apparently is.

The program that was running when she turned it on was about hammerhead sharks…..

I think hammerhead sharks look a bit like cartoon characters though they are quite real, thank you very much. As we watched, I commented to Kaiya that I found it funny that their eyes were on the side of their, what? Nose? You know, the hammer part. Without missing a beat, Kaiya said, “I know, but that’s the same as unicorns. Their eyes are on the side of their heads too.”

(SPOILER ALERT) Now, I know unicorns are not real. But I just learned a week ago that neither Kaiya nor Mylee believe in the tooth fairy. I learned this the night that they were staying overnight. Court had telephoned me earlier to tell me that Mylee had lost a tooth and asked if I would mind playing Tooth Fairy. I didn’t mind at all, of course, but was amused to learn later that they are apparently pulling a fast one on their dad, who doesn’t know that they don’t believe there is a little fairy that comes into your bedroom, reaches under your covers, swipes your tooth and leaves cashola. What’s next in the Destroying-Childhood-Dreams arena? No little bunny that hops around the world and leaves colored hard boiled eggs and Jelly Bellies?

But back to Kaiya and unicorns. I responded to her comment about unicorns having eyes on the side of their heads by saying, “Yes, I guess that’s true.” To which she responded, “Nana, (in the way only our grandkids can say our name so that they might as well be saying You Dumb Yahoo) there is no such thing as unicorns.”

Well, I knew that, I informed her, but she eyed me suspiciously nevertheless. I reminded her that she had recently manufactured unicorn poop out of Play Doh……

And I also told her about a news article from Fast Company I saw recently from which I learned that the millennial demographic (of which her parents are part) apparently likes All Things Unicorn these days. It’s become one of the best marketing ploys.

There is unicorn hair color…..

….and unicorn Frappuccinos from Starbucks…..

…..and unicorn makeup…..

And, what’s more, there have been five unicorns spotted in real life!…..

I think maybe unicorns are real and hammerhead sharks are not. I’m firm on that.