Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus, shmolombus

biscuit: Mommy, why don't I have school today?

me: I think it's part of a larger plot to drive me crazy.

biscuit: No, really, though?

me: Well, it's Columbus Day.

biscuit: I KNOW THAT GUY. My teacher told us.

me: What did your teacher say?

biscuit: He found something.

me: Eh... not really. See, he lived in Europe, and his king and queen didn't know that there was land on the other side of the ocean. So they sent Columbus over here, and he landed in the place that's now the United States, and he stuck a flag in it and decided he'd discovered it.


me: Yeah, but buddy, people already lived here. The Native Americans had been here for thousands of years. They had towns, families, tribes. So is it possible to discover something that's already been discovered?

biscuit: Yes! No! But my teacher said...

me: Your teacher knows a lot of things, but she's not always right. You can't own something that someone else already owns. What if somebody walked into our house right now and said, "I FOUND THIS HOUSE! I OWN IT!"

biscuit: Then daddy would use jiu-jitsu on them?

me: Exactly. We wouldn't say, "Oh, okay. You found our house. You can have it. We'll go somewhere else."

biscuit: But I thought Columbus was good.

me: Eh... I think he thought he was good. But you'll notice there are a lot more white people running around than Native Americans. Columbus wasn't so cool to them.

biscuit: Oh, I REMEMBER them. They're called INDIANS.

me: Eh... let's just call them Native Americans for now, okay?

biscuit: But my teacher said...

me: Your teacher isn't always right. Remember when she told you that you should get her a present because it would be her anniversary if she wasn't divorced?


me: No, we weren't. The thing is, there are two sides to every story, and I think Columbus Day is one of the most ridiculous, horrible holidays on the planet. Half the people go to work or school, the other half don't, which means only half the people can do their job. There's no mail, which means my Harry & David gift basket won't be arriving. There's nothing to celebrate. It wasn't a real accomplishment. Or, at least, the accomplishment of sailing across the ocean was canceled out by the genocide. And now they're force-feeding it to you in school, and I have to basically tell you that your school, or your teacher, or your government is lying to you, which is a lot to take in when you're five.

biscuit: Um... so what do we do?

me: We relax and have a nice day off, regardless of why.

biscuit: Okay. I'll put on a dress and draw a heart for you.

me: That will officially make it the BEST COLUMBUS DAY EVAR.



t. said...


Validation said...

If I didn't think it already before, I would say this post registers you in the land of super awesome.

Rachel said...

In South Dakota it's not Columbus Day - it's Native American Day. :)

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

My daughter said let's celebrate Columbus Day by going into a house we like and tell the residents that it's ours, and just for giggles give them syphilis too.

The Vikings landed on what is the US long before Columbus ever left Spain. And he only got to the Dominican Republic. The Italians have it all wrong, lets let the Norwegians show them how to party.

Simply Valorie said...

Yesssss. I one hundred percent agree with this. I agree with it so much, I needed to spell out 100%.

So, here's to the guy that gave us all syphilis and didn't accomplish anything he set out to do. Hooray!

Alice Istanbul said...

She's so lucky to have such an awesome mother like you.

And what the f@#% is wrong with that teacher.

Anonymous said...

The biscuit's teacher sounds like a jerk. Really? A present on her would-be anniversary? Tell me that's made-up by you.

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

I write books for a living, and even *I* can't make up crap like that. Granted, anything a 5yo says comes with a 50% chance of being wildly wrong. But still.

EttyOop said...

You = rock. My kids and I have the same sorts of conversations (not that we were off for Columbus day). I also, when my students asked why we don't have Columbus Day off, asked them why we should celebrate a holiday about a man who went to someone else's home, claimed it for his own, and forcibly enslaved teh residents.

Also Biscuit's teacher is... well, ther are no words.