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Petrification: The Spanking of the 21st Century

Tonight's dinner dialogue between Bryce, John, and me:

J: Bryce, tell mom about what happened at school this afternoon!

B: Oh yeah! We had VISITORS!

J: But what kind of visitors?

B: Scientists!

J: And what did they tell you about?

B: They had this [flailing arms in some semblance of a circle] stuff from a tree [more flailing].

Me: I don't know what that means.

B: It was part of the branch, but the middle, big part!

Me: You mean the trunk of the tree?

B: Yeah, the trunk!

Me: Or the bark?

B: Yeah, the bark of the trunk of the tree. It looked like this [more flailing, I can only assume he was trying to "draw" the tree rings in the air].

J: I think maybe it was petrified wood, right Bryce? Was it petrified?

B: [Alarmed, confused, eyes wide, wheels turning] NO, I HOPE NOT!!

Mouth pain or not, I busted out laughing at that one. Who knows what this kid thinks "petrified" means. Maybe he thinks people can be petrified. He looked like he was envisioning some evil force harshly punishing this innocent tree bark, when all it was doing was growing quietly in the forest. The look on his face could have been saying, "geez, if someone does that to an innocent old tree, what the HELL is going to happen to me? I purposely push these people to the brink of insanity every day. Crap. What have I done?! And why did no one tell me of this 'petrified' consequence before?"