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Phases of the moon never fail to faze the guys

Submitted by on Wednesday, 23 July 2008 No Comment

“Friday was a picture-perfect night at the ballpark. Breezy but not chilly, warm but not oppressive. And perched over the left field wall, like a backdrop from a Broadway production: a round, orange moon.

“”Oh, look, Mommy! It’s beautiful!”" Big Guy gasped.

And it was a gorgeous full moon. Full moon? Oh, crap.

We did a story almost 20 years ago when I was at a small southern West Virginia newspaper on moon phases and crime, looking at a year of police logs to see if misbehavior increased proportionally to the moon’s girth. It did.

Either we picked an aberrational year or we really are different in West Virginia. Although there are some national studies confirming our results, most scholarly works find no correlation between full moons and full jails, according to a University of Washington study of studies.

I refuse to believe that, and I have ample evidence from the past few days on my side. It’s anecdotal, but impressive:

  • A friend’s 5-year-old jerked his sandwich out of his lunch, growling, “”Peanut butter! I’m not gonna eat that.”" He tore the sandwich from the bag, squished it in his fist and hurled it in the trash. My friend told her son that packing lunch would be his and his daddy’s job from now on.
  • Monday morning, Big Guy didn’t want to get dressed for school. At least, that’s what his actions said. That’s not what he kept whining, though. “”I want to get dressed,”" he cried repeatedly. To which I’d calmly reply, “”So go get dressed.”" But instead of moving toward his room, he stayed in the kitchen and wailed.
  • The happiest kid at the guys’ preschool threw an Armageddon tantrum today. I’ve known this girl for three years and have never seen a single fit out of her. She’ll mix it up with her older brother sometimes, but angry outbursts are not her style.
  • And Little Guy, of course, seeing his friend’s hissy decided to pitch one of his own, for no other reason than the fact that the kids were on the playground when we got there and he wasn’t used to that. “”Don’t wanna go outside!”"

I suppose there are other logical explanations for this outbreak of brattiness.

Maybe a super-secret government experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been set loose over the valley and is turning sweet kids into growling beasties.

Perhaps an escapee from Area 51 has snatched our babies’ bodies.

Or possibly Microsoft delivered a secret “”torture the parents”" message via its wingdings font.

But I prefer to stick with the known, the proven. As far as I’m concerned, we proved it 20 years ago: The pull of the full moon increases criminal behavior. It’s only a tiny leap in logic from there to assume that it also turns out little angels into criminals.

It can’t be their faults. Clearly, parents aren’t to blame either.

Face it, folks. There’s no where to look but skyward.

Further evidence: Tonight, just as the new moon started to wane, the guys conked out in 15 minutes with minimal tattling, wrestling or other tomfoolery. Life is good again!

But mark it on your calendars: Next full moon’s coming up Aug. 16.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.”

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