It Smells Like the Moon

There are days when I feel like I’m raising Bill Nye’s daughter. Laylee is forever experimenting, probing and hypothesizing about the world. She has an uncanny memory and whips out scientific facts at the strangest times.


At the playground a few months ago, she pointed to the center post of the see-saw and said, “That’s the fulcrum. You need to have a fulcrum or the see-saw won’t work.”

It turned out that Dan had told her about fulcrums 6 months earlier and she had just stored the knowledge away, waiting to pull it out randomly and force me to download a copy of my Junior High science textbook to my PDA for future reference.

She’s been sniffing around outside at night and has come to the conclusion that the moon smells like smoke from a wood stove. She was shocked the other day when that scent was in the air in the middle of the day. “Why does it smell like the moon in the day time?” When I tried to explain what the smell really was, she promptly shut me down. “No, that smell is the moon.”

The moon may emit a rather strong aroma, but the sun does not smell like much of anything. In Laylee’s scientific universe, the sun’s job is to bring us night. “When the sun goes down, it’s night and when the dark goes down, it’s day.”

Her amazing discoveries teach me every day to put aside my backward notions about the nature of the universe. Since becoming her mother, I have learned that I am not flat, particularly in the abdominal region and that the solar system does not revolve around me. I wonder what other truths I’ll uncover on this amazing journey of motherhood.

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19 Responses to It Smells Like the Moon

  1. HLH says:

    My son is obsessed with the moon too! He is into the full moon vs. the cresent moon. I even had to look up when the next full moon was (nov.5th) so that we could observe it together.

    It truely is amazing how they can recall data from MONTHS ago.

  2. I love it. She is a very smart Lady.

    My daughter also has a special affair with the moon. I wonder what it is?

  3. Julie Q. says:

    I think all the great scientists kept their childlike curiosity their whole lives. We tend to “grow out of it” but kids aren’t afraid to be wrong. It’s amazing to me how often they are, in fact, right on. Great post (and darling picture).

  4. All this time, I thought the moon smelled like cheese. She’s such an advanced child. Way to be raising a smart, inquisitive girl, Mom.

  5. Just wait until she becomes a teenager and discovers that not only does the world NOT revolve around you but it revolves around HER.

  6. Elaine says:

    I love how my girls are constantly re-educating me about the world as well. It’s amazing how very little I know.

    And the moon? Of course it smells like woodsmoke. Why didn’t I think of that?

  7. wendy says:

    What a cute little smarty pants! I have a feeling this is the stuff of real life. Of joy. Of happiness. What a wonderful journey!

  8. Mom2Six says:

    Is she holding a BUTTERFLY? She’s beautiful!

  9. Goslyn says:

    I love the fact that she knows what a fulcrum is. Hysterical.

    When I was growing up, the air conditioning always took on the smell of our wood stove. For YEARS (until I bought my own home) I thought central air condition in a house smelled like woodsmoke.

  10. Oh, that was such a nice post, dym- and a lovely pic of Laylee. It’s the simple things in life, like kids, that make everything worthwhile…

  11. Brilliant post! I loved it. This was a great paragraph: “Her amazing discoveries teach me every day to put aside my backward notions about the nature of the universe. Since becoming her mother, I have learned that I am not flat, particularly in the abdominal region and that the solar system does not revolve around me.”

    Thanks for such a great blog.

  12. Karen says:

    What a joy she is. What a blessed mommy you are. 🙂

  13. krista says:

    I hate leaving you these dumb comments, but I couldn’t resist today.

    Ha! you are funny.

  14. sarah hart kingston says:

    Can we save the date – in 2026 – for your daughter to marry my son? He needs someone smart, and someone willing to fight to the death on the true nature of the universe. Noah told me the other day, as he was trying to get permission to play outside in the pitch dark, that he doesn’t need to see in the dark. “I’m kind of like a bat. I can hear the echoes.” I’m a little afraid of him.

    On a side note, what do I tell the hair-stylist if I want the same haircut as Laylee?

  15. Amy says:

    How old is she?! That’s amazing. I LOVE hearing all that little kids have to say about the world. Too, too funny. My daughter is also very astute to the ways of th world. She’s a hoot! And, like Laylee, our Sweetie loves experimenting, building, and discovering new things. Life is good.

    Amy 🙂

  16. Peter says:

    She’s beautiful and smart. You are a lucky Mom.

  17. Jessica says:

    Awww how smart she is!

  18. Want to know something funny? I am Bill Nye’s daughter. Really. Not Bill Nye the Science Guy, but my dad’s name really is Bill Nye.

  19. whymommy says:

    Awesome! What a fun kid! Sounds like someone we’d like to know. We’ve been reading the new Dr. Seuss science books lately (like There’s No Place Like Space), and my 2 year old is picking it up, much to my surprise. The other day he saw a picture of a planet and called it Mars. I said, actually, it’s Venus. Do you know anything about Venus? I was just goofing around. But he remembered the pictures. He puckered his face up and said, “hot!” Right on, little man!

    Just found your blog — we’ll be back!

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