10 Weird Obsessions Kids Have Asked Their Moms to Research

10 Weird Obsessions Kids Have Asked Their Moms to Research

From snakes to volcanos to time travel, these are some curious kids!

By Wendy Robinson

If you were to look at the search history on my laptop, you might get the mistaken impression that I am an amateur herpetologist. I’ve been looking up reticulated pythons, anacondas, black mambas, king cobras, and all other manner of slithery creatures. I can now tell you which snake is the longest (python) or heaviest (anaconda) and even what snake allegedly killed Cleopatra (the asp).

In addition to the Internet searches, I’ve been reading an encyclopedia of snakes at bedtime and saving snake shows on the DVR. My 6-year-old is obsessed and I am learning way more than I ever imagined I would. I even have a favorite snake now (the African puff adder, for no good reason).

I asked around to see if any of my friends had similar experiences with their kids. It turns out my search history is basically the exact opposite of Carrie’s, who tells me that her 5-year-old daughter has her learning about “all things princess related! ‘Did Cinderella ever exist? How many princesses are there? Are there princesses in real life? What do real-life princesses look like?’”

Michaela, the mom of a 6-year-old boy, might appreciate a princess break after years of following her son’s interests: “When my son was 3,” she says, “he was obsessed with monster trucks. I have an embarrassing wealth of knowledge about them and know most by name. He's now 5 and we've moved on to Star Wars. I feel like it's a foreign language reading the books, playing with the toys, and understanding all the characters. So, so painful.”

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Another little guy making his mom learn about animals is Stephanie’s 6-year-old son, who has an obsession with tarsiers, a type of teeny primate with disproportionately huge eyes typically found in southeast Asia. “What started out as seeing it in an animal alphabet book and freaking out, a year later, we are doing ‘tarsier eyes!’ with little brother and running around the house being tarsiers. And of course he asks everyone if they like them – but no one knows what they are! So then he does said ‘tarsier eyes’ which, of course, explains it all.”

If you have any questions about historical natural disasters, just ask Kim, whose 7-year-old son is all about “Pompeii – random, I know.”

Kristin can fill you in on science and astronomy, including “ultra-deep field space, the rings of Saturn, and [whether] time travel [is] possible – not what I expected my 6-year-old to inquire about.”


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Sometimes being forced to facilitate a kid’s obsession can result in some unexpected fun, as Melissa shares: “I have had to learn a LOT about superheroes (I never followed them as a kid) and have had to really [become] knowledgeable in that department. I have also had to become a master block builder – not something that was popular for girls back in my day – and much to my surprise, I really LOVE doing that and feel like I really missed out on some cool childhood activities!”

I have to admit that snakes are growing on me, and like Melissa, I’m finding myself having some fun while looking for great snake photos online. I can’t wait to see what the next obsession is.

What obsession have you found yourself learning way too much about?

Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom, and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.wordpress.com

Image ©iStock.com/WhitneyLewisPhotography

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