I recently talked with a teacher who informed me that his sixth grade classes no longer related to human beings as mammals. When he brought this topic up in science class, the kids argued that we weren’t mammals…only animals are mammals. Our sophisticated lives have taken us a long ways from our “animal” roots. Yet, watching the animal kingdom can be helpful to us as parents. We would never expect a hummingbird to walk around pecking at the earth like a chicken. A skinny hippopotamus would be ridiculous and a racing ox…just plain silly. Who would ever medicate a hummingbird in order to get it to slow down and fly “normally?” And who would rev up the metabolism of a hippo? Yet, sometimes we judge ourselves and our offspring with a wide and ludicrous brush in order to fit in or be “good parents.” Are you the parent of a hummingbird? Well, enjoy them, for hummingbirds expend a lot of energy seeking that which is sweet. And if by chance you find yourself parenting a slow and thoughtful sloth, applaud their caution and judicious use of resources! We’re not birds or reptiles….., but we are after all, mammals.