Some of our New Experiences are designed to teach my children about science or math or another important subject. New Experience #9 was not. Entering a Pie Eating Contest can only be classified as silly fun.
Now, technically, I could have infused some learning into the experience. The contest was part of Princeton’s Pi Day celebration, one of the nerdiest and silliest celebrations I’ve ever attended. Albert Einstein was one of Princeton’s most famous residents, and his birthday just happens to be March 14, or 3/14, which is the numeric equivalent of pi. So, the celebration is all about Einstein and pi. They just (literally) throw in a few pies to make Pi Day a bit more festive.
Since my children have no understanding of pi, and frankly, my understanding of it is pretty limited, I just told them we were going to a Pie Eating Contest. They can figure out the circumference of a circle and the infinite quality of pi in math class one day. I’m pretty confident that I can be a good mom without teaching that right now.
Back to the Pie Eating Contest: Luke and Leah were embarrassed when I pretended to be a competitive mom and told the judges I hadn’t fed my kids for three days in preparation for the contest. So, I promised to stay quiet after that. I told the kids I needed them to focus on the pie, not their embarrassing mother.
Leah’s age group went first. They were given tiny apple pies and told to keep their hands behind their backs for the entire 2 minutes of the contest. Leah dove right in while Luke cheered loudly. She didn’t mind getting messy, and ate most of the miniature pie in the designated time. I won’t brag, but she might have been a contender if they were awarding prizes.
Luke’s age group went next. Since they were strapping children of ages 7 through 10, they were given slightly larger pies with a crumb topping. Luke was excited to compete, but he was concerned about getting pie on his glasses. Leah happily came to his rescue and held his glasses for him.
As the contest started, Leah and I cheered while Luke slowly nibbled around the edges of his pie. I could hardly cheer through my incredulous laughter. Luke is generally a very messy eater. He is my child who leaves crumbs around his plate and under his seat every single time he eats. I often have to remind him to use silverware. I know if he has eaten yogurt for lunch because his shirt usually large blotches on it afterwards.
Yet during the Pie Eating Contest, Luke never put his face in the pie. He nibbled the crust for a full two minutes. When time was up, his pie looked uneaten, and his face was totally clean. If they were giving prizes for the neatest face, Luke would have won hands down.
I disappointed my children by refraining to enter the adult division. Normally, I am game for just about anything. However, my appetite was gone after watching the younger divisions go. Once I watched the adult division, I knew I made the right choice. It was a truly nauseating sight. I am pretty sure I can lead a long life and never regret my decision to forgo the contest.
As we watched the adults devour a full-sized pie in under two minutes, Luke ate some of his pie with a fork. He said, “You know, Mom, I think this contest was worth it. We got free pie.”
True. There are few things more satisfying in life than free pie.
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