“It’s OK Pluto, I’m Not a Planet, Either.”

(Image from here)


“Mom, did you know that the planet closest to the sun is Mercury?”


(My inner geek silently squeals with glee.  Now, to capitalize on this glimmer of interest by overloading him with information!)


“Cool!  Do you know the names of the other planets?”


“Well, I guess there’s Earth, cause we’re here, and then, I don’t know, Mars?”


I  list the others.  The 5 year old giggles himself purple when we get to Uranus.


“There’s a sentence you can use to remember the names.  The first letter of each word is the first letter of each planet.”  (Can I explain the concept of a mnemonic in conjunction with an astronomy lesson?  No, even I have limits)


“OK, shoot.”


“It goes ‘My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine….oh MAN, I forgot that they demoted Pluto!”


So I spent the rest of the day not doing housework trying to come up with a new mnemonic. 


The old one was perfect, the way it was so easy to remember, the way it even tied back into astronomy.


I tried to keep that.  But it was hard.


Also hard?  Keeping it age appropriate.


Eight hours later, and sadly, this was the very best I could do:


Mom’s Violent Energy Makes Junior, Sporadically, Use Narcotics.


(I expect credit, when you use this.  And you will.  Use it, that is.)

18 responses to ““It’s OK Pluto, I’m Not a Planet, Either.”

  1. My very elegant mom just served us noodles.

    (I’m sorry, but where I come from–UMD–mom was elegant. And I can’t even remember the original one… What did she serve? Where was Dad? But your one is much better, anyway).

  2. My very expensive milkshake just spit up nickels?

    I don’t have kids. This type of creativity hasn’t developed in me yet.

  3. Haha, all kinds of learning become so much more fun when you connect them to narcotics.

  4. Just say that over and over while vaccuming and I promise the kid can go to meetings with me when he’s an adult.
    ha ha ha ha!

  5. For the also geeky buffs, to remember the hierarchy of organism classification:

    Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

    Kinky Penguins Came Over For Great Sex.

    You’re welcome. Of course, it was much better when recited – complete with litte waddling dance – by my grade 11 teacher who was otherwise staunch and somewhat frightening.

  6. After Pluto’s humiliating demotion, I came across a piece of flare that said this:

    Dear Earth,

    Fuck you!


    That sums it up nicely, I think. I no longer have a mnemonic device to help remember the planets. Plus, after dissing Pluto, there is talk there may be more planets?

    Anyway, Pluto- you’ll always be a planet to me. I don’t care what a bunch of loser astronomers say.

    That is all.

  7. People In The Sun: Wow, that’s MUCH better for a 5 year old – I think we’ll go with that.

    Bluestreak: That’s wonderful! The other one I came up with was “Most Very Elegant Men Just Shouldn’t Use Nair.” So, yeah, it’s hard to be creative…

    chadhend: That’s what we call “State Dependent Learning” 😉

    mongoliangirl: That’s oddly reassuring.

    Em: How did I get through Bio 30 without that? Thank you!

    mtnlover: I, too, refuse to accept its demise. It’s like when your uncle gets a divorce, but you still call his ex-wife your aunt. That’s just the kind of person I am.

  8. I had to google this being as uneducated as I am. I had no idea Pluto was thrown in the proverbial garbage like that! I mean, how can something be one thing for so long and Bam just like that – demoted!

    I like mtnlover’s comment.

  9. Good job but they are going to have to get one for the kids. I dont think the little ones should remember narcotics lol

  10. I still remember the one we learned here in Franklin lo these many years ago:

    Mike visits every Monday and (for the asteroids around Mars) just stays until noon.

    It ended with the word “period” for Pluto. But it works fine without it.

  11. That’s pretty good, I probably will use it!

  12. your kid: Mom, what are narcotics?

  13. vinomom: I was talking to someone about writing this, and they, too, had no idea about poor Pluto’s downfall. You are not alone.

    Loni: There aren’t as many good N words as you’d think…

    hereinfranklin: That’ll work 🙂

    cdv: It’s yours, go forth.

    jessica: They go to public school. No need to be coy.

  14. I was just going to fine tune the old one, which I knew as My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. So now I guess she just served us noodles. Works for me.

    Do you know there’s a mnemonic to help you memorize a bunch of digits of pi? (Speaking of geeky.) It goes something like “How I need a drink, alcoholic of course… etc”. The number of letters in each word is the digit.

  15. Tara: I got all stuck on the beauty of having the word “Planets” in the old mnemonic. Noodles are perfect. (And no, I did not know about the pi mnemonic. That’s a serious slice of geek pie, right there.)

  16. My Very Educated Mother Just Smacked Us Nutty

    Hey I really liked that note to Earth from Pluto that cracks me up.

  17. We used to use the Nine Pizzas one at work, but I changed it to My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos. It’s gone over pretty well so far! I like yours, but I don’t think I can use it when I’m teaching astronomy to 8-year-olds.

  18. If she was all smart and educated, wouldn’t she know that nachos are incredibly high in salt and fat? 😉

    But the smacking nutty? I can see that…

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