I don't recall how this subject came up yesterday, but I will say that some of our best conversations take place in the car. I was driving down the road when Lukas asked this question. My quick definition of a mammal was any animal that makes milk to feed it's babies. I gave him a few examples including the baby animals we had seen at the zoo and told him they nurse their babies just like I used to nurse Ava (sorry if this is too much info for some of you). I know there is more to it than that, but since we were in the car, I didn't feel the need to list every characteristic of a mammal. He seemed to understand this simple definition...at least I thought he understood.
Lukas started successfully naming all kinds of mammals including zebras, dogs, cats, horses, cows, mice, etc... I thought that we had just completed a nice, spontaneous, successful science lesson until he said...
"So Mom, coconuts are mammals, right?"
"Um, no coconuts aren't mammals. They come from a plant."
"But mom, they have milk inside that babies can drink."
I meandered my way around that one as quickly as I could so that I didn't reveal the smile on my face or start laughing out loud. I told this story to Eric, and I think he was laughing more at me than at the story itself, so maybe you just had to be there. At any rate, I got a good laugh out of this, and I thought it was blog-worthy information.