Of late I have been spending a relatively high proportion of my time hiding in dark corners, no not drinking gin (oh how I wish), but furiously churning out Google search after Google search in response to the boy’s increasingly curious mind.
You see there is nothing like the application of a small child to your life to make you feel inexorably stupid. Apart from my specialist subject of Watership Down, my general knowledge could best be described as dire. I am useless at a pub quiz and may even struggle to remember the name of the Prime Minister under pressure (It’s a mind blank thing ok).
Over the the years i have also become far too ready to accept the status quo. If I were to be asked something like ‘how do planes fly?’ I could chuck in a few choice words (something about pressure, velocity and drag) but in essence I don’t really know. They just ‘do’ fly despite the fact it doesn’t exactly look like they should.
Then if i am asked a question that i do actually know the answer to there is the issue of trying to explain it in a way that a small person understands, using suitable terms and concepts. Such a conundrum, I found myself in just the other day….
I said something like ‘Lightning is the fastest race car in the whole world’
‘What’s the world Mummy?’
‘…Well it’s where we are. It’s got our house on, Nana’s and Pop’s house, parks and…um…stuff…’
He smiles, satisfied with my happy but crude description and carries on turning his cars into makeshift hedgehogs using play-doh and cocktail sticks (there are some blessings to a short attention span).
When J got home from work I regaled him with the conversation. His verdict – ‘That’s the sh*test answer anyone has given to that question, ever.’
A tad harsh I felt considering that the subjects of space, planets and other countries had never properly been broached before. Confident it would be a challenge for anyone to explain in simple terms I looked up the definition:-
‘The World – The earth, together with all of its countries.’ But also ‘One’s World – One’s life and activities’
So if I chucked in a few additional people, and of course lest not forget Pre-School, then I guess you could say I was actually right. Or at least, not exactly wrong.
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)
I thought that was a very good answer! I hear you. I’m in exactly the same predicament. Thankfully, little T is happier with questions like “Why do we have feet mummy?” at least that’s easy to answer right? What gets me now is that she seems to be obsessed with “growing up and ask things like “What’s next after I’ve become a big girl?” I answer, teenager and so on. Oh and she’s concluded that after you become an old woman, the next stage is you become a dead one! Kids! I love them :) xx
yep i just read your post – she sounds like a nightmare!! ;)
This really moved me because it made me think of the importance of our little world in context with the wider world-both important but difficult to grasp at times (sometimes for us adults). Thanks as ever for a thought provoking read. Loved this!
Thanks Vicki – I kind of want to move back into his! x
I look forward to decent questions. All I get at the minute is ‘WHY?’ x
Ha! Be careful what you wish for :)
I just found your blog via a post that went viral (A memo to all toddlers re. your diet) and it is fast turning into one of my favourites! Please keep up the good work. I have a 20 month old and it is so good to see someone else have similar issues to me! Great blog :)
Thanks so much for your lovely comment Aileen – so glad you like it *blushes* x
Lovely post! I am about half a step ahead of my children’s questions but it’s not going to be long before they suss me. One’s world also sounds very regal and lahvly, the sort of place where gin flows from golden taps. Xx
Gin from golden taps wow *stares wistfully into the distance*
I always get asked the most ludicrous questions, it is really hard to come up with answers. The way in which her mind works really fascinates me. ;)
Strange beings aren’t they!
I love your pictures. Reminds me of the one that involved bloody bricks.
On a serious note, your answer was fine. There are years and years and thousands of questions that can be filled with technical answers.
lol thanks Donna they take hours and hours of painstaking work so glad you appreciate them x
Your world looks nice, aside from that see saw that clearly does not comply with playground health and safety regs.
Don’t dob me in!!
What the hell did parents do before Google?! I am also guilty of giving Cherry the worst answers when she asks me questions, especially if they are to do with the moon and sky which they always seem to be when we are outside! x
ha glad its not just me! Its hard to get the balance right isn’t it – giving them credit to understand things whilst also not confusing the hell out of them x
Love your world view.
David Cameron btw. No need to thank me. I try and blank him from my mind.
ha ha me too – that must be the problem!
We are here too and you tube comes in handy for stopping the questions for a short while – just find the longest video about the chosen subject.
Brilliant idea :)
We are just getting into this bit, luckily he usually has his own (rather odd) answer!
That’s much better Bex!
We are also at the question stage with our eldest, some are easy to answer, and some I really do have to think about. I’ve had to answer the same question, but stupidly said Earth… thankfully little einsteins had a cartoon on space to explain the solar system. :-)
The crazy thing is that even when you give the ‘right’ answers, the three year old inquisitor will decide that something’s a little lacking and add some fairies, pixie dust or something else extraordinary by the time they repeat it to, say, their nursery staff! Or is that just me? (Please let it not be just me!)
Ha! I’m so there with my little man too. Why do flower have different colours, anyone?Especially since everyone knows purple is the best colour. Errr. Quite. Great post.
Aww I like your answer. We’re not at the questions stage yet. Apart from the older one (10) who just the other day said “Urgh Mum I don’t want to have any babies, what if I end up pregnant, how will I know, when does that happen?” So many unanswerable questions… :) xxx
My husband said my explanation of the word ‘compare’ to my five y.o. niece was terrible too so I completely laughed out loud when reading your post. In the mean time, I might go find out how planes fly.
It’s so hard though isn;t it – makes you start thinking about things so differently and realising how much you really don’t know.