How Do You Know?

This question, while seemingly innocent, is fast becoming the most obnoxious string of four words to ever come out of my darling son’s mouth.

It started when he asked a question about how something was made, done, procured, or performed(I have absolutely no idea. The boy asks a lot of questions. Who can keep track of them all?). I assume that I gave him a real answer, and not just made something up(I swear, I would never do such a thing), and he followed up my answer with “How do you know?”

At first, it seemed like a logical question. He wants to make sure that I’m not just making this up. He wants to ensure that the facts I’m spouting are correct. Just imagine if reporters, upon being told how “socialist” all policies put forth by the American Democrats were, asked “How do you know?”. I imagine, not being able to give a very good reason, or even a full understanding of what socialism is, they might be less likely to convince people to believe in their ridiculous ideologies. Now, I don’t want to divide the readership here, or cause a great political debate, so please don’t get mad at me for my statements. I am, after all, Canadian, and have no part in your political process.

That was then. This is now.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been asked “How do you know?”. Sometimes I have an answer for him, like if the topic is on how to bake bread, quarter a whole chicken, or make soup stock(I’m writing this right before supper time, can you tell? Jeez, I’m hungry. We’re not having any of those things for supper, either. Now I want chicken soup. Yeah, chicken soup… with kneidlach! On Tuesday I finish work early enough that I should be able to get that together. Perfect. I like soup). I can tell him that I learned by reading a cook book, or watching an educational video(“on making your own sausages. C’mon Newman, let’s grab some mail bags and haul these beauties outta here!”).

Other times, though, he throws it in because he knows it bugs me. Times when I have absolutely no idea how I came to the knowledge I speak of, and I have no answer to give him. I either have to come up with something like “I learned it in school” or “Don’t you have some reading to practice?”.

I know there’s some of you out there thinking that he’s too sweet a boy to do something just to get my goat, but believe me, he does. I know, because he laughs when he says it. I know because I used to do things just to get under my own father’s skin(like refusing to cheer for his beloved Canucks). My ever-helpful wife has pointed it out to him that I, his saintly father(and a handsome one, to boot!), may have done the same sorts of things when I was young.

This has lead me to only one possible plan of action: Never tell my wife ANYTHING about my childhood, otherwise she’ll use it against me.

“That’s a bold claim, I mean, she wouldn’t be THAT mean.” I hear you saying.

Oh, she would.

“How do you know?”

Jerks. You’re all jerks!

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