Caught Unprepared

Where do babies come from?

Why can’t I take candy from strangers?

Why is the sky blue?

Why do people like football?

These questions, while difficult for a parent to answer, are generally expected in the early years of a child’s development. From the moment you find out that you’re going to be a parent, you know these questions are coming, so why not spend a little time crafting the perfect answer in advance.

I’m given to understand that most parents(you know, the ones who actually give a darn and make the rest of us look bad) will try to give their children answers that get progressively more honest as the child gets older. In regards to the babies question, when a child is young, they’ll say that the baby grows in Mama’s tummy, and leave it at that. When the child is older, they might explain how the baby then gets out of the cozy confines of a womb. Finally, when the child gets to grade 5, they’ll let the school educate them on the ins and outs of the reproductive system(I always thought that would be a good title for a book. “The Ins and Outs of the Reproductive System”. It also works for the digestive system. My high school biology teacher and I didn’t see eye to eye on the hilarity of my ideas).

Of course, the other approach you could take to difficult questions is to make everything up as you go along. Obviously you’ll give them real answers eventually, but it’s fun to see how long you can have them believing ridiculous things(my wife, for example, has been stringing them along with the ridiculous notion that the Habs are a valid team to cheer for, and that’s been going on for years now). If you’re going to take this approach, you need to make sure that you look completely serious while you’re talking, otherwise they’ll see right through you.

That reminds me, I was watching the news this morning, and there was a study done in the UK about obesity. Apparently children who are overweight or obese at the age of five stand a significantly higher chance of being overweight when they’re adults. I believe it was something like four times more likely, and they were making the case for instilling healthy eating habits and active lifestyles from a very early age. This got me thinking about all the parents who are denying their children treats, in favour of boiled carrots and quinoa and it made me realize that it’s probably because of this that my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard!

There’s the list of questions that you’re prepared for, but then there’s the ones that you couldn’t have possibly known were coming. There you are minding your own damn business, enjoying a milkshake, and BAM! You’re hit with a ridiculous question with all the force of a speeding train(we don’t have those sorts of trains in Canada, but perhaps if you live elsewhere in the world, the analogy will make sense). Of course, your child thinks you know everything so you HAVE to answer, and you have to answer immediately.

It’s important to point out that Tevye is six, and is currently in Grade One.

One recent evening, we had finished supper and were sitting around the table(possibly still waiting for Saarah to finish, but I don’t recall for certain). Tevye decided, upon noticing a moment of silence, that he needed to know something very important, and he needed to know it immediately.

“What’s the square root of 24?”

Um…what?! Why would you even know to ask such a question? I… I’m not entirely certain. Four point something, I think.

“No. It’s eight.”

What?! No, that’s the square root of 64.

“Well that’s what [insert classmate’s name here] said.”

Well he’s an idiot.

Can’t he just ask normal questions? At the very least, it would be nice if he gave me some warning.

“Tatte, I’m going to ask you an absurd question, alright?”

Seriously, give a fella some warning, will you?


2 Responses to “Caught Unprepared”
  1. sothislife says:

    My 4 yo nephew walked up to me and said my sister came out of my Mommy’s Bagina, so will your baby. Do you know where your Bagina is, I can show you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: