“Mum, who invented water? ”
“Ummm, God? I’m not sure. It’s always been here I guess.” Was my attempt at an answer.
“I know who invented the telephone but I don’t know who invented water.” Tween carried on.
It was early Sunday morning and my brain power hadn’t quite kicked in, but I know conversations like this will soon be over so I tried my hardest to summon a reply. I love that my kids think I’m the fountain of all knowledge (most of the time.)
Usually, when I’m confronted with a random question like this, I secretly consult with my mate Google, but on this occasion I worried about just how philosophical any internet research would get, I had an inkling it wasn’t going to be a 3 line answer, and I didn’t have time to whittle it down to a reply he would understand, so I went with the fob off.
Even after all these years I’m still trying to judge just how much detail do you go into? The questions sometimes come in so thick and fast that as I’m trying to work out a response, he’s onto the next. Just today I’ve been asked “when does puberty start?” “what the weather will be like next Tuesday?” and “do trains crash?”
All this when on a good day I can’t even go upstairs without forgetting what I came up for.
I try as hard as I can to answer and educate my boys but sometimes, just sometimes, I have neither the will or ability to debate an answer. I know that children have a thirst for knowledge and as his first educator, there are so many opportunities to teach, but how the chuff do you answer ALL the questions without loosing their respect or shattering their illusion that you know EVERYTHING?
I’m not complaining, I have a teenager who already thinks I’m are so old / so out of date / so last week, I know nothing. So I love that my Tween comes to me first with his questions. But the older he gets, I’m fast losing the ability to fob him off while clinging onto my oracle status, with each question that privilege is slipping away.
especially with feeble answers like, “well I guess it’s always been there.”