At some point in my life, I figure I must have learned how leaves and why change colour - I did a Biochemistry degree after all. During the 30 or so years I've had building work going on around me and the 10 or so years actually taking part, I must have absorbed a tiny bit of information about plumbing. Yes, I am one of those people who can read a John Grisham book 8 times and be surprised by the ending every time, but life, you would think, should have prepared me for being able to answer a 3 year old's questions.
This week alone she tripped me up with
- "How does milk get inside boobies?" I made up some random thing about eating lots of good food and converting it to energy to fuel a special machine inside them to make lots of milk. I got a frown in return, and then "But daddies have lots of energy and they don't have milk. And you got lots of energies and your boobies don't have any milk...? But you use to have milk when I was a baby...?" Errr.
- "How does the water get into the toilet?" Aha - from the cistern! "But how does the cistern work?" I haven't a clue.
- "How did you make the bricks to build the house?" Ask your father.
Madeleine: Mummy, look! Those leaves are green now, and they used to be red! (I hadn't noticed) Why are they green?
Me: Because now they have lots of chlorophyll in them to capture the sunshine and turn it into special food for the plant to make it grow. (really, chlorophyll. She's 3 for crying out loud. It's a wonder I didn't get into ATP and the wonders of phosphofructokinase)
Madeleine: But then how did it grow when it was red?
Madeleine's an incredibly bright little girl, and her curiosity about the world around her is just amazing... and here she is thinking that her mum will have all the answers. Instead she gets a good mix of slightly made up facts, or long periods of silence and a frown, or "ask daddy". Am I actually dumber than a hamster?