Monday, 26 July 2010

Is my mother dumber than a hamster?

OK, I admit, I'm no genius. Just ask my "I do killer Sudoku in my head, and then write it all out in pen." brother (what a show off!). Analytical and rational? Yes, to a fault. Clever? Yes, I'd like to think so. Do I remember a single thing I have ever learned? Absolutely not.

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.
I've managed to give a somewhat decent reply exactly once, only to have it turned into a question I couldn't answer:

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?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, we are at this stage too! Questions about everything, and WHY? has become the word I hear most often throughout my day. Every answer is followed by another why, and I feel a bit guilty but if it goes on for too long, I find myself just making stuff up. Its nice that they are becoming so intelligent and inquisitive though.