Monday, June 4, 2012

There Are No Stupid Questions

I attended a conference recently where the presenter mentioned that children stop asking so many questions as they get older.  He said that by elementary school most kids realize that it's the correct answers that get them rewards versus asking questions in the first place.  Emily asks easily 500 questions each day.  Some of them are easy.

Why can't babies play with balloons?
What rhymes with sand dollar?
What are cars made of?

Others make me wish I could hit pause so I can a) look up the answer or b) think of something really, really good to say.

Where is Heaven?
What do clouds taste like?
What do clams eat?

I LOVE how inquisitive Em is.  Lately she's all about stopping me mid-text to ask what a word means.  She then finds a way to use it as soon as possible.  What does tugging mean?  Look!  I'm TUGGING my shoes on!  Kind of.  Close enough.

The questions are getting harder.  I do my best to praise the question itself, but she insists on answers.  You ask such smart questions!  Mommy, Are you going to tell me?  What happens to you after you die?  

Seriously!?  Can't we go back to what clams eat?  Let's stick with Google-friendly questions, shall we?  She's a little Judgy McJudgerton when it comes to the answers, too.

What eats spiders?  I'm not sure...  Maybe birds?  NO, birds eat worms.  Maybe frogs eat spiders?  No, Mommy, frogs eat flies!  Of course they do.  She told me to put her dolly in the middle of her door last night.  Apparently I struck out on placement because she then used her hands to explain what middle means.  Thanks, Dear.  I THINK I UNDERSTAND NOW.  Geez...  And by the way, birds and frogs DO eat spiders. 

It's comforting knowing I'm not the only parent who doesn't have all of the answers and at least I know where to look or how to buy myself time if needed.  I recently had a meeting with a parent who told me her son had brain surgery as a toddler because "his oppcipital hole was too big, so his brain came out.  Then the brain tonsils started wrappin' around his neck so they had to put more flesh in there to keep the oppcipital part where it's s'posed to be."  Oh my.  I'm guessing you don't know what clams eat either.  That makes me feel better.  She later told me her son "caught" his memory difficulties from two other family members who have the same problem.  Who knew memory deficits were contagious?!  Let's hope her son saves the hard questions for school.  Just don't ask what happens after we die...  I'm still thinking about how I want to answer that one.