Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tough Questions

I couldn't help but chuckle a bit over this.

CNN, in conjunction with Real Simple Magazine, has an article up that gives parents advice on how to answer six tough questions that may come from their kids. Here are the six questions:

  • Why didn't I get invited to that party?
  • Where do people go when they die?
  • How do thunder and lightning work?
  • Where do rainbows come from?
  • Why do we have to move?

You'll have noticed that there are only 5 questions . . . oops. That sixth one must be something all right! (Unless they're considering the thunder/lightning question a two-fer?)

I was glad to see that anything sex-related wasn't listed--that is a tired stereotype, that talking with kids about sex per se is "tough." Or perhaps I've been inured to it somewhat, what with all of our sperm conversations and my lack of sense that makes me say "yes" when they want to accompany me to the obstetrician.

I did expect to see a death question, and yes, that has been a difficult one for us as well. However, I'm baffled by the weather questions. They shouldn't be tough to answer at all--that's what books and the internet are for! Really scratching my head at those two.

The party question and the moving question--well, those can be tough in the sense that the child is sad about the party or the move. It's hard to disappoint those we love, and it hurts to see our kids hurting. Sure, I get that.

I'd like to know, however, how the folks at CNN and Real Simple might answer some of the toughest questions I've received from my child. Because some questions are truly TOUGH and not because they're sad to talk about. It's because they are very, very difficult to answer with a straight face. (And yes, there's a sex question in this list.)

  • Could the strongest man in the world (aka "Daddy") lift up a peeing horse? (My personal all-time fave)
  • If Bad Guys came into our house, would this ninja move [insert demo here] surprise them? (That would be yes.)
  • I think I'm going to need to see it [sex], because I'm worried I won't know what to do. So could . . . ? (I interrupted with a quick 'No, that's private' kind of answer before he could request a personal demonstration from his parents. He'll thank me later.)
  • How did you get to be so old? (Is this even answerable?)
  • Mommy, what's a "flocker?" (After he misunderstood a colorful word I had just directed at a crazy driver who nearly hit us.)
  • Were there more than two cowboys alive in the past? (Answer: Yes, there were/are lots of cowboys.) Well then, when one of them said "Howdy, Pard'ner!" how did all the cowboys know which cowboy the first one was talking to? I think there must have been only TWO cowboys.

Now those are tough questions! I defy you not to laugh! :o)


Anonymous said...

I remember the peeing horse question. I seem to recall that your answer was "no," but it occurs to me that Daddy could lift a peeing horse if Daddy built a peeing-horse lifting machine.

The weather questions are very interesting. I can think of two reasons why they might be "tough":

1) They are the kind of questions that I could see very young children asking. Children so young that they might not understand important things necessary to an understanding of weather - like atoms and static electricity and heat and sound and light and color and refraction. So it can be very difficult to try to explain all that in one go. Personally, I would have to devise a week's worth of science experiments to try to introduce and explain the fundamentals - using weather as a theme to tie it all together, of course. Sure, we'd get to play with the Van de Graff generator, but a week is probably much longer than a young child is willing to wait for an answer.

2) They are the kind of questions to which some parents just don't know the answers.


Kim said...

A friend of mine was shocked that I was an atheist parent. He asked "But how are you going to explain rain?" I was quite puzzled. I explained to him that I just told them the truth--water evaporated into the air and when there's water and the temperature or pressure change, it comes down as drops. His response: "So you wouldn't say it was God's tears?" Um, no. I can't even imagine religious people spreading such idiocy.

Flibbert said...

God's tears? Say what?

You should have responded, "You know that kind of stupidity makes baby Jesus cry, right?"

Stella said...

Thanks for the laugh! I could not, in fact, read those questions, much less listen to them, with a straight face. :)

Jeff Montgomery said...

I like the 2 cowboys discussion. How incredibly logical is that?

>His response: "So you wouldn't say it was God's tears?" [rain]

That makes me mad. It's one thing for a mature adult to screw up their own life and mind, but to introduce a child to mystical nonsense is criminal.

Adam Buker said...

Well it isn't so much that rain is God's tears as it is the scientific result of my dad lifting up a peeing horse.