I really need to get started on a list of questions presented to me by my three children at the most interesting moments. It won't take me long to come up with at least 25 questions that I can compile into a book. I have written down some of them on odd pieces of paper: napkins, note cards, church bulletins, and even on my hand to avoid forgetting them. That's how they do it. Children take you off guard when you least have access to documentation tools to save the evidence. I'm a writer and I should know better. Sometimes there's just not enough time to dig out that small notebook buried at the bottom of my purse/back pack.
Here are two prime times when children attack with questions that are really hard to answer in a short sentence:
1. When you are trying to get everyone ready for school and out the door in a timely manner.
2. Bed time (need I say more?)
This morning, and I am NOT making this up, my six-year-old confronted me with this gem as I am walking him to the car to take him and his brother to school...
"Mommy, are there people who have both boy and girl parts?"
Thankfully, years of studying Anatomy and Physiology and working in the health care field allowed me a certain level of comfort answering this question - in a way a six-year-old could understand and not get too concerned.
You might wonder how a six-year-old would come up with this question. Stop wondering. That's just a waste of precious time! Get over the shock and deal yourself in - game on. (It probably didn't help that he pays attention to everything his siblings share...including his middle school sister's comment that cockroaches have both male and female parts - a concept she gleaned from sixth grade science class.) Yeah for education!
Parenting is filled with multiple "on the spot" moments where you have to think quickly to avoid being knocked over by shock. I love those moments. It activates the memory files that need to be dusted off and refreshes the creative part of my brain. It helps compensate for the mind numbing tasks that typically take over the better part of my day, like being the only human in the house who has the ability to refill a toilet paper roll or rinse the tooth paste out of the sink. The questions help me recognize that I am indeed smart and sometimes scathingly brilliant with my quick response times.
So apologies to my Social Work professor who had high hopes of me completing my PhD and conducting research with her serving as my mentor. (I actually attended the MSW program while pregnant with my second child.) Maybe someday I will return to that goal. For now...I am taking on a whole new research project and I'm loving it (for the most part).
One day I'll write down more of the infamous questions presented by my three little test subjects. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll need to be sitting down. I look forward to sharing those with you. Keep reading. Sharing this parenting gig is the best therapy ever! That's not something I learned in University. That's Life!
Today's Book Recommendation for Children
(March is Read Aloud Month - 15 Mins.of Reading Each Day!)