John’s not in school yet, but like every kid, he has a lot of questions. And while I sometimes have answers, I often don’t. I’m finding that the tough questions fall into three categories:
1) Things I once knew, but have forgotten.
It’s disturbing how much I’ve lost along the way. For example: honey. I know bees make it, but that’s about as far as I can go. When John wants to know how bees make honey, I can offer something vague about pollen, which is somehow involved in the process, but I honestly don’t know much beyond that. I seem to remember science reports that were a lot more detailed than what remains with me at this point. Good thing we live next door to a chemistry professor. I have a feeling that may come in handy.
2) Things that were true when I was a kid, but are no longer true.
For example: Pluto. Not a planet! Obviously, I know that Pluto lost its planetary standing. (In fact one of my favorite t.v. moments was related to this topic.) But when I talk to John about planets, I still want to say it is, out of habit and because I feel bad for Pluto. And brontosaurus. I’ve learned that brontosaurus isn’t called that brontosaurus anymore. He’s apatosaurus. And while we’re on that subject, they think that triceratops is actually just a juvenile torosaurus. So the information I started out sharing with John is actually faulty. Who knows what else I’m wrong about.
3) Things I never have known.
Here’s one: “You know how you say double for two, and triple for three? What do you say for 100?” Thank god for the internet. It’s centuple. As in, “Mommy, can we please go eat breakfast now? I’m centuple starving.” John learned the word “research” early on, so now if we need to learn random facts about animals, superheros, space, plants or whatever else is in that brain on a given day, we know what to do.
Maybe I’m a sucker for trying to answer all these questions anyway, but it does seem rude not to at least give it a shot. And if I work really hard it’ll be at least another year or two before he officially knows more than I do.