The amount of questions I’ve been asked by my children since becoming a mother is mind boggling. The amount of questions I still have to deal with (I realize they don’t stop when they turn 18…thanks MOM!) is downright frightening!!
My favorite came in the form of a tap on my shoulder at 3am, four years ago from my then 3 year old, Iris, “Mom, why do we have thumbs?” Kids think about EVERYTHING and apparently they think about them 24 hours a day!
I ruined the good ol’ answer of “I don’t know” for myself awhile back. After explaining to my 5 year old Bency nicely for the 100th time that the reason he needs to brush his teeth is to avoid cavities; I became exasperated on the 101th time and said, “Because I am the Mom…I know everything…so just do what I tell you to do.” Those three words…”I know everything”…have ruined my life.
The other day, Bency asked why a local business in our neighborhood was being remodeled. I replied, “I don’t know.” He came back with, “But Mom, I thought you said you know EVERYTHING??” I hung my head momentarily in defeat, took a deep breath and said, “That is the ONLY thing I don’t know. I know everything else.”
In the weeks since I’ve made that statement, Bency has used this opportunity to really test my knowledge. “How do fireworks work? Can a bird still eat if it loses it’s beak? What is the process called when seeds start to grow?” Normally, I would openly go to the computer with the kids and look up answers to give them CORRECT and detailed explanations. Now I’m forced to give answers off the cuff using big, sometimes “made-up” words and answer “yes or no” when I’m really not sure. I was pretty sure germination was the answer to the seed question but really wanted to send him to Iris, my seven year old to field that question as I know she studied that subject in school this year. At the expense of losing all credibility I took my chances.
I realize I have made a big mistake, but in order to get Bency to brush his teeth I must maintain my reputation and upkeep this facade that “I KNOW EVERYTHING!” As a mother it is my responsibility that my children have healthy teeth. If my kids are destined to become chemists I have to trust that with or without me they will become a chemist. Their curiosity will get them there and I will dutifully supply them with a computer so they can learn EVERYTHING!