Here’s a fun perk about parenting that doesn’t get talked about often. When it comes to little kids, you can usually count on being the smartest person in the room.
Seriously. Children come into this world knowing nothing. Like, nothing. I literally had to explain to my almost 2-year-old what the sky was the other day.
It’s flattering in its own way. Your kids just assume you are the ultimate authority on everything. Which almost, ALMOST, makes up for the endless barrage of questions that pour out of their mouths on a daily basis.
Momma, where do squirrels live?
In trees, honey.
What is ice made of?
Why do I have to go to sleep?
Because your body needs sleep to grow big and strong. And Momma is super behind on “Supernatural” episodes.
In the morning, answering these questions usually comes as naturally as breathing. In that I can’t stop to think about what I’m doing because then all I’d be doing is answering questions. So I just respond without even thinking about it as I go about my business.
Are Kermit and Miss Piggy married?
It’s complicated, darling.
Because Kermit is afraid of commitment.
What’s that sign say?
Why are we walking then?
Because that sign is not the boss of me.
How does someone get to become President?
No one knows anymore, baby.
But as the day wears on, I start to stumble a bit. My all-knowing authority starts to show signs of weakness, their never-ending questions poking tiny logic holes everywhere.
Why can’t I watch TV all day, Momma?
Because it’s bad for you.
Because…sigh...because your brain needs stimulation.
Um…everything that happens when you aren’t watching TV?
Do fish talk?
No, sweetie. Wait…I mean…yeah, no, they don’t. But I’m sure they communicate in some way. They’d have to, right?
And by the end of the day, when the caffeine has worn off and I’m exhausted and some pretty major parts of my brain have been liquified because my kids won’t stop saying “momomomomomomomom,” I begin to question my own grasp of this seemingly basic knowledge I am imparting to them.
Why can’t I say bad words?
Honestly? Mostly because it just reflects poorly on my parenting. Like, it’s cute if a 2-year-old says “damn it” but gets significantly less cute the older you get.
But don’t you say bad words?
I do. And I’m allowed to because…well, um…because I pay taxes. And the day you have to pay taxes, you can say all the bad words you want.
Is “fat” a bad word, Momma?
Oh god, kid. Um, some people think so. Although others don’t, they’re embracing it, reclaiming it, if you will. Technically it’s a descriptive word but in our society it’s been used as a kind of verbal weapon. So really it depends how much power you personally give the word. I guess. Is it your bedtime yet?
What is the coldest season?
What is the second coldest season?
Fall. Er…although it could also be spring. Let’s just say they’re tied.
Why is it called fall? Like fall down?
Yeah, because the leaves fall off the trees during that time of year. Although it’s also called autumn.
Why do the leaves fall down? Do they need a bandaid?
Sigh…um, the leaves fall because of…is it to conserve water or something? During the winter? I think. And no they don’t need bandaids. The leaves are dead. OH CRAP, I MEAN…
What’s dead mean, Momma?
WHO WANTS ICE CREAM!?
Will you die someday? Will I? How about Daddy? Where do you go when you die? Is dead like sleeping? Will I die when I go to sleep? Can I sleep in your bed tonight?
And then by the time I’m in bed (trying to ignore the kicking and thrashing of my traumatized children) I’m starting to question everything.
But, I mean, where DO we go when we die? Heaven? Hell? Is it just a vast nothingness? Do animals have souls? Dogs must, if anything. I don’t want to spend eternity somewhere that doesn’t allow dogs in. Why would an all-knowing Creator create dogs and then not let them run around in the afterlife? What kind of cruel joke is that? WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE!? AND DID I REMEMBER TO TURN OFF THE COFFEEMAKER!?
The good news is that after this awful sleepless night I get to wake up, covered in little, tiny bruises, and do it all over again.
Morning, Momma! Why do you drink so much coffee? Can I have some coffee? Is coffee like chocolate? It looks like chocolate. Can I have chocolate for breakfast?