There is a time bomb ticking in our house, and the more time that passes the more I realise just how huge it is going to be. It has gone off once before, but then we were in blissful ignorance about it so it was not any cause for concern. It is only a matter of time before it goes off again, and this time it is going to be massive because we are still dealing with the fall out from the last one. Actually the effects of the last one are getting more pronounced all the time. It is something that I should be pleased about, and on one level I am, but it is something that is draining and challenging. Something that requires the development of many new skills and knowledge.
Why, you ask?
Sam has progressed onto the ‘What’ questions (‘What’s that noise?’ being the most common example), so it is only a matter of time before he first utters that word now; before he says:
First of all it will just be ‘why?’. Over and over again. Then gradually the questions will become more and more finessed, more and more complicated; and will require me to delve into issues requiring knowledge of such as philosophy, astronomy, quantum physics, religion, biology, history, economics and transport systems of the world (and that was just last weekend with Jake).
Do not get me wrong I think that it is absolutely brilliant that Jake is showing such an interest in the world around him, and the last thing I would want to do it blunt his desire to learn more, to know more, and to understand the world around him. But boy is it exhausting and the thought of two sources of this inquisitiveness is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat.
I am beginning to see what parents have told me in the past when they say that their children are sponges of knowledge, and I find it amazing that Jake and, very soon, Sam wants to know so much and is picking up so much in such a short time. I also feel a great responsibility to tell him the right things (although in some cases there is no right or wrong answer) in a clear and concise manner. I am also conscious that the things we say to our children at this age help shape their worldview in the future, so I want to tell him things that are defensible and sensible, while at the same time helping him to work things out for himself.
So this is yet another example of the huge responsibility that we have towards our children. To respect them and respond properly. In other words not to fob them off with any old rubbish, or be tempted to answer with such as ‘Why not?’, ‘Why do you think that?’, or ‘Because it is’.
I have to admit, though, to sometimes resorting to that last one in particular.
Because, frankly, I am really not wanting to engage into a conversation on the meaning of life when it is bedtime and all I can think of is an hour of quiet before collapsing into bed myself
I know that this is hardly being consistent, but can we please discuss that question on another day.