May 6, 2013


Experts on adorableness, at least.
My children are experts. On every subject. Just ask them.

They know how everything works. They know what everything is. They know what is right, and you are wrong. Perhaps this is a common trait to three and a half year olds, I'm not sure. But I do know that a few of my parenting techniques are in need of tweaking.

For example, I like to play a little game with them when we go somewhere familiar. I pretend not to know where we are, and sort of quiz them on the details of that place. Then they tell me all about it. It takes their memories for a little jog, and it's also adorable. However, there are now some serious drawbacks.

DD, Great-Grandmommy, and SI peruse YouTube

For example, the last time we went to our restaurant, when we showed up I asked them where we were.

"We're at the restaurant!"

"Are you sure?"
"Isn't this our house?"
"No, mommy! Our house has BEDS!"
"Oh, I see. And what does this place have?"
"Pizza! And grilled cheese! And chocolate milk! And windows!"
"Oooooh, but not beds?"
"No, mommy."
"We ARE at the restaurant!"
"Mommy- you were WRONG. YOU WERE WRONG! YOU WERE WRONG, MOMMY!" a less and less pleasant tone.

Now, I hate to admit it, but I really don't like being wrong. In fact, I make it a habit to be wrong as little as humanly possible. That's not never, it's far from never, but I must confess that a part of me really rankles at my preschoolers announcing in their loudest voices, as frequently as possible, how unfathomably wrong I am.

But I feel that I must endure this indignity because I am also a learning, growing person, and humility is a virtue I have never had in spades. I sometimes think I get that trait from my father. He also really enjoys being right. He also really doesn't like being bested in superficial and utterly pointless arguments. He's spent the last several decades working on his zen, but you can tell it still bothers him to be contradicted when he's 100% certain of his position.

At any rate, I give my children these opportunities to tell me over and over again how wrong I am. And I try to laugh it off. And sometimes, they make that very easy.

Take Saturday morning, for example. I was telling them that we could watch some YouTube video, and they mentioned that it was on my computer. I figured that this was a fine time for a little lesson, and explained that, no, the video isn't on the computer. Actually, it's on the internet, and we use the computer to get to the internet.

Poppa and RH

The next question was both immediate and unexpected.

"But where is the internet?"

I balked. Where is the internet? Should I start trying to explain server farms in Alaska, or binary code, or intangible information? Ummm...

"Umm... you know who you should ask that question? You should ask Poppa. Poppa knows ALL about the internet."

Now, this is true. Poppa is, in fact, one of the greybeards of the internet. The girls are utterly oblivious to that.

So SI took the reigns of the conversation.

"No! I know all about a internet!"

" do?"
"Yeah! I DO!"
"Okay, SI, what is the internet?"
And without a beat, she told me.

"It's kind of like a circle, except it's a square. It's about this big (She held her hands about 14 inches apart), and it has round pieces that go around and around and around. With the square. They're red and yellow and blue. And green."

"I know all about the internet, too!" DD added. "It's might be just a scribble that has pink pieces too. The internet has a drink. The internet has a baby in it's tummy."

And as DD and SI blathered at me about all the babies in the internet's tummy, I scrambled for my camera.

In case you didn't catch it, the internet apparently has a lot of balls. And the internet is the potted palm next to my desk.

Even still today, if I ask them about the internet, the first thing they say?

"I know more about the internet than Poppa."

I'm sure he'll be delighted.


  1. This is great -- I have some questions I've wanted to get answered for a long time. For starters, who is the Internet's baby daddy?

  2. Boy, I've been wondering for years what the internet was; especially as I try to think of the time that we used to have to go to the library or make phone calls for information. You are definately putting those children's minds to work!



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