Monday, April 13, 2009


I spend a lot of time with my sons. I'm a chatty one so we talk. I figure I've got a captive audience until they're at least eight so I babble and ponder and regale. Plus both boys are chatty, so we all fight for air time. We are in the car running to and fro an awful lot. And when we're not staging a singalong to Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride, Robot Parade, Shake Your Booty, or anything by Barry White, we are chatting. Mostly I tell them stories, real tales or fabrications of what strike me as better antidotes to the truth.

And there are the questions. Geesh, the constant questions that boggle my mind, wrench my gut, tickle my funny bone, squash or propel my inner cynic, depending on the inquiry. The questions range from the deep to the absurd and back 'round again.

And it all starts with, "Hey, Mommy?"

There's the God/Jesus/Bible line of questioning:
Whom did you talk about school, Jesus or God?
Is God the same as Jesus?
How old is God?
Was God poor?
Where does God live?
How old is Jesus?
Why does the Lord want to take us away and keep us?
Why don't we have a Bible? Why don't we read it before bed?
Did those gods really have all those arms and blue skin? (a nod to the Indian folktales we read)
Who hears our prayers? Is someone listening?
Who are the angels?

And the baby questions that offer no easy way out:
How does the baby get out of your belly?
How did the baby get in your belly?
How does the baby know when to come out?
What does the baby eat?
Where does the baby poop?
Do daddies have babies?
Did you know that we start out the size of a sprinkle? (my personal favorite quip)

Biology, the body, and the like:
Why is Daddy hairy? (not on the back, mind you, for that's a deal breaker)
Do you really have eyes in the back of your head?
Why does your belly touch your belt buckle when you sit down? (badge of motherhood, I say)
Why do we have a belly button? Can it do anything?
Babies drink milk from there?! (guffawing ensues)

And the random deep thoughts, Jack Handey style:
Will our next pet die?
Who's the oldest person on earth? (for a while the boys' debate was between my dad and my brother until I squashed that)
When will I die?
Who invented seeds?
What was the first seed? (Adam's?)
What language would people speak if everyone from around the world met?
How long ago was "back in the day?"
You mean we don't just take some meat and sew up the cow?
Do we kill animals when we eat them or are they killed before they're on our plate?
Why does hair grow crooked? (perhaps because it's cut that way to begin with)

I entertain Mac Daddy every night with tales from the car. We lie in bed cracking up, feeling the oozing warmth of love and pride and amazement that the mantle of parenthood carries. For some reason Bird and Deal don't pepper Mac Daddy with such questions. I guess they realize that Daddy is the fun, wrestling, Super Hero, magic epee wielding playmate, while I am the erudite omniscient one. Or they're simply trying to get me to stop singing Can't get Enough of Your Love off key.

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Jen L. said...

I can't wait to hear the questions my little guy comes up with. I also can't wait to teach him some Pat Benetar songs.

dadshouse said...

The Jack Handey style questions are hilarious. Oh, and props to having them listen to Barry White. My son listened to a good amount of Robert Goulet, and I swear it made my son's voice deeper and sexier. He'll thank me when he's in his 20s and the ladies swoon.

Anonymous said...

They do come up with the BEST questions. I explained human reproduction using the phrase "The sperm activates the egg and then it starts growing into a baby." It sounded like something out of Marvel comics.

ilinap said...

Oh, Green Girl, I'm going to have to borrow your Marvel comics line when we get to that. I don't think I'm ready for it yet!

The Mother said...

Oh, be careful of those answers.

They have a tendency to come back to haunt you, many years from now.

They're actually listening, those little ears. And they remember.

At the most incongruous times. Usually completely out of context.

Try laughing then!