Friday, July 18, 2008

I am Carnac, the Magnificent

There is something no one ever tells you about becoming a Mother. It is never written in the baby shower cards or whispered from Mother to daughter. Only friends share it occasionally with a hearty laugh. But even that is after the fact.

Mother is another word for encyclopedia.

I cannot tell you how many times a day I am asked to spit out the most obscure facts for my children. I am peppered constantly with questions. Lately, the fascination is with astronomy("How many moons would fit inside the Earth?"), the environment ("What's in car exhaust?" ), biology ("Are beavers scavengers?" "How do butterflies hear?" "Why do Tigers like to swim, but Lions don't?"), finance ("If banks are failing, what does that mean? Don't all the daddies keep putting their money in there?"), politics ("Why did people choose President Bush to be President?" No none knows the answer to that one!). These are all questions they asked yesterday at lunch.

Most times I try to explain what I can, but having three kids is convincing me just how much I don't know. It's very humbling for a know-it-all like myself. There are days when I pass the daily science quiz with flying colors, when I can pass on secrets to the world around us my children never would have imagined. But there are far more days when I have to give the "You know, I'm not sure... I'll get back to you on that." And my children look at me out of the tops of their rolled eyes.

"She doesn't know -- again." They look at each other and sigh.

That's when I turn to my trusty computer. The internet -- sceptically used -- has become such a font of information for us. I used it the other day to find out whether Bumblebees can smell the flowers they're on. (They can.) We also found out that grasshoppers have ears on their knees. (Who knew?)

The up-side is that I'm getting much better at admitting when I don't know something. But I am not naturally a humble person. It takes work for me.

Then again, I come by it honestly... just talk to my Dad... I still think he knows everything.

What -- you mean he doesn't?

- Midwest Mom

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, what a perfect post! How true, how true!

    My youngest daughter (I have four kids) is the one that never ever stops asking questions. The others have always been curious, but this girl is like a sponge. I learned long ago to say to her "babes, you go look that one up for us" as I point to the computer.

    It's funny how much we learn as we parent. Maybe your dad does know everything. He's obviously been a parent longer than both of us and has had more time to learn it all. I can't wait until I get to that point! *counts days*

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