Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ahh - the many questions of a small boy

I'm walking down the street last week with my six year old son and he has A LOT of questions - and I mean A LOT.  He has had a lot of questions about everything in the whole wide world since he could speak.

"How do they change the traffic lights Mum?", "What do those letters on the side of the telegraph pole mean?", "What is that thing in the footpath Mum?", "How do the clouds get rid of their rain? (at least on that one I'm a trained Geography teacher so I have some vague idea), and it has gone on.  Walking to and from school each day was a very tiring experience for me.With him at school, the opportunities to ask the questions have been cut in half - phew!

And a simple "Oh, I don't know", does, just, not, cut it.  Full and reasonable explanation that makes plausible sense to him is the only acceptable path.  This can take time.  A long time.  Especially when you are three years old and you don't fully understand the water cycle yet.  So let's just say (putting it nicely) that I'm a little worn out.

So last week, we're walking along and he asks a question about the car.  I mutter something inaudible and he gets super frustrated.  I repeat my (admittedly weak) answer.  He gets frustrated because he knows that I'm not engaging with him properly.

He then, with an unusually calm voice says, "If I'm going to be a SCIENTIST Mum, I need to know the answers to things.  You need to give me the answers".

Well, if you had told me that when you were two, I might not have got so frustrated (unlikely though - it was hard work!).


Rachael said...

Aftre trying to explain to my 'almost four' year old that I didn't know the answer to one of his many difficult questions, he, exasperated, said, "Tell me the TRUTH, Mummy!"

Liz N said...

I totally understand, Jenny! I also have a six year old boy that asks questions about everything he sees around him - signs, mail zones, speed limits, oceans etc. It can be very tiring after the thousandth question for the day! I suspect he will also be a scientist :)

Rachel is pretty much the same, but more about numbers and insects. She is always wanting to know about infinity and googolplex! (thanks so much, Matt)

susan said...

We have a boy of 6 constantly asking, "But how do you KNOW" with due emphasis!

Motherhugger said...

Well, that's pretty clear communication!

He also told his friend in our household that he wants to be a scientist - and, she says, he gets lots of science awards at school.

As Big Bird says, asking questions is a good way to find out about things.

Graham & Heather said...

Perhaps I won't visit you again till he starts asking questions about theology, and then I can tell him to ask his father!