Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"But what else is at the bottom of the mine?"

As a dad I really do try to answers my kids questions.

You know, where you sit down and explain that air pushes up on the bottom of the airplane, and electricity flows through your toaster to make it get hot, and we aren't having any more candy just because dad thinks more candy will make you cranky.

Unfortunately I frequently get sucked into believing that somehow if I'm smart enough and patient enough we'll get to the bottom of the question well. That is false in case you are wondering.

It turns out that kids aren't very good at identifying what I call "fundamental truths". A "hypothetical" example:

"Daddy what does the word mind mean?"

"It's what you think with, your brain."

"no, mind!"

"yes, mind, what you think with"

"no, I heard it on Thomas, he fell into a mind"

"Oh, a mine, that's a hole they dig looking for metal."

"Oh... why did Thomas fall in it?"

"Well, if he tried to be on top of the mine he would fall in. You always fall down holes if you try to be on top of them."

"And that's why you need to stay away from them?"

"Yes, because you could fall into them and get hurt. You should stay away from them."

"How could you get hurt?"

"You could break some bones"

"Oh... Why would you break your bones?"

"Because mines are deep and you would fall faster and faster until you hit the bottom"

"Oh... and then you could break your bones?"


"What is at the bottom of the mine?"

"Dirt and rocks."

"Oh... what else is at the bottom of the mine?"

"Nothing, just dirt and rocks."

"Oh... why is nothing else at the bottom of the mine?"

Thats where I lose it. Why aren't other things at the bottom of the mine? The question could have a million stupid answers right?

"Because every time the robber puts the gold there the gypsies use their divining rods to find it and get it back. "


"Because Scotty figured out how to boost the tachyon emitters to locate captain Kirks communicator signal and beam him out of there."


"Because there is a special force field that only lets miners and little kids and claymation trains past the opening"

But at that point I've already lost. My fatherly wisdom has run out and the only way out is the way I probably should have taken at the beginning of this conversaion.

"I doesn't matter... go to sleep"


Sheyenne said...

Yeah. About 4 questions before you stopped, my answer becomes "Because. That's just the way it is." You've got more patience than I do for sure.

Bart said...

I bet it wouldn't be very difficult to go through an entire list of questions like that once or twice. You just keep answering until the child gets bored and wants to do something else (I've done it before, and think it's fun). For you, though, I imagine it's an everyday thing, or a many-times-per-day thing, which would get old very quickly.

The Geek Wife said...

Ok, so lately, we've been watching old school Star Trek, and the pure thought of Spock's abilities to face the task of getting Kirk back, is so true to form, that I had to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoyed the deep thoughts on what else is at the bottom of the mine.

Kristen said...

that was an enjoyable read....situations like that happen way too often..