Questions, questions…

Laura Slinn

E’s questions come thick and fast.

“What’s this, mummy?” he enquires, holding up an item from his play farm.

“It’s straw, sweetie,” I reply.

“Whassit do?”

“Errmmm…horses eat it…” I reply, tentatively. Oh no, hang on… don’t horses eat hay? So what the fuck is straw? Or is it the same thing as hay? Surely not. “…or perhaps it is straw, in which case rabbits sleep on it.”

Christ on a bike. E has yet to hit three and already I am teetering on the brink of the crumbling edifice that is my general knowledge.

A little later, we are out for a walk and E stops by a short post at the side of the pavement. “What’s that?” “It’s for…electricity. I think. Or it could be gas.” E looks up at me, blatantly unimpressed. His silent gaze forces me into a somewhat unwise further attempt at an explanation.

“The sign shows where the pipes are that run under the ground,” I nod, waving my arm up and down the pavement. “They carry the electricity… or gas… although it could be water come to think about it…” Bloody hell, my head is starting to hurt. Luckily, E is distracted by a ladybird and I am let off the hook.

On our return to the house, E turns to me and says “Mummy, what does smoke do?”

Okay, that’s it. I quit.

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4 responses to “Questions, questions…

  • Hermione

    this is my favourite. I have foolishly fallen into a habit of reading the children bits from the paper over breakfast. I thought this would mean that they would grow up to be worldy and I would at least know if we should leave the house that morning. All it has infact shown is how stupid their mother is. Where’s Syria Mummy?, hum now,, errr .. well why don’t I show you on the globe. Yes, now won’t take me a minute to find.. Mummy so how did grey squirrels get introduced to this country? Um well I expect they sort of jumped on a ship (no, the victorians introduced them- why why? so not as cute as red.. how bored were they. Still no TV I suppose). Mummy, if they catch Colonel Gaddafi what will they do with him. Hum, well, Cbeebies anyone?

    • motheringfrights

      Ah, you are so ahead of me in the answering stakes. I am grappling with the semantic difference between hay and straw and you are pondering the whereabouts of Syria. Stop reading your children broadsheets; perhaps a quick round-up of tabloid news would be more mummy’s level? “What are boobies mummy?” Ah, that I can answer. “Ask your father…”

  • Sasha

    Better than the ‘N is for (k)nockers!’ that my daughter brightly announced during her phonics session yesterday to a no doubt delighted Reception class teacher. Just goes to show what she’s learning from me. Next week, tune in for ‘B is for boobies’, ‘T is for trump’ and ‘P is for poo’…

  • motheringfrights

    I think you may have just hit upon a genius idea…the alphabet re-imagined by toddlers. Brilliant. I will pitch in right now with ‘W is for wee-wee’ and ‘C is for cu-bumber’ as E insists on calling it.

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