Perhaps it’s her age. Do 4 year olds suddenly become much more inquisitive about the world around them? Or maybe it’s because my eldest daughter is now at school, but Alice has suddenly become a lot more curious, with a constant stream of questions about what’s going on around her. I love that she’s so inquisitive and want to encourage this, but I often get asked things that I find difficult to answer. Difficult because they might be complex topics to understand or explain. Difficult because I truly don’t know the answers or difficult because the question itself is just too bizarre!
Here are just 4 of the trickier questions she asked me last week:
1. Death. At the moment Alice seems to be fascinated about death and dying. Last summer my father in-law sadly died and we were in a quandary about what to say to our daughters. All the best advice told us to be honest and talk openly and plainly. But let’s face it, death is a subject that even adults don’t have the answers for and we spent a fair amount of time trying to answer such questions as “How did Grandpa get to heaven without any wings?”
Last week Alice found a dead ladybird in the lounge and without thinking about it, I threw it out into the garden. This was probably not the best thing to do because for the next few days she kept asking me why I did that. She wanted to know if the ladybird was dead why was he in the garden and not up in heaven……..
2. Divorce. After a recent play date with a friend whose parents are recently divorced, Alice announced that Mia (not her real name) “doesn’t have a daddy.” Apparently Mia had told Alice this directly. I explained that yes she still does have a daddy who she sees regularly but that her mummy and daddy don’t live together any more. This created a lot of intrigue, puzzlement and quite a few questions over why some parents are together and others don’t live in the same house any more.
3. Science. At 4, I guess Alice is trying to make sense of the world around her in the physical as well as the emotional sense. Last week she asked me “Mummy, why is the sky blue?” Errr…… I felt like I should really know this one. Put on the spot like that, it was almost like I was back at school. I mulled it over in my head. Is it something to do with the light? Or is it something to do with the reflection from the sea? In the end I was honest and said “I’m not sure why the sky is blue, but let’s look it up when we get home.” As soon as we got home she was off busy with something else and we both forgot about it. I’ve just Googled the question and the answer is enough to bamboozle an adult let alone a 4 year old! I have no idea how you would attempt to explain that to a child!
4. The Downright Weird. In amongst all the serious questions, I get some bizarre ones thrown into the mix too which makes you wonder what on earth is going on in their heads. Last week Alice asked,”Do farmers wear the same clothes every day?” I had to refrain myself from saying “Whaaat?” or try hard not to laugh too much. Where on earth did that come from? Has she seen a particular farmer wearing the same clothes more than once? Is it something she’s watched on TV? Who knows, but at least I could easily and truthfully answer “No they do not!”
These are just 4 of the questions that I was asked last week. It really does make you wonder what children are thinking about and strange to think that this is all part of the process of them growing up and questioning the world around them.
Do your kids ask you difficult or random questions? I’d love to hear what they are!