As soon as the words left my mouth I saw in their faces that I needed to explain.
So I did.
We had a conversation about waffles. The kids wanted me to make waffles for lunch, and I told them I would love to, but I didn’t have all the ingredients available. Maybe we could do it tomorrow instead?
Melodie tells me they could ‘help me find the ingredients’ and I chuckled, asking where she proposed that we’d find them? In the garden? At the park? Or maybe somewhere down the road? They laughed, and I added “We’re not hunters and gatherers anymore, unfortunately. We’re shoppers!”
This was something they hadn’t heard of before, and I knew I had to tell them what it meant. I decided to make it into a story. “Well, gather up kids, and I will tell you a story about the really, really olden days…” They climbed up onto the couch and again I was happy we swapped our old couch out for a larger one a few months back, because now we could all fit there.
Luckily, I pride myself on trying to be a good story-teller, and the kids love it, so they were paying attention, even with Playschool singing in the background. Happy that I paid attention in school and have a good memory and do appreciate the knowledge of our forefathers’ struggles I managed to conjure up an educational and somewhat engaging tale about how they couldn’t just hop in the car and go to the shop and buy whatever they wanted. The girls were fascinated.
Some times the kids asks me questions, as kids do, that I can’t answer. I answer them truthfully, that I simply don’t know (like the time when they asked if it’s true that all ants are female) and I’d rather not make it up and find the right answer for then then having them believing something that’s not right. That’s when the realisation that their childhood will forever be different than mine, because their access to knowledge is million times larger than what I had at the same age. Asked I my mother and she didn’t know, she’d say so or make it up, and I’d move on with my life.
Now, if I admit to my limited knowledge, she goes “That’s cool, we can just google it, Mamma!” – which is totally true, and both scary and awesome at the same time. Melodie goes to school with an already massive amount of knowledge about things I had no idea even existed as a six year old – and I was also a kid thirsty for knowledge. I am happy for them to learn how to use the internet to find information and learn, however I need to make sure they know how to be critical and to not believe everything they read. And then there is also the fear of them accidentally happen upon things they shouldn’t or aren’t mature enough to understand. Nudity and porn are the least of my worries, there are much scarier things on the world wide web!
I still want to be able to answer their questions for now, especially if I can make up stories that go with them:)