Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making Shit Up

One of my co-worker's favorite phrases is "What, you think I make this shit up?"

Sometimes I feel like that is the correct thing to do with all of the random questions Charlie asks. We were those highfalutin parents who vowed to never lie to our kid, to answer his questions honestly, and to fill his head with useful and accurate information.

Only three years in, and my resolve is slipping.

This morning in the car: "Mom, is the sun coming up? Where did it go at night?"

The rational part of my brain tries to explain that the Sun didn't actually go anywhere, the Earth did. While sitting at a red light, I try to describe the way that the Earth moves around the Sun, and try to demonstrate that the Earth also spins on an axis, and that when it looks like the Sun goes down, it's actually the Earth turning away from the sun.

We've done this dance before. I enthusiastically explain some kind of natural phenomenon, drawing pictures or gesturing to illustrate, and then I see that his eyes have totally glazed over.

This morning it was even worse - I got a "Mom, stop talking. I want to eat my granola bar."

I guess the correct answer to "Mom, is the sun coming up? Where did it go at night?" is really just "Away. It went away."

And one of my favorites:

Calvin: Why does the sky turn red as the sun sets?
Dad: That's all the oxygen in the atmosphere catching fire.
Calvin: Where does the sun go when it sets?
Dad: The sun sets in the west. In Arizona actually, near Flagstaff. That's why
         the rocks there are so red.
Calvin: Don't the people get burned up?
Dad: No, the sun goes out as it sets. That's why it's dark at night.
Calvin: Doesn't the sun crush the whole state as it lands?
Dad: Ha ha, of course not. Hold a quarter up. See, the sun's just about
         the same size.
Calvin: I thought I read that the sun was really big.
Dad: You can't believe everything you read, I'm afraid.


  1. she blinded me with science.
    I don't know how to do it but if you can keep little Charlie asking why until he becomes a big Charlie then the world will benefit.  Oh next tell him how long it takes the sun rays to reach us.

  2. I couldn't agree more! They ask so many questions! I've resorted to telling Reece that the just goes to sleep, and when the sun sleeps, he needs to sleep!

  3. Calvin- Dad, how do they know the weight limit of the bridge?
    Dad- They just drive heavier and heavier trucks over it until it collapses.  Then they rebuild it.
    Mom- If you don't know the answer, just say so!

  4. Hey Lisleman, aren't you supposed to be on vacation??

  5. yeah but my laptop is on vacation too

  6. Love hearing the real life mom stories :) I say that to my husband a lot. Usually after I say something ridiculous like "your butt talks a lot" then I get a crazy look. Then I say "What? I don't make this shit up"



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