I try to always answer the Princess truthfully. Insofar as possible, given my ignorance of the world and her relatively limited comprehension, I also try to explain to her everything she asks.
This is a random list of things I have attempted to explain to the Princess:
why a watched kettle never boils;
what a microscope is and how it works;
how to try the patience of a saint (in this regard, I have been a little too successful, the other day she said to me “Jaysus, Mummy, you’d try the patience of a saint);
why cold taps are blue and hot taps are red;
why it is rude to comment on the appearance of others, unless you want to say something nice;
what a passport is for and why it would be bad to lose one;
how Jesus was crucified (we had a Thomas like inspection of the holes in his hands and feet on the pieta in the church, peering at the blood on his chest the Princess pronounced, in her penetrating tones, somewhat to the surprise of nearby worshippers, “he has blood where his breasts would be, if he was* a woman but he’s not a woman, so he doesn’t have breasts to give a baby milk like I will when I’m a grown-up and I have a baby);
why eggs go bad, milk goes off and bread goes stale;
why it is important to tell the truth but not necessarily important to tell guests, when they ask whether Mummy made the biscuits, that no, she bought them in IKEA;
why it is inappropriate to arrange a crib so that the baby Jesus is watched over tenderly by Mary and an ox while Joseph is relegated to the background, thereby giving the erroneus impession that the baby Jesus’s stepfather was an ox.
Honestly, it’s like trying to answer the British citizenship test. Except, I suppose, you don’t get deported, if you don’t have the detail of how the whips’ office works.
There are only two exceptions to this rule:
exact details on where babies come from; and
the truth about Santa Claus.
*Look, I know we both know that it should be “were” but she’s not perfect.
We are in the “why?” phase of early learning.
I was caught out the other day when we had discussed why the weather is cold and wet in autumn sometimes, but not all the time for 15 minutes and my answers had reduced to “because it is” (I know- poor show)
A woman behind me pushing a new shiny baby, exclaimed “I want to know why too!” and giggled a little too harshly- trying to mask her obvious horror at my lazy parenting.
Smiling at her I wished that her shiny baby will become as food encrusted, snotty and as questioning as mine.
“Why is that lady talking to you mummy?” Ezra asked.
“she’s quite nosy” I whispered.
Recently I’ve had to explain why vampires don’t like garlic, why batman can’t fly, why batman wears tights and how a lightbulb works. The answers, since you ask, are that garlic thins the blood and vampires like thick blood, because he is really a man, because he jumps around a lot and if he wore trousers he might get the ends caught and trip up and it’s through the magic of electricity. Sometimes I marvel at my own inventiveness, sometimes I just wish the questions would stop coming.
Now, maybe one of you could explain the Trinity to me.