the hard questions

I think of myself as fairly thoughtful. 

I've been lucky enough to do quite a bit of study and although I'm suffering blackout levels of short term memory loss at present (remind me what my name is?), generally I can figure stuff out. Come up with an answer. Frequently glib and wrong, but an answer. 

So these tricky questions of the smallies. They are my undoing. 

Tilly (3) today: Mum, what is a church?

Apologies to my mother who has just fallen off her computer stool on the farm. I know. Abject failure on my part.

Henry (6) yesterday: Mum, is Santa a real person?

I was going to go all hard core and non-mythical on the Santa question. Always thought I would. Then I heard myself saying: 

Babe, do you think he's real?

Henry: of course he's real.

Me: then he's real to you. 

I thought we'd dealt with the really hard questions with the whole where-do-babies-come-from discussion, but no. 

What does gratitude mean?

What is a season?

How did that snail grow that shell?

What's Halloween?

How do you make sugar?

I'm embarrassed by how many times I say, I don't know, ask your Dad. (Because he has an answer for everything.)

The gratitude question is a big one around here, as I'm trying to encourage a sense of gratefulness, not just acquisitiveness, particularly coming into Christmas. I don't think I'm explaining it well. Would love your help! 

There's lots of things we can google – snail shells is one of them. And sugar. 

I've got one: how did medieval women who couldn't breastfeed (and couldn't pay a wet nurse) feed their babies? Maybe they relied on the kindness of other breastfeeding neighbours? I've heard of milk-soaked fabric, but there's a whole lot of wrong in there. I really want to know! Going to have to go do some research. Any excuse to visit the stacks at uni! (I know, utter dork, did you forget whose blog you were reading?!)

If they get their question-asking from me, they get their excellent dishwashing skills from their Dad. I've got another one: what is she doing? Forget the dishes Tilly, Wiki awaits us!


As for hard questions, 'can I make baby seed with you Dad?' kinda takes the cake. 


P.S. For not a bad introductory article on mercenary wet nursing in Medieval Europe, click here

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