My mother had what could be described as a hobby of giving my me and my sister questionable information. The ‘information’ we would get from our mother was often outlandish and completely inaccurate, or, funny but not useful or appropriate.
To this day, I cannot look at Queen Elizabeth without picturing her wearing skin-tight jeans, farting loudly into a microphone, and knocking over a centenarian. Yes, it sounds crazy, but this came from a conversation that started with me asking my mom about the queen. My mother looked at me seriously and said, ‘Well, she isn’t as nice as she pretends to be. Have I told you what she did last week?’
And though I have since found out that my mother told the truth (sort of) about clergy and hosiery (many wear support hose to help with all that standing up!), the priest at my school did not care to discuss the subject during a pre-First Communion Q & A session with my class.
I used to think that my mother made things up because she felt like a laugh but have recently started to suspect that at least some of the time, she created bizarre and inappropriate ‘facts’ because she just didn’t have an answer. I think this because almost every day, I realize, courtesy of my three children, that I am woefully under-informed.
My plan as a mother was to be as honest and accurate as possible with my children but I had no idea they would ask so many hard questions!
For example, just today it has been revealed that I have no idea:
- Why sharks are so mean. I am not even sure that they are mean. They are just hungry and everyone gets cranky when they are hungry….
- How fish sleep. Do they sleep??? I feel like they don’t but then they must be exhausted! And if they do sleep, how do they avoid those mean sharks?
- The names of most dinosaurs and how they died. I vaguely remembered this from grade school but had to look it up. I understand that it might have been a massive asteroid that hit Earth. This is the kind of detail that will lead to all sorts of other questions that will NOT help me at bedtime. I want to honest but I want them to sleep at night more!
The temptation to make stuff up is strong.
Perhaps I should just send them to visit their grandmother.