Mommy, the Dunce

7/02/2014

Mommy, the Dunce — a Modern Mrs.
Dunce. Noun. A dull-witted, stupid, or ignorant person; dolt. Synonyms: dullard, numbskull, ignoramus, simpleton, nincompoop, ninny. ← Also known as how I feel when L asks me a good question, and I don't know the answer. This happens more than I care to admit, and I wonder if she'll think I'm a moron? It happens like this: we're in the car, L will randomly ask me something like [insert science-related question here], and one of two things will happen... I'll either know the answer, but can't figure out how to properly word it into an explanation, or I don't know the answer at all, and am left with responding with, "I'm not sure, but we can look that up when we get home." Every so often J is in the car with us when this happens and luckily knows the answer, and bails me out. {Yet again fueling my worries that I'll be the dumb one when she reflects back on her childhood....}

So, we make it home, and I promptly look up her question, and we go over the answer together. I fear I'm inadvertently squashing her curiosity, and believe me when I say they are really good questions, but I do wish I knew some of these things on my own. Not just to fuel my self esteem, but because I don't want her to stop asking me questions because she expects I won't know the answer. And, by the way, where does she come up with this stuff? It's great... absolutely great, but really.... phew!

These questions range from how things work, to why things happen, and beyond, and come entirely out of nowhere. I know my own mind can get off on its tangents, but this girl's mind must be moving faster than the speed of light at any given second! I love that she's trying to figure out the world, and that she wants to understand even the simplest things. I remember asking my mom questions as a kid, but not nearly as often as L does, or anywhere near as sophisticated.

What am I to do?

I know she doesn't expect me to know everything, but I genuinely feel like I say "I don't know," or "I'm not sure" more frequently than I provide answers. I really am afraid she will think I'm stupid, and will stop coming to me. I want to answer these questions for her, help encourage her curiosity and desire to learn, but what can I do? I need to know....

Does this happen to you? What do you think?

Have you experienced a similar situation {either as the child or as a parent}? How did you handle it? Do you have older children who can provide some reflection and insight? I realize some of these questions pertain to things I haven't learned since middle school, or even thought of/considered in years, but shouldn't we as parents be able to get by without {frequently} consulting the Internet?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


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