The purpose of children

After having experienced life with children for the last six and a half years (and counting), 2 things have been made abundantly clear to me:

  1. I know hardly anything about our world, leave alone our known universe (a corollary to this one is ‘Never ever play the 5 Why game with children’)
  2. I have been made aware of a distinct sound that can shatter my naturally anorexic veil of patience

Exempli gratia:

My son (a little over six and a half years of age) & I were driving towards the fuel station over the weekend when the following conversation occurred:

My son: Why are we going to the fuel station?

Me: (You’ll agree this is a blisteringly intelligent response?) To fill fuel in our car.

My son: Why?

Me: If we don’t refill the fuel, the car will stop because it will run out of fuel.

My son: Why?

Me: Our car runs on gasoline. That is its fuel. No vehicle can work without its fuel.

My son: Why?

Me: Our car is designed to use only gasoline as its fuel (Not the most original response I admit).

My son: Why?

Me: (After a significant pause & thought involved during which time the Why had been repeated roughly 3,000 times) I don’t know. What do you think?

My son: It would be nice if our car could use the same fuel that we all do. I could share my snack with it.

Me: (I was smiling. Surely you would too?) Here we are. Please stay in the car while I refill the fuel.

I believe I heard a ‘Why?’ as I got out of the car and shut the door.

My daughter (a little over three years of age) loves playing with her LEGO Duplo blocks these days. Her favourite game is to build a tower of these blocks about as tall as she is and then with an impish smile, tip it over gently with her finger so that the monument comes crashing down on…a wooden floor.

This activity is repeated approximately once every minute.

The sound of LEGO Duplo blocks crashing onto a wooden floor can only be described as tolerable by the extremely hard of hearing among us.

I urge those of you with at least one child to try it out and see how long you can go before you begin to negotiate with your child about playing with the blocks on a carpeted section of the floor. Odds are that as soon as the activity is done even once, the other child/children (if within earshot) will join in with boundless enthusiasm.

Experience tells me that the child will refuse the carpeted floor proposal because (I strongly believe…) he/she actually enjoys the above described cacophony.