I’ve always believed that it’s important to fill kids’ minds with information.
When my own kids were growing up I introduced them to new ideas, concepts and facts to stimulate their minds and tried my best to answer their gazillion questions. I’m continuing that practice with Pebbles, both through homeschooling and just day-to-day conversations.
And Pebbles, like most children, is a veritable sponge when it comes to information. If a sponge had a mouth and could ask questions. Lots and lots of endless, never-ending questions.
But I’m fine with that because I’m an information junkie myself.
I’m a voracious reader and was, before Al Gore invented the internet, a frequent visitor of my local library. Any time my kids asked a question I didn’t have an answer for, off we went to the library to peruse the Dewey Decimal system for an answer.
I sincerely hope today’s children appreciate the convenience of living in the Information Age where the answer to almost any question is now just a few keystrokes away.
No longer a frequent library visitor (which in some ways is poignantly sad), I am now a devotee of the all-wise, all-knowing Oracle Google, at whose throne I worship and whose feet I would gladly wash. If Google actually had feet.
The all-wise, all-knowing Oracle Google never lets me down when I need to know something. Recipes, news, driving directions, medical information, movie reviews, are Brad and Angelina having another baby. It’s all there at my fingertips, just waiting for me to access it from my computer.
It’s like having all the world’s libraries right here in my home. Without all the shelves and books taking up all that space. And needing to be dusted. I really hate dusting.
However, somewhere along the way, while raising four kids, I figured out that it isn’t wise to share some things with kids.
Until you know for certain your child is capable of hearing about troublesome events, i.e. murder, natural disasters, school shootings, do not, I repeat, DO NOT introduce those subjects.
Never tell a kid something that she will start to worry about happening to her. That’s Child Rearing 101. Which, as amazing as The Rock is with Pebbles, that’s a parenting course he somehow managed to miss.
Because he sometimes speaks without thinking of the repercussions.
Like the other day in the car. We’re happily driving along, having a pleasant conversation, when The Rock decides to share with Pebbles this interesting bit of science news.
“Scientists say that sometime today a solar flare is gonna hit the Earth.”
My immediate thought was, “WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?!! DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU JUST DID?!! CHANGE THE SUBJECT!! NOW!!!” And I immediately thought it all in caps hoping the message would be telepathically loud and strong enough to reach The Rock’s brain before Pebbles started asking the inevitable questions.
Which it wasn’t and it didn’t and she did.
Pebbles (who already knows what solar flares are but, until this point, has never had a reason to actually worry about them) asked, with just a slight hint of panic in her voice, “Why is it gonna hit the Earth?”
More urgent psychic messages from me went unheeded as The Rock tells her, “Oh because this is gonna be a huge one.”
Me, telepathically: “STOP IT!! STOP IT!! STOP IT!! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND??!!”
Pebbles, whose panic level, evident to everyone in the car but The Rock, is clearly rising, asks, “What’s gonna happen?!!”
The Rock: “Oh, all kinds of electrical problems. Lights are gonna go out in large area…..”
At this point he stops mid-sentence – because I’ve given him a hard, twisting pinch – looks at me and asks, “What?!”
Apparently that day The Rock was totally oblivious to my extrasensory messages and also unable to read lips as I desperately tried to communicate to him that Pebbles was FREAKIN’ WORRIED about this solar flare business.
So it was up to me to put out the panic storm in the back seat that The Rock had started with his solar storm comment from the front seat.
“Daddy,” I asked, helpfully, I hoped, “weren’t these just speculative reporters rather than actual scientists who said this?”
I obviously hadn’t pinched and twisted hard enough because he replied, “Oh, these were real scientists who study this stuff.”
The panic in the back seat had almost reached crying level.
Pebbles does not actually cry when she cries. She’s a screamer. Read about it here.
So if you just got back from reading about Pebbles’ screaming, you can understand why I didn’t wanna go there. And we were clearly about to unless I could do something to defuse the situation.
“But didn’t they say it wasn’t going to happen in North America? Where we live?” I defused, as I nodded my head toward the back seat while looking The Rock squarely in the eye.
Hallelujah!! He got the message.
He said, “Oh yeah. It’s only gonna happen in other countries. Not here.”
Phew. Catastrophe avoided. And hopefully The Rock learned a lesson, as well.
Then I only had to worry about what I’d tell Pebbles if our electricity went out that day. Which, thankfully it didn’t.