Kids, eh? Teaching us things about ourselves every day. My latest lesson?

Well, turns out I’m as thick as two short planks.

At four and a half Rian has moved firmly past the general, easy questions that young kids ask centering around ‘Why?’ and we have upgraded a level to the never ending loop of inquisitiveness that only a four and a half year old can produce.

All it’s done so far really is highlight just how thick I seem to be. I mean, I’d have considered myself fairly well educated, I can hold my own in most conversations, but one minute of a four year old asking me why, but why, how, how, why, why, how, why.. well you get the point. We get to granular levels of my explanations and replies like nothing I’ve ever come up against!

A recent example of this was last week while driving to an appointment and we noticed a smell of slurry as we were driving along.

‘Eww Mama did you do a fart?’

Queue lots of the laughing that is mandatory following the word ‘fart’ (in addition, mandatory laughter also commences following any mention of the following words: bum, snot, willy and poo).

[Side note & honourable mention for the very fun conversation around why I have no willy and how this came to be, and where is it gone and how can I get it back??]

‘No, Rian I didn’t. Mammies don’t fart, remember?’ (Pretty sure that one is scientifically accurate).

‘I can smell it though and it wasn’t me!’

He sounded confused. I pop on my imaginary Education Expert hat and prepare to dispense some quality information to my darling son.

‘That’s called Slurry Rian. The farmers collect slurry and spread it on the fields to help the crops grow’. There. That should be sufficient knowledge to satisfy any curious mind.

‘What is it?’

‘Well, it’s cow poo.’

I wait for the mandatory laughter to die down.

‘COW POO??! Where do cows go to the toilet?’

‘Well, they go wherever they’re standing I suppose.’

‘Who wipes their bum?’ (More laughter)

‘Well, nobody wipes their bums…’ Hmm.

‘What! Do they have cow-baths then?’

I have to think for a second. Do cows ever get washed? I honestly don’t know.

‘Eh, yeah, sure. Farmers wash the cows every so often.’ Interesting point. I make a mental note to ask Rian’s uncle Barry who’s a farmer and will know the answers to all these cow related mysteries. Thinking I was off the hook, the interrogation continued.

‘How does the farmer get the cow poo?’

‘Emmm…. well … they just collect it up… with… a tractor…’ I had lost all confidence by now and knew defeat was swiftly imminent. All I know about cows is that they come in different colours, provide meat and milk… eat various forms of grass (dried and wet and mixed with… stuff..!). I was in dangerous territory now. Rian didn’t care.

‘Where does he put it when he gets it with his giant scoop?’

Oh God. At what point will his brain be satisfied with ‘I don’t know, they just do!’ I mean, my brain does not have access to this information and I survived this far in life without knowing. However, it has wiped that smug smile off my face where I thought I’d be able for all the questions. Turns out, my education levels haven’t progressed much further than that of a four year old’s inquisitive mind.

I imagine it’s only going to get worse; apart from not having in-depth knowledge on cows’ bowel movement procedures, I also don’t know things like why water is wet: ‘ emm…so that… we can..wash stuff…??’, (don’t judge me – how would YOU answer that one?!) or how exactly planes stay up in the sky: ‘emm.. propellors.’ ‘What’s a pur-plellor?’ ‘…Ehhhh a thing with… long points that spins really fast….’ I’m out.

‘How does the moon stay up in the sky?’ ‘Emm…something to do with gravitational pull?’ I immediately regret that answer as I’m inundated with fifty more follow-up questions involving gravitational pulling. It’s kind of painful on my brain.

‘When I was a baby in your belly, how did I get out?’ ‘Well, you see- ‘

And how did I get in??’ he cut me off.

There’s nothing else for it.

‘Ask your dad.’

Posted by:Jen Ryan

I'm Jen, 30-something, married, Mam of two little Munchkins, 2 dogs, Irish, red-haired and actual genius. (May not be true). I love Photography, cheesy stuff (including the music), fond of a cup of tea or two, although since the Munchkins arrived and taught me that sleep is for the weak, coffee is currently in top position.

2 replies on “Why Is Water Wet? (And other equally confusing questions).

  1. My inquisitive 11 year old and I loved this little story. She is still asking questions, like “why is water wet?”. I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling to find answers!


    1. Hi Laura! Thanks for your lovely message 🙂
      I actually had a little laugh re reading this as Rian’s little brother is just reaching this stage now and I had almost forgotten about the complex questions!! Glad you both enjoyed it 😊


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