Saturday, July 27, 2013

The child who blows my mind

There are many times G is just entirely too much for me.

He is high-strung, moody, demanding.  Suffice it to say he is like his dear old mom in all annoying ways possible.  That double-dose of Carrie-like traits (dealing with my own personality AND having a personality very similar to mine thrown in my face regularly) is tiring.

But he seems to me to also be highly intelligent and really, truly funny, which sometimes helps take the edge off his other unpleasant qualities that he, at the age of 5, uses for evil and not good.

The other night he posed these questions to us seemingly out of the blue.  He asked, "If humans weren't around when dinosaurs lived, how do we know anything about them?"  And then the whopper, "How did humans come about?  Where did humans come from?"

To which D and I answered an eloquent, "Uhhhhhhhh."

Because how do you explain evolution to the child who has no concept of time?  When I say "tomorrow" he asks, "You mean the next day?"  If I say we will visit someone next week, he asks, "You mean the next day?"  To discuss two days from now means he and I go round and round with me trying to say it is the next day's next day.

So I did some searching on Youtube and did some searching on Amazon and then on our local library site and found some resources to help put evolution in a context a 5-year-old can understand.  Today at the library I sat with him and looked through the books The Skull in the Rock:  How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins and Neanderthal:  Neanderthal Man and the Story of Human Origins.  Though much of these books is far, far beyond him, it did allow me to show him some conceptual pictures of ancestors to homo sapiens so he could tell me which ones look more human and which look more ape.  From there I was able to describe in language he can understand how over time we came to look more human and less ape.

I don't hang around many 5-year-old boys so maybe all of 'em ask questions like this. Regardless, G really blew my mind asking deep questions. N never did at that age, and I don't know that she has yet considered such things (or she has just never posed the question to us).

Of the many things I enjoy about being a mom to these kids, it is helping them explore their interests.  And it is doubly fun when their interests coincide with things I find fascinating too.

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