Preparing for questions

vitruvian man leonardo da VinciEmily is on the cusp of full-blown speech. Her words, such as they are, aren’t yet fully formed, and tend to be restricted to the essentials (“more”, “blue-berry” (pronounced in the Danish fashion, Blaubaer), “Yes” (vigorous head nodding), “No” (vigorous head shaking), “bouncy bouncy” (ba ba ba whilst… you guessed it, bouncing) etc), but both Amanda and I sense a frustration that she can’t talk more and that she’s itching for conversation.

This has had me thinking – well, how will I respond to her first questions? And her follow up questions? And the follow-ups to the follow-ups? Basically preparing for the endless recursion of ‘but why, Daddy…?’ questions.

Now, my folks were always very good at taking the time to explain things to us but I’m sure I remember an occasion or two where the answer was “because I say so.” My parents, brilliant and accomplished as they both are, are neither of them natural scientists, and Google wasn’t even a glimmer in Sergei Brin and Larry Page’s collective eyes at that time.

Unfortunately for Emily, that part of my education lies ready for activation whenever anything triggers my curiosity. So I’ve been starting to think about some of the questions I might get from a rampaging toddler and mentally preparing answers, or at least the Google search strings I’ll need to type in to find out the answers! Questions such as…

  1. Why do some babies have so little hair?
  2. Why do I have to go to bed so early?
  3. Why do I need to eat vegetables?
  4. Why can’t I have more toys?
  5. Why do I have to share?

Etc., etc. The theory is that a detailed and accurate answer stemmed in the fact or philosophy of the thing will stymie further questions and hopefully stimulate some good thought. I’m sure I’ll have ‘because I say so’ moments, but I can’t deny that I’m massively, massively looking forward to this stage (even if I’m not wishing away a moment of the infinitely cute ‘ba ba ba’ stage!).

What other questions should I plan for, lovely parent-friends?

Postscript: Hrm, Randall at XKCD seems to be having parallel thoughts to me today (albeit with different conclusions!):