A couple days ago, Milo and I were reading Calvin and Hobbes. We got to the third panel and he says, “B-O-O-M. Boom.” The first word he has read by himself.
“You are my best grown-up I like, Papa.”
I’ll take it.
Today’s questions: What eats penguins? How does burning coal make electricity?
These are from the 8-minute drive home from preschool.
Milo wants to know about many things that I just don’t know or understand. It’s humbling to have lived in the world for 4 decades and realize I have such a slim understanding of various systems and how things work.
I love that Milo knows I don’t have all the answers. He knows we can ask and expert (like the worker who is fixing something) or that we can look up information online. Learning how to find answers is a vital skill I want him to have.
Penguin predators: http://www.penguins-world.com/what-eats-penguins.html
This documentary series is fascinating. I will likely never see Milo at this age. I wonder who he’ll be.
“Is there some place you would rather be?” – Jerry Seinfeld
The number one thing I can do to improve my parenting is to be present. Not half here, half in Google Reader. Here 100%. I need to Milo in him in the eye when he’s talking to me. I need to have him help me out with tasks, like cleaning, so we’re sharing time together, working together.
Not just some of the time, all of the time.
“He’s hide-and-seeking.” – Milo’s explanation of why Giraffe was lost
Milo asked me the hardest question: “Why do you love me?” There just aren’t words, buddy. At least, not enough words.
“I make music with my chair.” – Milo rocking his chair so the legs clacked on the kitchen floor
“I go out with my awesome boots.”
I try to explain the world to Milo in a way that is simple and still true.
[Full disclosure: He's not being raised on a stringent protocol of fact-only explanations. We anthropomorphise heavily at Casa de Milo, tease and tell lots of stories.]
Still, since he’s curious about everything, I like to tell him how things work.
For instance, Milo cares if it’s light or dark outside because, if it’s dark, he can watch YouTube train videos before bed.
When he asks me why it gets dark outside, the sensible father I am says the sun is sleepy and it’s time for him to have dreams. An easy-to-conceptualize parallel to the boy’s own experience. Cheerful and safe.
Ah, dreams. In reality, Milo asks why it’s dark out and I tell him the Earth has turned away from the sun. Abstract and cold as the vacuum of space.
Fielding many of Milo’s questions gets tricky because he keeps asking “how come?” The farther back he goes in the chain of causation, the harder it is to keep my explanations simple. It’s also harder to give him real answers without cracking open a web browser.
So when Milo asks how come the Earth turns, I typically tell him, that’s just what it does or, lately, that’s the way Nature made it. You know, soft answers that keep me from having to delve into cosmology, creation myths and cracking open the aforementioned web browser.
Tonight, I thought, “Why does the Earth spin?”
I almost told Milo the Earth spins because it was set in motion by The Big Bang.
I’m really glad I went with a soft answer instead. I mean, come on, he’s only two.