There are few things that define fatherhood (parenthood, actually) than the need to answer a never-ending stream of questions. Often ridiculous, sometimes ingenious, the questions of a child can make you laugh, they can make you cry, they can make you re-evaluate your entire life view. The sheer number of them can have you rocking in the corner like an addict on withdrawal.
My 5 year old, in particular, is more relentless than Paxman was here.
Here are the ten best ones this month and the conversations they spawned:
- Why do dogs’ teeth pretend to be sharp?
- I presume this is a bark worse than bite thing but I had no idea how to answer it so I said “Dogs just have very clever teeth” which shut that bad boy down.
- Do you hate ironing more than messing around?
- Yes, especially bed linen, I HATE ironing bed linen. What’s bed linen Daddy? It’s what we sleep in. Why do you need to iron it Daddy? [Pointedly] Ask mum.
- Who would win if we dropped a bowling ball on a spider?
- It depends how big the spider is. Do spiders get bigger than BOWLING BALLS, Daddy? They do in the Princess Bride, Harry. What’s that, Daddy? Cue: many tears watching Princess Bride.
- Why do ducks poo on the floor?
- Have you ever seen a Duck Loo? No. So where are they meant to poo? End of.
- What’s twice as big as a bird?
- Depends if it’s an Emu or a Wren. What’s an Emuoraren daddy? A very big bird about the size of a horse. Wow.
- Why don’t girls cut their nails?
- I’m actually not sure, Harry. Maybe they are lazy? Yes that’s probably it, Harry. [Reconsidering gender stereotyping issues] Actually, it’s because they look cool. They don’t look cool, they look ugly Daddy. You can’t win.
- Were there any bikes whenever you were about 3?
- [Frustrated] Yes, Harry, we’d moved on from horses. You moved on horses? No, on bikes. So what happened to the horses? Etc.
- What’s the heaviest thing in the world?
- The world. But apart from the world? The sea. Except for the sea? [googles ‘heaviest single object in the world’]. It’s a rocket launchpad Harry, it weighs 2,423 tonnes. He loves rockets so he’s happy with that.
- How many supermarkets are there in the world?
- Ask Tesco. Who’s Tesco, Daddy? It’s a supermarket, Harry. Do they have infinity supermarkets? Sometimes it feels like that Harry, yes. Etc.
- Why can’t foxes spit things out [on discovering fox poo with cherry stones in it]?
- I think they have the wrong shaped mouths, Harry. Or tongues. So if a fox had my mouth he could spit things out? I suppose so Harry yes…
Someone once wrote that ‘seeing the world through the eyes of a child is the purest joy you can experience’. I’m not sure about that (have they ever fallen in love? Drunk gin? Eaten a good ribeye?) but it certainly makes you look at poo in a different light.