Chance has gotten to the age where he wants to know how everything works. I hear more "but why's" out of his mouth than anything else over the course of the day. He seems genuinely interested in those "why's" and I love seeing his curiosity at play. This part of being a parent is really exciting. This is the part that I so intensely looked forward to when Chance was a tiny infant... watching him learn. Introducing the world to him. Hoping against hope that he would be one of those kids who wanted to learn, even if that made him the wee bit nerdy. (But also hoping, if he did love learning, that he wouldn't be quite as painfully nerdy as I was.)
However, there are A LOT of questions - more than an idealistic new parent can imagine - and there are some moments where I completely give up explaining things "at his level". I don't know if this makes me a bad mom, or simply one without the correct amount of patience + creativity. (Because, at this point, I think that explaining things in simple terms is a rare and specified skillset that some people just have and it probably should go on their resume. It's hard!) Sometimes, especially at the end of a long day, I just can't seem to get out enough single syllable words and easy examples to satisfy either of us and I... revert.
Chance: "Mom, why did the balloons sink?"
Me: "You mean, the balloons from your party?" (three months ago)
Chance: "Yeah. Why did they sink?"
Me: "Well, the air leaks out of them."
Me: "It just does, honey, balloons don't last forever. The air slowly leaks out of the balloon and that's why they sink... or... deflate..."
Chance: "But why?"
Me: "They just... um..."
Chance: "But why?"
Me: "Because some gasses are more permeable than others."
Me: "You know the balloons that float? Those are filled with a gas called helium. And the ones that don't float are filled with the regular air that we breathe, which is a compound gas. Well, helium can sneak through the material of the balloon and escape faster than the regular air can." (I wasn't sure if that was technically correct, but I knew it was close. Anyway, I was winging it.)
Chance: "Huh. Why?"
Me: "Because you know how things look solid, like our arms and this table? Well, they actually aren't. Everything is made up out of these tiny bits called molecules. And the molecules, they have gaps in them and that's how gasses sneak out of balloons."
Chance: "Oh... OK."
And it was quiet. Briefly, but blessedly, quiet.
I can't decide if my hackneyed explanation was better than just saying "because I said so!", but I fear if I don't brush up on my science I might quickly turn into Bobby Boucher's mother.