The small humans in my house like to ask a lot of questions. This isn’t news to anyone who reads this blog, or knows them at all. Occasionally I get into trouble trying to answer their questions.
I typically get in trouble answering their queries for one of these reasons:
I don’t know nuclear physics.
I can’t explain basic things that I think I understand, but when I try to articulate them I begin to think maybe I don’t really have as much of a grasp on them as I thought.
I am tired.
I am trying to drive or do some other task that requires a moderate amount of concentration.
I get sarcastic.
Did I mention I was tired?
Anyway, this morning on the way to their respective schools the three-year-old ballerina and the five-year-old zoologist could sense weakness. Small children can sense fear and weakness; they are like pit bulls in this respect. They know that I have been struggling with congestion, sore throats, and all of the fun things that go along with allergies to things like Mountain Cedar* so they began to bombard me with questions. This is part of the process where they hope to wear you down. Small children hunt in packs. They think if they get one parent alone they might be able to tag-team and have that parent curled up, crying in the fetal position. If they accomplish this they’ve only got one parent left to break before they get to run things. If they get to run things your best chance of survival is barricade yourself in a room and hope that you can escape when they are lethargic from binging on crackers and Disney Junior shows.
The ballerina got things started by questioning the “smoke” emerging from a car. She was talking about a car’s exhaust, and I did my best to explain the process, but then the zoologist stepped in quizzing me about all manner of things related, and unrelated, to a vehicle’s exhaust system. I might been more articulate had the congestion not been an issue, but you know what, probably not. Anyway, this led to the zoologist pondering my answers for a minute and saying, “Stuff is what you say when you don’t know isn’t it.”
I said, “Pretty much,” and mumbled a few things under my breath.
Then the ballerina strongly requested we sing Joy to the World, so we sang the beloved Christmas carol with gusto. Thankfully she only wanted to run through it once, usually I have to sing it three, four, maybe five dozen times.
Then the zoologist saw another car’s exhaust and said, “That car is exhausted too.”
The car wasn’t the only one.
*I hate mountain cedar. I don’t care if it is a useful plant, I want to burn them all down. There is an 18% chance if I am arrested it will be for starting multiple fires trying to rid the known world of the hideous plant known as Mountain Cedar. For crying out loud, it isn't even a cedar. It doesn't even have the decency to go by its real name.