Inquiring Minds

(for @katrina413)

Flora’s first sentence was a question. “Ut dat?” Translation: “What’s that?”

She asked it All.The.Time. Pointing a little finger at the object in question.

“Ut dat?” “It’s a bird!”

“Ut dat?” “It’s an apple!”

“Ut dat?” “It’s a car!”

You get the idea.

So it’s really not surprising that at 6 years old, Flora asks more questions in five minutes than I ask all day long. (Unless the question is, “What are you doing??” I seem to have to ask that one an awful lot.)

My propensity to accurately and honestly answer her questions gets me in a boatload of trouble all the time. I really need to start saying, “Magic” or “Because God made it that way” more often.

There are, of course, questions she asks that I have to turn to Google for — my generation’s version of consulting the Encyclopedia Britannica — but even better than googling is Twitter.

I even created a hashtag: #floraquestions. Last night’s Twitter query involved parachutes (thanks to @mindbling for the answer: “nylon and the prayers of a 1,000 sky divers. #answersforflora”).

Most of our interchanges are like this (from last night and this morning):

Me: I need you and Kate to get up when I ask in the morning. Daddy is unavailable —
F: What is unavailable?
Me: He won’t be here.
F: Why not?
Me: He has conferences.
F: What are conferences?
Me: They are meetings.
F: Why is he going?
Me: For work.
F: I’m going to miss him!
Me (trying to get back to the point): Right, me too! That’s why I need you to get up in the morning when I ask you to.
F: Where’s Daddy going again?

Me: Get in Daddy’s car.
F: Why are we taking Daddy’s car?
Me: Because Daddy’s taking my car.
F: Why is Daddy taking your car?
Me: Because it’s in better condition.
F: What’s condition?
Me: It works better.
F: Why does your car work better?
Me: I have no idea.

In general, I do try to patiently answer her questions. But I also admit when I’m trying to herd them out the door or make dinner for everyone, it’s hard not to get a little exasperated. When Flora hears that in my tone, she protests: “I’m just really curious!”

And it’s true. She is.

Obviously, I think her inquisitiveness is a good quality. It’s one of the reasons I think she will do well in school, and, eventually, college and beyond. I always joke that she’s my little research scientist.

I think for her next birthday, I’m going to buy her a white lab coat and a microscope.

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