Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mama, What's the Temperature of Lightning?

I graduated from high school.  I made it through college.  I thought I had learned life's necessities and then some:  I've read The Tempest.  I can fill my tires up.  I even have a go-to Thanksgiving side dish.  But now I'm realizing that perhaps the most crucial skill I've acquired is this: I can operate a computer.

And thank the Lord for that, because ever since my son turned 4, he has been on a quest to find immediate answers to the most unanswerable questions on the planet.

Planets, in fact, top his vast and often unrelated list of interests.  At 6:30 a.m., he begins the day with questions along the lines of: Which is the hottest planet [hint: it is not Mercury]? What color is Saturn? How small is a dwarf planet?  I only know the answers to these riddles because of the computer.  Specifically Google.


(My son hard at work on YouTube.)


My inquisitive son also went through a solid sea-creature fascination stage.  He was so enamored with underwater animals that I thought it might be his eventual focus in life (how naive of me!).

At first, Google sufficed to answer burning questions like, “Where do seahorses live?” and “How cold is the Arctic ocean?”   Youtube also became a handy source for exploring the ocean together. Convinced this fixation was permanent (and desperate for wireless answers), I invested in Simon and Schuster's Children's Guide to Sea Creatures.  It's beautiful, and he pored over it for all of 2 days.

Now my son is obsessed with another topic-- all things speed-related.  How many miles-per-hour does a rocket go?  What's the fastest type of bird?  If an orca whale raced a great white shark, who would win?

Though I gratefully acknowledge that Google has maintained my last few shreds of sanity during this time, my son has taught me much more than my Internet research.  It was only after his questioning really quickened that I realized this: I know nothing.  Sure, I know some things, but similar to how my son must feel every single day, this realization is both exciting and overwhelming.  There is so much to learn!



Fortunately, I have my trusty 4 year old to keep me on my toes.  How else would I know that a googol (that's the mathematic spelling) has 100 zeroes, lightning can reach 54,000 degrees, and that the whale would win the race?

What have your kids taught you?

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

P.S.  I recently changed my blog address from www.FranticMama.blogspot.com to www.FranticMama.com  in case you want to update your bookmarks!

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