Ruby is 2 years and 7 months old now. She has always been an excellent talker, learning to speak quite early on. Her vocabulary is quite wide for her age and she comes out with some absolute corkers.
As she is my only (or should that be 'first'?) child, I have no real way of knowing that she is advanced for her age, but lots of people tell me so - from nursery staff, to random old dears on the bus. I am not crediting this to her genes, but I do feel that it is not unconnected to the fact that she never had a dummy and we always used a parent-facing buggy.
I am not particularly against the use of dummies (unless a child is still sucking on one by the time they start school!), we did offer her one as a baby but she never took to it. I am however, a huge advocate of parent-facing buggies. I talked to her from day one, and spoke to her as a person rather than goo'd and gaa'd at her, and smiled sweetly at the people in the supermarket who thought I was bonkers 'discussing' what to buy for tea with a 2 month old baby!
I am very proud of her speech, however it has brought with it the early arrival of the dreaded question 'Why?' Don't get me wrong, I knew it was coming and fully appreciate that this is how children learn, I just wasn't expecting it so early.
This morning, getting dressed:
Ruby : "What are these?"
Me : "They are called leg-warmers"
Ruby : "Why?"
Me : "Because they keep your legs warm"
Ruby: "Why do I need my legs warm?"
Me: "Because it's cold today"
Ruby : "Why?"
Me: "Because it's winter now"
Me: "What would you like for breakfast? La la la"
Now, I could probably answer "What's winter" in a way that she'd understand, but why is it winter? I'm not so sure. She has so many questions but not the capacity necessarily to understand the answers. Or maybe I'm just rubbish at explaining. It has also got me in a bit of a flap trying to search the recesses of my brain for basic GSCE science stuff. Why does the earth go round the sun? Or is it the other way round? Why is the sky blue? These are all surely coming my way so I think I'd better brush up!
The other week we had an electrician round doing some work. Ruby asked what 'electricity' is. Hmm. How did I explain this concept to a 2 year old? I told her it's what made the telly work!
I am queen of the cop-out. A few months back we had the tricky issue of the death of a pet to contend with. Clearly at that age I didn't want to talk about life and death and didn't want to frighten her. So when our beloved chicken, Barbara was got at by a fox, I told Ruby that she had 'flown away'. We elaborated on this story because of course she wanted to know when she was coming back. We told her she'd gone to live with her chicken mummy and daddy! I know, I know...
Oddly enough, when she started a new nursery in September, our walk takes us past a house with chickens. Even better luck, they are Rhode Island Reds - the same breed as Barbara. So when we walk past and sees them through the side gate pecking at they're breakfast, she calls out "hello Barbara, and Barbara's mummy and daddy".
I'm curious to know what tricky questions have you had from your little ones, and what ingenious answers have you come up with? Is it always better to be honest, or do you cop out like me? x