Parenthood makes me feel dumb

May 6, 2009

in no manual for parenting

It is a cliche that children do not come with manuals. No education prepares one for parenthood. Sometimes I wonder whether a Jeopardy champion would make a better parent since they seem to be better equipped with answering completely random questions.

The series of questions and free associations my 6 year-old child fires from the back of the car often make me grip the steering wheel so tight that my knuckles turn white, because they are not the usual questions of “Mom, why is the sky blue?” Nooo.

“When was [his daycare] built?”
“I don’t know honey.”
“The president of [his daycare] would know right?”
“I don’t think so since there are hundreds of them.”
“When was our house built?”
“2000”
“See you know the answer. So how come the president of [his daycare] does not know when my school is built?”

“Who is the most powerful? The governor of [our local village]? The governor of Chicago? Or the Governor of Illinois?”
“Well, I would say the Governor of the State of Illinois. But you know they are responsible for different things.”
“Well, who is the most power? [The above list of people]? Or the governor of the United States?”
“You mean the President? I would say the President.”
“But you said that he works for us. So how come he’s the most powerful?”

“Mom, when do you want your Mother’s Day party to be?”
“Hmmm. I was hoping that I could just relax. I don’t really feel like a party since I don’t want to clean up afterwards.”
“Hmm, you should be like Obama’s wife.”
“What?”
“Remember how she went to ten parties* and she didn’t even complain? You should be more like her.”

* My guess is that he is referring to the number of Inaugration balls the first couple attended

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