Saturday, May 9, 2009

Conversation at the lunch table

At mealtimes Littleman often asks me questions, which lead to very detailed discussions of various topics. (I always knew all this useless knowledge in my head would be handy some day!) Mr. Sweetcheeks often chimes in with his own brand of comments. Today's lunch conversation went thus:

1) Littleman asks me, How is paper made? I describe the process in detail, and then he asks me
2) How is colored paper made, so I describe that, and these things lead to
3) How do people get different colors of skin? Which launches us into the subject of genetics and DNA, which I manage to explain pretty well, and next he asks me about
4) dwarfism, so I explain that as well as I can, which discussion quickly leads to
5) The Wizard of Oz movie, so I describe what I know (with a number of interruptions from Sweetcheeks) all the way through the melting of the wicked witch, which leads to
6) How does stuff melt? So I describe some of the physical science behind melting, which leads him to a question about
7) condensation, so I describe that process too.

At this point everyone is finished eating and I am tidying up, so Littleman goes off to exercise his sated brain on something else for awhile. My brain meanwhile, needs a breather! Whew.

And people wonder how the kids will learn anything without doing formal lessons.


Grace said...

Love it! We have had so many similar conversations. One explanation leads to another question and so on -
Sometimes I wonder where they come up with connections from one subject to another.
Glad you are such a smart Mama!

Kit said...

These conversations can be tough (how many times in response to a question do I have a mental "Uh. . . . .") but it sure is good brain exercise! I love them. It's so much fun to hear what the kids come up with next, and to see them understand some of what I explain. And it's not that I'm smart, I've just read a LOT of random stuff over the years! :)

Bird said...

Answering questions like that, your brain is always going to be kept in fine shape! People can often lose patience with small children's questions but that's exactly when you can pour all the important good stuff into their minds and let them know it's good to be curious, it's good to think and question. So many kids get that stifled early on.

Kit said...

I do get impatient a bit when "WHY?" is used as a delaying tactic, rather than a genuine attempt to understand. The problem is, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference. I try to err on the side of answering honestly whenever possible.