Okay perhaps that is a slight exagerration.
There are--despite rumors, assertions, and validation to the contrary---an awful lot of stupid questions.
"Do you support Bush?"
That's a good example.
But in this case, potshots aside, I'm talking about myself.
Hands down, the dumbest things I've ever said have come in the course of Parenting.
Let's set the scene.
Picture me speaking to a cute little kid who happens to be my daughter. If you have trouble visualizing, use the cartoons below, last entry. It's pretty cartoonish when this happens, and I often have Looney Tunes going through my head anyway (in these cases) so it works well.
Now you, you look at this kid and this one case and you think, awww chill out lady, she's basically a good kid. Why the mottled spit in the corner of your mouth, the flashing eyes, the horns erupting from your skull (although, it does add a nice bit of volume to your hair)? Break it down, understand, figure out why, and redirect positively.
Okay Ms. Mazlisch, you come live with my kids for a week. We'll see how positive and redirective you can be. I say that with a smirk, not a sneer. Honest.
What you need to understand is that my every day---times two since there are two of them now---is made up of moments and events that make babysitters and other parents run screaming in fear.
I'm not a lazy parent. My kids don't lack discipline. They aren't bad.
They are spirited.
Back in my day it was called precocious. (That, for the record, is my mother's favorite word to describe me as a child. You know, as a further aside, I swear I hear a lot of snickering going on when I rant to her about how my kids' goal is to drive me stark raving nutso---and while I am proud of them for being goal-oriented and so hmm tenacious when going after their goal,which they are often right close to achieving, perhaps, yes, perhaps, it would behoove them not to test my limit every 22.3 seconds.)
Does it even matter what the kids did? Do you even want to know about the impressively artistic and detailed new decoration added to my playroom wall? I mean, when did she find the time to make an entire, even row of little flowers with leaves, stems and colors all along the wall? And then...to add in terra and firma and sky-a (I made that one up) detail too?
It couldn't have been at night while I was sleeping. The grownups in this house don't do any of that monkey business, I assure you.
So the stupid question.
No...wait, the "The Dumbest Question in the World, Bar None, Hands Down, Ever."
We finally get to the point.
Here it comes...
"OH MY STARS, WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING??!?!?!?!?!!!"
This question reduces my normally verbose and eloquent child to saying, "Hummuhnuh hummuhnuh..."
I fall further down the rabbit hole, "I mean, come ON, you aren't STUPID, you know the rule is NO COLORING EXCEPT ON PAPER...why? Why would you do something like THIS?!?!?"
I hear you...you are thinking, evil mom, why would you crush your creative child's spirit in such a way? Trust me. This? Is time number 15 in the day. You missed the other 14 where I'd make even Dr. Sears proud with my handling.
The bottom line is...there is no answer to these questions. They are pointless. The only possible response is the truth: I don't know.
Because let's face it: they don't know.
I think Bill Cosby was right; the only insane person in the equation is the one expecting deductive reasoning and logic from a child.
(By the way, I still haven't regained those lost IQ points pregnancy and childbirth robbed from me, so do you happen to know whether I mean inductive reasoning? reductive reasoning? I better be off to wikipedia to check.)
In conclusion, why, seriously WHY would I ask such a dumb question?
You? Hug your children and be grateful people don't comment on their big personalities, level of required maintenance (high), or degree of busyness (very). If they do, a big hug of sisterhood from me.
By Julie Pippert
Artful Media Group
Museum Quality Digital Art and Photography
Limited Edition Prints
Artful by Nature Fine Art and Photography Galleries
The Golden Orchid: Original and Unique Wearable Art
© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.