Kids ask you the strangest things. When they’re just learning to talk, pretty much any answer will garner you one of two responses: either a “why?” or “ok.” When they’re older, however, you have to think your answers through a bit more thoroughly as kids discover the hallowed journalistic talent of asking the dreaded “Follow Up Question”. Or ten of them.
We had an excellent illustration of this at home yesterday. The Mister went out to run an errand yesterday afternoon while Hawkeye and I entertained ourselves at home with various games. Soon enough though, a key in the lock and the sound feet in the entryway heralded The Mister’s return. I took the opportunity to escape being in company briefly, but I am advised that the conversation in my absence went something like this:
“Daddy! Where did you go?”
“I… went to the moon.” I guess The Mister was feeling a bit playful. Watch how this comes back to bite him eventually.
“Whaaaaaaat?” (This is one of Hawkeye’s staple reactions to any sort of statement, said in a tone conveying utter disbelief and shock.) “To the moon? How did you get there?”
“I went in my rocket ship.”
“Well, where is it?”
“Where is what?”
“Where is your rocket ship?” Frankly, I applaud Hawkeye’s question as this is a perfectly logical thing to ask, in my opinion, when you find out that one of your family members just returned from the moon.
“I…. um…. I left it on the moon.”
Any further interrogation here would clearly have ensnared The Mister in his deceitful web of lies. Or produced some other even more fabulous tale, perhaps. However, at this point, either Hawkeye got distracted with something else or maybe his curiosity temporarily flagged, because he didn’t pursue the topic any further, much to The Mister’s relief.
This could have been the end of the conversation. In fact, this should have been the end of the conversation. I forgot it. The Mister forgot it. If the cat was present for the duration of this chat, I’m pretty certain he forgot it.
Until this morning.
My alarm went off and, just as I do every morning, I snoozed once and then eventually rolled out of bed, stuffed my feet into my warm slippers, and shuffled off to feed the noisy cat and then lock myself into the bathroom until I was capable of emerging from there feigning some semblance of alert humanity (hint: this takes a while).
Behind me, as I do every weekday morning, I left the Mister and Hawkeye in semidarkness. One slumbering away, the other rolling over from my side of the bed to snuggle into remaining warm body on the other side of the bed. But it’s a short reprieve as The Mister’s alarm goes off eventually, and on this morning, I’m told the conversation went something like this:
BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEP BEEEEEP BEEEEP!!!
Hawkeye, already partially awake, stretched out his limbs in all directions like a starfish while The Mister felt around for his phone to shut off the alarm.
“Is it morning time?”
“Yuuup,” The Mister half-signed half-groaned while trying to summon forth the will power to emerge from the warm blankets.
“If you left your rocket ship on the moon, how did you get back home?