When you live with a two year old you get a lot, and I mean a lot of questions. Most of them are fairly simple. What's that? Where's parrot? Where's minmi? What are you eating?
Then there are the tougher, more philosophical questions, the why questions. And the questions about nature and her surroundings can also be tricky. What do ants eat? What kind of clouds are those? These questions may require a basic understanding of grade school science.
Now I am a relatively intelligent person, a former lawyer. And I know realize that none of my schooling beyond grade school has prepared me to be a question answerer (is answerer even a word?) to a toddler. So like any good (former) lawyer, I make an educated guess, research it further and give a more fully formed answer later.
Take for example the cloud question. When faced with determining the type of clouds in the sky, I was pretty sure that the fluffy white ones were cumulus so that was my answer. A quick check of Wikipedia confirmed it. I also looked at the other types of clouds for a refresher, just in case.
Her questions about ants have posed tougher. She will spend hours examining ants, and ant hills. And then the questions start:
What to they eat? Grass (I think).
Where do they live? In the ground.
What are they doing? Looking for food.
Why are some little and some big? Um, they are different kinds of ants.
What kind of ants? I don't know. Let me check on that and get back to you. Would you like me to brief it or would a simple answer suffice?
So I found myself at the bookstore looking at books on ants. Hey guess what they do eat grass. Well some of them do. Do you know their are ants that grow their own food? Farmer ants do, in case you cared. I armed myself with some basic knowledge and answered her questions.
I know that this is just the beginning. I'm going to have to learn enough about what she is interested in so I can answer her questions. For example I just looked up whether a Parasaurolophus is a meat eating dinosaur or a plant eater. And the answer is plant eater.
What do you do when faced with these types of questions? What kinds of questions have you answered?