N is a really talkative child. I wonder where he gets that from? Clue…it’s not the OH. But to find out information or to have a decent chat he’s got to be in the mood or in the right situation, usually tucked up in bed.
Once N is talking though, the most innocuous chat or question can rapidly go off on a tangent into some complicated topic of politics, economics, environmental or social discussion. Not all of which is my forte. So it’s hard to keep thinking on my feet and try to answer his questions in as best a way as possible.
Oh to be the OH, who’s rarely asked anything more complex than about farming.
The latest evening conversation was a long one. The OH despairs at how long it takes to read N a chapter or two of the current bedtime story, and then to have a brief chat about our day. But this one was one I had to curtail and try and escape from.
It started off by me asking where N fancied going on the last day of half term with me. I’d been at work all week, but had the 1 day off.
A pause, thinking….’maybe National Trust’. I’m thinking it’s the lunchboxes he’s thinking of rather than the houses or gardens.
‘Ok, we’ll need to check them out before they close for Christmas and cleaning’
N wanted to know why they closed, so I had to explain how old the houses were, and how closing gave them the chance to clean and prepare ready for the next lot of visitors next year. And that they were very old properties so had to be cleaned in specialist ways.
‘Do they have National Trust in America?’ I had to give a brief history lesson on how America was relatively modern compared with the UK in terms of the buildings because they were built after the US was discovered by explorers. And then it was colonised by the Pilgrims. And that they lived alongside the Native Americans who’d been living there before.
‘Is America as big as England?’.
‘Yes, it’s massive compared to England, can’t you remember we looked at North America on your big world map?’
‘So there’s lots of people?’
‘Yes, a lot of land and a lot of people’.
‘The most people in a country in the world?’
‘No, that’s probably China with india close behind’. We were really dredging up my old historical and geographical knowledge. It’s not been worked in a long time. ‘They’re very crowded’.
‘Why?’ Sigh. Why do I get myself into these conversations.
I had to explain about high birth rates in Asia, needing large families to help work and earn money for the families, but now they’re just a growing country with a growing economy and traditionally larger families. I then mentioned that in China they used to have a 1 child policy to try and stop the population from continuing to increase too fast. That stumped him.
‘Only 1 baby?’
‘Yes at one point parents were only allowed to have 1 baby. But it’s stopped because now there’s lots of men and not enough women for the men’.
‘So no mummies?’ He seemed quite perturbed about that.
It tickles me that within 15 minutes we can go from something simple like National Trust visits, to world demographics.
Thankfully the conversation then tailed off when N realised he was running out of time to have his story. I think I’m going to have to read up on world economics and demographics to be able to keep with the questions that are going to continue coming as he gets older.
Do your children ask complicated questions about the world and different countries? What the topic on their mind at the moment?