Just because he’s my child doesn’t mean I always know when he’s messing with me… In the interests of encouraging discussion any time, anywhere, I try to hang in there as long as I can… But… I honestly can’t tell you how it’s going.
Rockstar: Mummy. How do crocodiles and alligators talk to each other?
Me: Well, do you think they use words or movements to communicate?
Rockstar: I think they do this – <maniacally windmills arms about>
Me: <after we look it up; as it turns out they do use body language – aggressive actions like slapping the water, vs submissive ones like sinking lower in – as well as bellows and growls especially during mating season> Well, you don’t just communicate with words yourself right, you use body language too – for eg when you don’t like someone they usually figure it out even if you don’t tell them outright yourself. You probably turn away and keep busy with your toys or something if you don’t feel like talking to someone…
Rockstar: Mummy. How do palm trees talk to each other?
Me: ??Erm…… Ok, let me google it… Do you think plants can communicate with each other?
Rockstar: Yes, but I didn’t want just any tree, I want to know about palm trees. With those leaves….. <windmills arms about again>
Me: <a bit suspicious, but do dig up something online half-heartedly that says there was once a study that illustrated certain trees of the same species might somehow have been able to warn each other to ward off herbivore attacks – so I just keep reading this dry article and think Hang On, he’s gotta be putting me on, he cannot be interested in this – and I sneak a look at Rockstar who has on a poker-faced attentiveness (rather than say, downright glazed-over eyes)> Are you really listening to all that?
Rockstar: <straight-faced> Yeah
Me: <suspicious> What did we just find out?
Rockstar: Trees can talk to each other. <reproachfully> But you didn’t find out about palm trees, Mummy.
Rockstar: Mummy, how many legs do sharks have?
Me: <thinking OK he’s just got to be being funny with all this> Oh come on. Nonsense.
Rockstar: <dead pan> No, really. How many legs do sharks have – Zero, mummy. Sharks have zero legs.
I never did figure if he was just messing with me the whole time or…