One of the most daunting things about being the Father of two Daughters, is trying to decide how to teach them about a multitude of life's lessons. Not everything is a cut and dry explanation and I certainly don't have all the answers. In fact, there are certain questions that come up, that have me absolutely perplexed. When this happens, I feel helpless. I want my kids to feel empowered with knowledge. I want to be the one who provides them with that knowledge. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way.
This is why it is important to have a multi-level, Fail Safe "System" in place for when certain unanswerable inquiries find their way to your jurisdiction. There are three particular levels of code that I employ in such, said situations (Not to be confused with the lyrics to Elton John's, "Sorry seems to be the hardest word" - Such a sad, sad situation...)
This is the lowest and least threatening of situations. Most of the time, they can be handled with a yes or no but often require some sort of deflection or measure of distraction.
Daughter - "Daddy, Why is the sky blue?"
Father - "No."
Daughter - "No what?"
Father - "No way! Look at all the candy over there."
Daughter - "Cool! I love you Daddy!"
This can get quite tricky and most often can escalate if not dealt with, in a swift and cunning fashion. Although not admirable, answers to a fair number of these inquiries, might best be met with a white lie.
Daughter - "Daddy? Why are those two Dogs stuck together?"
Father - "Sweetie, If I tell you, do you promise not to get upset?"
Daughter - "Yes. I promise."
Father - "It seems as if the Dog on top is blind and his friend is carrying him home."
Daughter - "That's so sad but his friend is nice."
Father - "Yes. Very nice indeed."
This is perhaps the most alarming and the most sensitive of all scenarios. It can be handled in one or two of the following ways or even a combination of both. When engaged with a child who is prying for information that you can not possibly explain, it is sometimes best to ignore them until they go away or if necessary, pretend to cry or sleep, depending on the time of day. Please exercise extreme caution when navigating through these testy, shark infested waters.
Daughter - "Daddy? Who do you love more, me or Mommy?"
Father - "I... I... Can't..."
Daughter - "Daddy, why are you crying?"
Father - "I... Cheese Sticks... Just... I... Zamboni"
Daughter - "What?"
Father - (Curling up into the fetal position, eyes closed and snoring loudly.)
Daughter - "Daddy? Are you awake? I'm sorry Daddy. I'll leave you alone."
Father - (Back to watching Hockey...)
Today, my oldest daughter picked a large quantity of lint from my bellybutton. She asked me where it came from. I told her I have no idea.
Godspeed and Out-Numbered...