Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Sky is Blue. No it's Not.

While watching Finding Nemo, I had this conversation with Clay.


CLAY: Did that fish get eaten?

ME: The mom fish was eaten. The dad fish and Nemo are ok though.

CLAY: A shark ate them?

ME: A big fish ate them.

CLAY: Actually, a shark ate them.

ME: It was a big fish.

CLAY: And sharks are big fish, right?

ME: I give up. You know everything.

I really don't know how I made it to the ripe old age of 38. My kids point out daily just how stupid I am. Austin is especially good for this. It doesn't matter what I say, that kid will find a loophole and exploit it every time without fail.

"The sky is blue."

"Well actually, the sky isn't really blue. The gas molecules in the sky just absorb the shorter wavelengths blah blah blah blah blah..."

Of course, if I gave the scientific explanation, he'd counter with something else.

"The sky looks blue because the molecules absorb the short wavelengths and...."

"No. The sky is blue because it would look weird if it was purple."

It really doesn't matter what I say, Austin's greatest joy in life is achieved by proving me wrong. Oh, if only I were as smart as a teenager. I used to be that smart. I used to know everything. I did!

I think I've figured it out. Babies are born knowing very little. You teach them important stuff. You teach them how to talk and walk, how to feed themselves and read, how to dress themselves and poop on the potty. They look up to you. You have all the answers to life's problems. In fact, you do such a great job teaching them that they eventually become smarter than you.

You begin to realize that you really don't have all the answers. I mean, you don't even know what MileyWorld is. You can't name all the Jonas Brothers. It takes you 12 minutes to send a text message and you have no clue what Webkinz are. You think that Fergie is the Duchess of York and Wii is simply "we" misspelled. Suddenly your kids are rolling their eyes at you because clearly, only the very simple-minded wouldn't know what "IDK" means.

Take heart though. You won't be stupid forever. Some day your kids will probably have kids of their own and suddenly you'll regain your intelligence. In fact, you may even be called wise by your children.

51 comments:

Mum-me said...

We obviously are from the same generation. What does "IDK" mean?

Rachel said...

the big fish is actually a baracuda... if you want to throw some info his way. i know this only because i seem to find myself watching finding nemo at least twice a week (either that or cars). yeah, i'm that mom. i enjoy your blog so much. thanks for reminding me that my 3 aren't so completely abnormal as i sometimes think they are. and, yes, i realize that i don't capitalize... i do that on purpose - have for years.

Emiliy said...

HA! i tutor junior highers. i'm 25 so i feel like i'm still young. until i started tutoring. my students were talking about fergie and i thought the same thing...the duchess of york. they corrected me and told me that york is on the east coast of america and californians really don't know anything about geography because new york is a state and we have a president not a duchess. they then told me that fergie was in the black eyed peas. all while rolling their eyes. i didn't feel like arguing with them about york being in europe. because i already lost all credibility when i didn't know who the real fergie was.

AlaneM said...

So what does IDK mean?

You mean to tell me this gets worse??? My 6 yo argues with me Clay style all the time & it's driving me insane!
I can't do homework with him because it becomes a he said/she said nightmare. But for some reason what daddy says is ok - girrrrrrr!

Rick said...

Take heart. Austin probably really is a genius, and you just look dumb in comparission. The only question is... Which side of the family does he get it from?


http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

P.S. It would be kind of cool if the sky turned purple - at least for a little while.

Anonymous said...

Yay!! I know the answers to all the questions! But I still feel like I'm the odd one out at all times. Ugh. I hate that. But then I think of how MY mother was treated by me. Humm>Thanks for your insight.

Jules said...

So do I get to be called smart before my 100th birthday, or after?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

The big fish who eats Nemo's mother and siblings is a barracuda. The sharks don't come into the picture until Dori and Marlin meet them in the shipwreck while searching for Nemo.

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

I agree with Rick about the genius stuff. I have one of those who would argue about the color of the sky, as well as what is wrong with society and how she could make it better. And she learned all of this from her invisible scientist friend. She can't show you how she gets her answers in pre-calc, but she gets them right 98% of time. I just listen to her point of view and then say "veddy intedesting..."

Thanks for your humor and wit, and even the sarcasm. It reminds me to laugh at myself, and to not take myself so seriously!

Thanks also for all of the info from the convention. I am enjoying linking to those on your list. I have been privileged to get to know so many wonderful people because of you and your referrals. Muchas gracias comadre!

And Fergie...my teens and my job at a middle school both have given me white hair, but have also taken 10 years off my life! Enjoy the ride...soon you will be moving them into dorms where they will be writing their thesis (thesi?) on the color of the sky!

God Bless,

stlmom

Mary said...

IDK means "I don't know". I just learned that one. I also learned that g2g means "got 2 go". I still don't see how they came up with that. I read the internet and gossip sites and I'm still at a loss on things. If you watch "The Hills" on MTV, you are so in with any teenage girl. Try it. Ask them about Lauren, Lo and Audrina. Kids, if they didn't irratate us, we'd never let them go to college.

Pangolin said...

My four year old is already a know-it-all who's favorite phrase is "I was right and you were wrong, Mom." He's going to be one downright annoying kid as a teenager, methinks!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Dave Barry's theory is that our children siphon off our brain cells for their own use. That would explain how they get smarter as we get dumber.

Anonymous said...

Per my texting nephew, IDK is "I don't know." There may be regional differences in texting terms, but I'm told that one is pretty standard.

Pat

Anonymous said...

Just wait until he hits high school...I teach high school, I'm constantly being taught the things I don't know. Just when I think I've got it all studied up, they throw another one at me, complete with eye rolling, of course. I just find it interesting that they have no problem educating me about their made up "vocabulary words" and "important" pop culture figures, but they get offended when I'm appalled that they don't know SAT words or actual cultural figures that they most certainly should know by 11th grade (Bhutto, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? ...and most of them don't know who Bueller is, either, btw. Oh, the humanity!). Oh well. In ten years they'll realize how smart I am, too (right?!).

~Laura

Mabunny said...

OH I know Dawn. Nicole will correct my english... Shes only had 9 yrs of it. It ticks me off sometimes but then I'll correct her too. /sigh oh well,she wil also correct me while I'm on the phone which realy makes me mad. If i"m talking to a friend and kind of get the story right, she is in the back ground telling me what really happened. I'm so glad shes at my moms for a week atm:)) But by tomorrow th house will get too quiet!

Baby Tunnel Exodus said...

In our house I say, "Quit being so Snarky." Using big or unusual words seems to stop the Snarkiness, until they figure out what I just said. Hey, it's not a permanent fix, but it does buy some time, and they are getting good use out of their dictionary, lol. Keep it coming, your blog is great!

Kearsie said...

Ugh, my two girls are still in that precious bubble where they believe everything out of my mouth is the Gospel Truth. My four year old will ask me the most bizarrish questions like, "Do turtles miss their mommies when they grow up?" to which I say "I don't know" and she'll respond "Yes you do! You're mommy!" Ugh-soon they'll realize I'm not an expert.

http://soundsliketomatoes.wordpress.com

Katrina in Ohio said...

Oh, I have two teenagers and according to them, my IQ is non-existant. I keep waiting for them to say I'm wise..but I'm not holding my breath. LOL...

Anonymous said...

For those who don't know, IDK stands for "I don't know."

This site has a pretty good list of IM/texting shorthand that may be helpful to you:

http://www.alphadictionary.com/articles/imglish/imglish_a.html

MayberryMom said...

When I was a teen my dad used to say "you'll be amazed at how smart I'm going to be 5 years from now" LOL So true.

Krista said...

I'm 32 and I have an 18 month old. My mom isn't nearly as dumb as I thought she was when I was 16....

Anonymous said...

Kids are so funny! Just wait til yours are teens. Mine are 16, 18, 20, okay. I finally got this texting thing and LOVE it however, my kids are like OMG mom, you are so slow texting why don't you use T9Word? WHAT the heck is that!? I swear, this is never ending!! However, if it wasn't for their insight on things I would be more technology challenged than I am! Judy

Anonymous said...

Oh, but I DO know the names of all the Jonas Brothers. Kevin is the oldest one who plays guitar but doesn't sing very much. Joe sings lead and just starred in "Camp Rock" on the Disney Channel. Nick is the one with the curly hair and is the youngest of the three. They have a much younger brother, whose name I cannot recall at the moment. Can you tell I have a 10 yo daughter who has repeatedly tried to get me to remember who is who? I can't remember my own phone number, but I can tell you all about the Jonas brothers! Oh, and rumor has it that Nick is now dating Selena Gomez, but their publicists claim they are "just friends".

Anonymous said...

Ok I know this one IDK means I dont know, and Fergie is from the group Black Eyed Peas also so funny though i'm 28 and i still think i know more than my mom guess my kids will start knowing more than me really soon though love your blog--sasha

momumo said...

My son is also smarter than I -- and a freakin semantics wizard -- so not only does he correct my misinformation, but regardless of how I try to speak my mind about it, he finds another loophole to expose my ignorance! He's 16, it doesn't appear this will ever change -- I feel pain for the wife he may someday have (if any woman can ever tolerate his huge brain).

On days when I feel particularly grateful that my mother didn't just run off to Alaska and leave us to fend for ourselves (there were 9 of us) I call her and thank her.

laklisa said...

I don't know which is scarier, knowing the answers to who Fergie is and what IDK stands for...or knowing it at the age of 32? LOL
And I have to say that I learned in my late 20s that my parents are usually right-there fore smart. So while we may not know anything now, there will be hope in the future!!!

Larisa said...

When the kid hits 21, you become smart again. It's amazing.

Chris said...

IDK stands for "I don't know".

Sunny said...

Oh, to be wise! I remembered thinking my parents were so "out of it" with current life. Now I look at my little sisters, and I'M the one who's clueless! I very much understand the taking 12 minutes to send a text. My DH tells me "you don't need to write a novel", and I blush, because I've managed to type out half a sentence!

iheartchocolate said...

This is so true, it's not even funny! wii, haaa

Pudgy Pencils said...

i wish your kid would've been around yesterday when we tried to watch Finding Nemo. the brilliant store clerks at the video joint forgot to remove the security pins and I spend half an hour (even more brilliant me) thinking it's just "hard to get out" of the DVD case. I end up breaking the pin and still not getting anywhere. we ended up calling to find out what the problem was (and how stupid I am). But hey at least we got a couple free rentals out of it ;)

Michelle said...

Hey Dawn!

Send your kids to this website: Why is the sky blue?. It should keep them busy for 10 min.

Matchbox Mom said...

HAHA!
I love it!

My Kids' Mom said...

Ha! So close to home. My four year old will argue ANYTHING and one day he asked me why we sometimes just say "Oh." to him. I laughed, as did his brother and dad. I decided to explain to him. My example was that sometimes he tells us that the sky is red and we correct him and tell him it is blue. He then, always, tells us we are wrong and the sky really IS red. Then we say, "Oh." He thought it was funny and we keep using it as the example when he starts to frustrate us. But now, instead of "Oh" we say "The sky is blue."

I worry that some day he'll join the Debate Team and we'll have nothing left to ever say to him again, except, "Oh."

Anonymous said...

LOL! I feel your pain. Here's a twist on that same conversation.
ME: Want to watch Nemo?
MY 2 YR OLD: Nemo's Mommy died. A shark ate her. (Repeat this like a broken record.)
ME: (finally about ready to pull my hair out) No honey, it wasn't a shark, it was a barracuda.
MY 2 YR OLD: (pauses, thinking) But it MIGHT be a shark!
This is how she "wins" all arguments at the age of 2 - if I point out she's incorrect about something, she comes back with "But it MIGHT be!"

JCK said...

A loophole! That's EXACTLY it! And my children are already finding them at ages 3 and 4...I'm in serious trouble.

I'm looking forward to someday being called...wise, if not an elder.

Anonymous said...

I talk to my mom daily on the phone. I usually start my conversation with, "I'm sorry, Mom" for all the things I put her through when I was growing up. And I was the GOOD kid in the family! haha

Donna in PA :)

Pam said...

I was sitting in the DR office this afternoon with my TWO teens (it gets worse!!) and an old edition of Better Homes and Gardens. It had a whole list of text terms so we parents can understand what our kids are saying!! It included things like what they use when their parents are in the room (which I guess I should have written down, because I now can't remember what it was!!) Turning 36 on Sunday, trying not to feel that old!! LOL!!

Pam

Anonymous said...

Lol! It was a barracuda. (Teehee!)

Anonymous said...

"why don't you use T9Word? WHAT the heck is that!?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T9Word

T9's objective is to make it easier to type text messages. It allows words to be entered by a single keypress for each letter, as opposed to the multi-tap approach used in the older generation of mobile phones in which several letters are associated with each key, and selecting one letter often requires multiple keypresses.

It combines the groups of letters on each phone key with a fast-access dictionary of words. It looks up in the dictionary all words corresponding to the sequence of keypresses and orders them by frequency of use.

korkie said...

I have never heard of any of the things you listed.

I do know big fish are not necessarily sharks and the sky is blue. Period

My son has been corrected me since he first learned to speak.

I should have stuck with my idea of just teaching him sign language.

It's so easy to close your eyes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
I just had to comment about the sky being blue... and the poop in the potty...

I was born/raised in Seattle. One famous quote in my baby book "look mommy, the clouds are blue today!" I guess only those in Seattle would think that is funny!

Do you have any suggestions about how to get poop in the toilet? My son has been potty trained for 2 months - but refuses to poop in the potty. He goes and gets a pull up on, and poops in it. Then he takes the pullup off, puts the poop in the toilet, and the pull-up in the diaper bin. He still wears diapers at night... Both DH and I have decided we can't fight this one - no matter what I try, he won't go poop in the potty... any ideas short of sleeping on the pot?

Thanks! Pam (Seattle)

Anonymous said...

It's simple, really. We need to stop teaching the babies to talk. ;-P

erika325 said...

I remember my parents got a lot smarter when I went off to college ;)

I just appreciated them and all their hard work a lot more when I had kids ;)

Kids, I tell ya!!

Cort said...

Just to make you feel better, my mom and dad seemed to get REALLY smart when I was around Age 21 or 22. All of a sudden, it was like a light came on and I realized that they were right about almost everything (I still disagree on some points, but I don't point them out). I don't have kids yet, so this shoudl reassure you that you won't have to wait until you're a grandmother for your children to appreciate your brilliance. It may take another 12 years or so before the first one does, though. Hang in there!

Lauren said...

My friend has a sign hanging in her kitchen:

Young adults and teenagers, act now! Move out, get a job and pay your own way... While you still know everything!

Penny said...

I just stumbled onto your blog through a friend of mine and I couldn't resist leaving a comment. This post made me snort my milk I laughed so hard. I love your sense of humour.

ummmhello said...

ARGH! My ten year old does this and I want to hand him my checkbook and say, "You're so smart, YOU handle it!"

Anonymous said...

I am sooo glad we are not the only ones with this "the sky is blue" thing. My son (only child) is 8. He's been making these arguements with us since he was about 4. I so could not home school him. Thank goodness he respects his teachers enough to accept what they say. ... At least for now! ;-P
~Just Me

Becky said...

I'm one of those "southerners" that tells the kids to play "in the floor" instead of on the floor...as you mentioned in an earlier entry. Now I read that you teach your kids how to "poop on the potty." I try to teach mine to poop IN the potty...much cleaner that way!

Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at Austin. I think your explanation of life is so entertaining. But, he is the most like my kids. I think my 12 year old son may be his clone, named Andrew.

Anyway, if you have read books on qualities of gifted children, you may find that Austin fits all of them. He is EXTREMELY creative, has a strong sense of fairplay and justice, likes exactness and seeks correctness in all descriptions, often argues a fact to death just for the sake of arguing it, just a little bit weird, has a very advanced and sophisticated sense of humor, more developed than others at the same age, very sensitive and emotional at times, enjoys spending time with adults as much as with children, etc.

Many of these qualities and many others are common among highly gifted children. They don't always do well in school or in life, and they have trouble relating to the world around them since the rest of the world is so slow, stupid, boring, ___(you fill in the blank.)

I recommend a fabulous book that made me laugh at my life and was pretty educational. The woman is not the best expert/writer/mom on the planet, but the book is somewhat entertaining while helping understand something about gifted children. It is titled "Raisin' Brains." I have 3 copies. One for myself, one for lending, and one that we lend out and forget until it shows up a year later. My kids love it, too.
It is a fast read and perfect for those quick bathroom breaks....

I have five kids and it seems the only time I get to read, you know....

I have 3 teens now and I so know what you are talking about. I don't fall into the IDK category at all. Teens are a world apart. And fergie is not early teen music! (Not in my house!)

But, the kids do what they want when alone with friends ( like lending money, or watching movies mom doesn't like) so I try to teach them right, and then cross my fingers and let them go.

Good luck. And enjoy Austin. He is a treasure!

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