My preschooler has recently entered the phase where he must ask me “Why” a billion times in the day.
He reminds me of a poem I had heard as a child:
I know a curious little boy,
Who is always asking “Why?”
Why this, why that, why then, why now?
Why not, why by-the-by?
Having watched other mothers grow tired of their children’s incessant questioning, I had resolved that I would always patiently answer my child. I try, I do. But sometimes, his questions leave me speechless.
Like yesterday, we were doing something in the kitchen and I declared, “Let me Google it.”
“What’s Google, Mom?” asked my three and a half year old.
My hand was reaching for the phone when it paused mid-air. “Google is… uhhh… ummm… I might have to Google that…”
“What’s Google, Mom?” the persistent question echoed once again.
Believe it or not, there was no article on Google on “How to Explain Google to my Child.”
“So,” I took a deep breath of air and sent an urgent message to my brain to provide the answer. “Google is this place… where… uh… Mom asks questions.”
“Like how I ask you questions?” he asked, unwilling to let it go until he had resolved the mystery.
“Yes, it is on my phone and I can ask it questions like ‘how to draw an elephant’ or ‘recipe for chocolate cake.”
“Ooohh,” he murmured, now busy with his building blocks.
I sighed with relief, but I was left amused with how integral a part of our life some things are. So much so, that asked to define them in words, we may be at a loss. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I go to Google every day. “Mint chutney recipe”, “best flowers for the porch”, “ear infection in toddlers”, “best historical fiction books to read”… Google is actually my know-it-all-friend.
Google has helped me understand my child better when parenting was new to me. It has taught me to knit scarves and shawls when all I knew was to hold knitting needles. It has taught me to cook, garden, meditate and exercise. It has made suggestions for birthday gifts. It has kept me well informed of news from around the world.
I cannot imagine life without Google. And yet, when my son asked me to explain Google, I was at a loss of words. Here are the last four lines of the poem I referred to above:
Some of these why’s are not too hard
To answer if you’ll try;
Others no one ever yet
Has found the reason why.
Does your child ask you questions you don’t have answers to? How would you explain Google to your child?
PIyushi Dhir is the author of the romantic novels, 'In Search of Love' (2014), 'I'm Yours, The Next Time' (2015) and 'Enmeshed Evermore' (2015). A voracious reader, a keen traveler and an ardent dog-lover, Piyushi currently resides in Ivory Coast, Africa. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.