Thursday, March 6, 2014

Menifee and Jellyfish.

One of the more entertaining aspects of parenthood is the opportunity to create completely unbelievable answers to ongoing and superfluous questions that come forth from little mouths all day long.

"Why is the road shaped like that?" "Where do pickles come from?" "What makes grass?"

At the beginning of the day, I'm on my game. At breakfast, the sky is blue because of reflected light particles and atmosphere and all of those things. We might even get all research-y and YouTube it. By lunch, I'm waning slightly and the sky is blue because there's air and God made the sun and oh look, a pony, and by dinner, the sky of which I have spoken all day is clearly falling on my head and I have no idea why it is green, wait, is it green? What is blue and is Dad home yet?

It is not the question itself that leaves me drooling in a cup, but, rather, it is the repetition of it, despite the fact that it has been asked and answered. And with factual knowledge being replaced by an exhausted yet over-active imagination, I mumble and explain the answer to end all questions: The sky is blue because one time a long time ago this HUGE WAVE WAS CRASHING OVER THE WHOLE EARTH and then suddenly it just FROZE. TOTALLY FROZE.


Hence, the sky is blue. One big frozen wave.

(Okay, so that one is a bit extreme. And terrifying.)

But, you get my point. Some call it lying. I call it survival of the mentally exhausted. I'm happy to report, I come by it naturally. Apparently, my parents were also guilty of tall tales when I was a kid, and, now that I am also a parent, I totally understand and they are completely forgiven. I was a jabbermouth of a kid and I can only imagine the deluge of questions with which I blessed them every day.

Here are a few of the good ones with which I grew up:

1) Short palm trees are really just tall palm trees buried in a very deep hole.

2) My pet cat, Princess, died when I was in the second grade, after attempting to run under the garage door (back before garage doors had censors) and failing to succeed. Of course, I was the one who discovered her the next day before school and my poor parents felt awful for me. Dad said he would "take care of it". In my innocent childhood mind, that clearly meant that he was going to somehow resurrect my cat (who now had a very pronounced dent in her rigor-mortified midsection) and I went to school with rather high expectations of what would be waiting for me when I came home. When I did come home, there was no Princess, and when I asked my father what had happened to her, he put his hand on my shoulder, sighed, and whispered, "She went to Menifee." I nodded solemnly and concluded that Menifee must mean Cat Heaven. For years, I mean YEARS, y'all, I thought that Menifee was Cat Heaven. And throughout those years, Menifee welcomed much more than just my cat--two rats, a hamster, and three parakeets also stepped through the pearly gates of Menifee. It wasn't until I was a teenager (and clearly over the notion of a pet heaven) that my Dad explained, on that fateful day, after our minivan had driven out of sight, he had simply shoved Princess in a trash bag, driven to city of Menifee (yeah, it's right next to the town where we used to live ... how did I not put THAT together) where he was working for the day, and threw her body in a dumpster. Nice. Where did Princess go? She died and went to Menifee.

3) When it's raining, with a little magic, windshield wipers will wipe when you point at them. We totally do this to our kids, too. Point (wipe!) point (wipe!) point (wipe!). HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT, MOMMY? "Magic, kids!" Point (wipe!) point (wipe!) point (wipe!).

4) Street lights know when to change because of the cameras on top of them. If you smile and wave, THEY CAN SEE YOU.

I believed all of them for a somewhat extended period of time, sadly. And hilariously.

Here's the deal. Before I had kids, I swore I would always be a truth-teller. But that was before I realized that you can tell them the truth until you are blue in the face AND THEY WILL KEEP ON ASKING. And then ... well, then it gets fun. Yes, jellyfish are made of jelly. I love you and here is a snack.

Did any of your parents do this, that you can remember? If so, do tell.

Have a lovely day.


  1. Oh my gosh! I'm dying laughing. The story of your cat is so sad, but I couldn't help but laugh about Menifee. Sometimes we all have to get a little creative, although, after six years of parenting, with about 4.5 of them being filled with those sort of questions, the words, "Because God made it that way" come out of my mouth more often than they should.

  2. Hilarious! I guess my family of origin was not that creative, and my kids haven't gotten that inquisitive yet, but you're inspiring me to have a little fun once they do!

  3. My parents told my sister and me that it was illegal to drive with the dome light on. It took us a lot longer that it should have to figure that one out.