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The questions about wheels go round and round.

Submitted by on Wednesday, 13 August 2008 No Comment

Questions are good — asking them is how children learn about the world.

Questions are necessary — they teach kids to stretch their minds in different directions.

Questions are driving me out of my freaking mind, particularly when they mean spending half an hour getting grilled about what should be a 10-minute read.

Whew. All better, thank you. And now that that’s off my chest, I might be able to face another nightly reading of “”My First Book About Things That Go”" without spontaneously combusting.

It’s actually a neat little book. We’ve had it for four years and the guys still discover new features — usually because they realize every few weeks that I’ve gotten away with skipping some of the fine print. Part of the “”Sesame Subjects”" series, it can be as simple or as advanced as the child needs.

In recent nights, we haven’t been able to advance past page five without a barrage.

“”The wheel was invented more than 5,000 years ago,”" it says. “”Before people thought of wheels, they carried things themselves or used animals to help.”"

“”What?! If they didn’t have wheels, how did they have cars?”" Big Guy asks.

I know from experience — why haven’t I hidden that book? — that mortars are about to start flying in faster than I can fend them off.

“”No cars either,”" I replied.

“”And no bicycles?”"

“”No bicycles.”"

“”Then how did the kids play? Borrriiinnnng!”"

“”They didn’t have time to play. They had to work a lot, making their food …”"

“”Like pizza?”"

“”No pizza. They gathered what they could out in the wild and ate that.”"

“”Oh, like we do at Mawmaw’s”"

Great. Now he thinks West Virginia is the land of 5,000 years ago. While there might be some who agree, I’m going to stop this line of thought before a mob of mad West Virginia University fans comes to burn my couch. Wait — that’s what we do to celebrate.

But I digress. And Big Guy ceases the digressions for five pages, until we turn to the picture of a school bus.

“”How did the kids get to school?”"

“”There weren’t any schools.”"

“”How did they learn to read?”"

“”There was nothing to read — letters hadn’t been invented.”"

A mere month into kindergarten, Big Guys views this as tragic. I’m sure that will change by the time he’s in junior high.

The next round comes three pages later, on the spread about emergency vehicles. Who took sick people to the hospital without ambulances? How did the “”firedfighters”" get there to put out fires? Who took the bad guys to jail if there weren’t any officers?

Ay yi yi. My head’s going to explode. Just make it STOP!

It does on the next page, which features airplanes. Aviation is Big Guy’s biggest obsession, and he can’t bare to ponder a world without flight. We make it through the final three pages in a minute or so.

He carries the book back to the case, and I resist the urge to make it stop for good. Tomorrow is garbage day. It’d be so easy …

But questions are good, right?

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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