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Day 26 - 30 Days Wild

Posted: Monday 26th June 2017 by trustadmin

Explaining the universe

Part of every dad’s duty is, of course, to answer questions about life. And a lot of those questions delve right into the heart of the natural world. It’s generally not good form to plead ignorance!

When they’re young - it’s much easier. You can usually think of something. ‘What should I do if I swallow a fly?’ the little one asked a few months ago, on a bike ride. ‘I’m not 100% sure,’ I told him. ‘But please don’t swallow a spider to try and catch it. We both know where that chain of events leads.’ That made him smile. Job done.

It gets trickier as they get older!

I’m caught between the ages somewhat at this current moment in my life. For example, the little one wants to know how rainbows are made. He’s happy enough with the sun/rain explanation. The middle one is more inquisitive. He suspects more is going on and presses the point further. You know it involves the fact that light travels in waves, and that each colour has a different wavelength, but what is it exactly that happens in that drop of water?

Words from ‘O’ level science like ‘diffraction’, refraction’, and reflection’, are struggling to push themselves forward into the front of your mind. But are you sure you can make a distinction between them? What makes it worse is the eldest is listening in. He knows exactly what happens, as he learnt this only last week in his science lesson. He senses you’re on shaky ground and is ready to pounce. Is there any way you can create a distraction and get to the Internet?

All of this serves as a lengthy preamble to today’s ’30 Days Challenge’ – answering a couple of nature based questions from the little one, and trying to get away with it!

The first one is deceptively easy. ‘Is there anything in my mouth?’ he asks shoving his open jaws in front of my face. I assure him there isn’t. After the fifth time this is asked in an hour, I realise there is more to this question.

I dig deeper and discover that it’s linked to hay fever. It’s not only his eyes that are suffering – it’s also causing an unpleasant sensation in his mouth. He’s convinced some insect is crawling about inside. He also wants to know more about hay fever. So I start to explain about airborne pollen.

‘That’s a good thing, isn’t it?’ The middle one has joined in. ‘More pollen in the air means more flowers will grow, and the bees will have more food.’

‘Well...’ I start. ‘That depends...’ I’m floundering. To make matters worse the eldest has raised his gaze above his phone! A smile is starting to spread across his face.

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