Saturday, December 22, 2007

questions and an answer

This has been the week for watching the Eldest's brain tick. The following are the three top questions of the week, as explained by the Eldest himself:

1. Why is it harder for ice to form under bridges, than on the rest of the river?

2. how do bodies make cells and factor?

3. My class got most of the way through this very hard question: who created God?

I had some answers to the first and the second, but the third left me gaping. Without knowing the details of God (how, when, where, etc), the Eldest is nonetheless very clear on one divine aspect, as we see in today's Quote of the Day:

you can't punish me - only God can punish people!

The Man, tired of his role as Human Punching-Bag, was inclined to disagree.


ALG said...

Wait, why is it harder for ice to form under bridges? I couldn't think of an obvious reason, unless it has something to do with the water moving more (and thus ice-in-formation getting broken up) because it hits the bridge. I've been mulling this over since Saturday night!

dykewife said...

i think it's because the movement of the water prevents ice from sheeting around a bridge's bases. i'd have to ask an engineer though.

a question. when does toddles start to wear a kipa? is there a ritual that is involved with him beginning to wear one?

mama o' the matrices said...

alg, i think that water is slower to ice over under bridges because of current speeds. I'm vaguely recalling this from whitewater rafting, but there are funny swirls of current around objects in water. I think. But I don't know - and have certainly failed to persuade the Eldest, thus the question.

dw, it's a good question. The Eldest has worn his for a while now, mostly by choice. I presented him with a kipa on Rosh Hashana two years running before he elected to wear it. I suspect we'll use the same tactic with the Toddles, in a year or so, when he's old enough to leave it on his head. But if he's not willing, there's no real point.

And no, there's no ritual, although it feels fairly ritual-worthy, no?

dykewife said...

i think there should be some sort of ritual involved with that event. somehow there's a feeling of a milestone with it, kind of like a bar mitzvah or a baptism, sort of welcome to being male...or would that be a bris (though that doesn't sound to welcoming because everytime i hear of circumcision i cross my legs and wince).

Anonymous said...

Maybe it just calls for a very special meal as celebration. Good questions!

I ponder #3 a lot.

mama o' the matrices said...

Hmm. I suppose our approach has always been a sort of insidious angle. We offer the child a kipa on Rosh Hashana, then we let him choose his own, and finally start pointing out times when it's good to wear a kipa.

The goal is, primarily, to avoid having the kid take a rebellious stance and refuse to wear the thing. The Eldest finally chose to wear it on his own, and it was a point of empowerment and pride with him. Sneaky.

But is it repeatable? The Toddles is a somewhat different creature than his brother.

dykewife said...

i guess you shall find out then. why particularly on rosh hashana?

mama o' the matrices said...

Umm. I should have a good answer to that.

Partly it's because I try to make a point of having a good activity to keep the kids busy (and quiet) during synagogue. Partly it's because the Man usually leads part of our community's High Holiday services, so it's a good time to get them thinking about family practice.

Partly because the annual kipa becomes a useful symbol, something like 'you too are part of this.'

Where it gets funky with the Toddles is that because of his allergies (he's allergic to the typical kid snacks, all of which turn up at synagogue), Toddles rarely goes to synagogue. So his understanding of the holidays and observance centers more around the songs we sing and the family table.

should be interesting!

dykewife said...

well, if i know little brothers, he probably has (or is developing) some kind of hero worship of his older brother. perhaps the fact that eldest has and wears his kipa daily might encourage toddles as well when his time comes.

mama o' the matrices said...

It's funnny, but you never can tell with the toddles. Sometimes we get some really sweet copying of his brother (sometimes less sweet), and sometimes he's absolutely uninterested.

either way, it'll work itself out somehow!