Finje loves a bath before she goes to bed. She splashes about in the warm, soapy water and likes me to stay with her so we can have a "chat".
The subject of our little talks, I leave up to her. They are varied, mostly entertaining and quite often challenging for my frankly non-academic brain. From why cats like to sleep so much, why aren't boy ladybirds called boybirds, why she (still) can't whistle and what is keeping the moon up?
Under such interrogation and when sidling off to Google is not an option, I do one of two things. Either I lie, which I'm
impressively worryingly good at (she can't whistle because she doesn't eat enough vegetables...obviously) or I make an excuse and leave my much more learned husband to explain.
Option two is not always well received or appreciated by our five-year-old. My husband is German and in so being, tends to go into great scientific detail and depth in order to answer the question efficiently and accurately.
With my German back-up away on business and my laptop out of reach, Finje put me to the test. Employing effective distraction tactics by making "boobies" out of soap suds she nonchalantly asked,
"Where did people come from after the dinosaurs died?"
In my defence, I had been momentarily side-tracked by the sudden appearance of foamy D-cups and misheard the question. As I began to mumble something about fish with legs she gave me short shrift.
Explaining to me that dinosaurs came from fish but people came from monkeys she fired off another question.
Whilst falling short of tutting and huffing, I swear there was an underlying resignation in her voice. As if she had forsaken any hope of getting a satisfactory explanation from her simpleton of a mother.
"But if people turned into monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"
My answer, and I hang my head in shame, fell out of my mouth before I had put my feeble brain into gear. I'm not proud of it and I shall face the consequences, I'm sure, some day in the future.
"People are the ones who weren't afraid of heights"
But this appalling answer didn't even register as Finje was on a roll, her little brain spinning.
"But if fish turned into dinosaurs and monkey turned into people what are people going to turn into?"
Answers on a postcard please.