My little boy, ever curious, is always asking questions. That’s just what little kids do. You learn that before you ever even have kids, if you spend even just a little time with someone else’s. That’s how they learn, and God help them the things they have to learn from us. Ernesto and I have had some serious talks about homeschooling the kids when they become school age and sometimes it makes me nervous thinking about shouldering the responsibility of their education. At least until they reach high school. I’ll have to prepare for lessons, correct homework and so much more. But the beauty of that is you can prepare. You can refer to books and lesson plans and you know the subject matter you’ll be teaching before you dive in. You can anticipate certain kinds of questions. Piece of cake. It’s these off the cuff, out of left field, where the heck did that come from? sort of questions that leave me mouth gaping, wishing someone else -anyone- could answer them for me…
A few days ago, David, The Loaf and I are in the car driving along, happy as can be.
David to me: “What’s a sectic system?”
Me: Hmmm…okay. “You mean a ‘septic’ system?”
David: “Yeah. What is it?” Somebody’s been listening in about pending home inspection.
Me: (clearing my throat) “Well honey, you know how you go poop and pee on the toilet?”
Me: “Well, that’s the place that all of that and some of the water from the toilet goes to.” I could have left it at that and he might have been satisfied. But no, I kept going. “There are all different kinds of septic systems.”
David: “Like what different kinds? Tell me about them.”
Me: “Well, hon, I’d have to look it up to tell you about all the different kinds. We’ll look it up on the computer some time later, okay?” He seems satisfied with that for the moment and I figure I’ve dodged a big ol’ Megablok.
David: “When are you going to tell me about sectic systems?” Oh man. I thought we were done with this.
Me: “Well, what do you want to know?”
David: “Just everything! I want to see a picture of one.”
Me: “I could draw you a picture…”
David: “I want to see a real picture. I want to look it up online.” Thanks, Interweb.
Me: *sigh* “Okay, let’s see what we can…”
David: “YAY!!!” yikes.
So we’re online and I find this site in which a man describes, with great detail (and many, many pictures) his search to uncover a problem with his own septic system. He first finds a leak in his basement, then puts one of those drain snakes down one of the pipes, checking for clogs and he ends up unearthing the pipe outside and eventually makes his way to the septic tank, (which he did not previously know where it was located) digs it up and opens the access hatch and, well, maybe you’ve imagined it and yep, that’s pretty much what it looks like inside. Nasty. Let’s just say it was past due for a good cleaning. I read almost this whole story to David who still is fascinated and has sat on my lap in front of the monitor, motionless, for nearly 20 minutes. Sofia has no interest in septic systems and spent the entire time on the floor, building with blocks. She’s my architect. Maybe she will be able to help David design his own private septic system someday.
So a word to the wise…when your child asks you about septic systems, here’s what you say:
“Go ask your daddy.” And if you’re the daddy, send ‘em to the mommy. Just don’t send your kids to me. I’m going to have nightmares for weeks as it is.