Some kids are always asking questions.
"Why is the sky blue?" "What are germs?" "Why does Aunt Hilda attract flies?" and so on.
Based on my experience, there are different strategies for dealing with these curious tykes.
My personal favorite is duct tape. If you don't nip curiosity in the bud, pretty soon the kid will be asking about s-e-x and why you hide the good booze when Uncle Charlie comes up the walkway. Trust me, the questions only get harder.
Child psychologists, however, approach this from a different perspective. They are under the assumption that a never-ending stream of questions is something that actually should be encouraged.
Child pshychologists believe curiosity is a sign of intellect. And, as we all know, intellect, if properly nurtured, will result in admission to an Ivy League college, an attractive spouse and the ability to support parents who had the foolish notion they could retire on Social Security.
So if you're less of a duct tape parent and more of an
intellect enabler, there's good news. It comes in the form of a book that will
answer your child's questions even if you don't have a clue. Especially if you don't have a clue.
The book is called Big Book of Why: Crazy, Cool & Outrageous. It has more than 1,000 questions answered by editors of Time Home Entertainment, Inc. and it lists for $19.95 (although, if you're as smart as your kid you could probably find it somewhere for less).
The book was written by Mark Shulman and James Buckley Jr. whose parents, unless I'm badly mistaken, were not of the duct tape variety.
It is divided into 13 sections, such as human body, animals, nature, U.S. history, world history, science and sports & games. Here is a sample from the arts & media segment:
Q. Why are movie stars paid so much?
A. Big stars draw big crowds. Since big office sales make so much money, big stars can ask for a bigger share of the profits...The stars get paid for helping make the movie a hit.
There you go. Simple. Straight. To the point. Nothing about "Heaven's Gate" or "The Lone Ranger." Not a word about agents or shmoozing or participation points. Really, unless your kid actually goes into the business, this is all the answer he or she needs.
Or try this one:
Q. Why is NFL football so popular on TV?
A. Over the past few years, NFL games have been among the highest rated television programs. With so many different programming choices, it's harder than ever to get tens of millions of people to watch the same thing on TV at the same time. But live NFL games often attract huge audiences, because people want to see their team in real time, not watch a recording after the game is over.
You think you could have explained it to Junior any better? Personally, I would have gotten sidetracked by my own personal appreciation of regulated violence, cheerleaders, beer ads and so on.
Plus this book tells why you have nightmares, why people are afraid of spiders, why George Washington crossed the Delaware and why the Mayans sacrificed humans (which may have something to do with the nightmare question but I won't spoil the surprise).
So if you're looking for something that can be not only a holiday gift but an important tool for child-rearing, check out Big Book of Why: Crazy, Cool & Outrageous.
Plus, it's really not that much more expensive than duct tape.