I am sure I speak for all parents when I say “Kids ask the darnedest things”. And they ask the trickiest questions ever. My kid is no exception, but I told myself since he was very small I was not going to sugar-coat stuff and will give him the truth and see where that takes us. For starters I told him no Father Christmas, toothfairy or tokolosh stories. I think it is wise to not fill children’s minds with useless information.
Of course this led to awkward situations with the family and other elders. I remember this one Christmas where the whole family was gathered, and my uncle was telling the kids about the “dancing sun” that happens very early on Christmas mornings. My son was quick to point out that “Uyaxoka ta’mkhulu, utata uthi ayikho loonto!” (You are lying grandpa, my father says there is no such thing). Needless to say, that led to chaos with the other kids, and they ran around yelling “Uta’mkhulu uyaxoka!” (Grandfather is lying) and we had our hands full trying to quiet them down and mind how they address their elders.
I am also a constant traveler, and my son travels a lot with me. We drive. Like lots of other kids his age, he never tired of asking “Sesifikile?” (Are we there yet?). Now I am not one to let a kid make me lose my cool, so I would turn the question into a challenge for him and make him the navigator. That way instead of him asking me how far we were, he was telling me!
Of course as a kid he liked the challenge, and that made my life that much less question-filled.