My daughter is the child of two Mensa members. So there was never any doubt that I would spend a lot of time fielding questions of all sorts. The questions started before she could walk and got more interesting when, at the tender age of two, she asked me, “Daddy, why is it Goosebumps and not Geesebumps?”
Also, as a parent in general, I knew that the time would come when I would be faced with difficult questions. Not questions that you can Google for an answer, but controversial questions. Questions that make you cringe as soon as your child asks them. Questions, not about things but about morals, and motives, and why people do the things they do. There are so many of these questions floating about that I knew my sweet little angel would lob one of them my direction one day. I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Recently, my three year old asked me one of these questions.
We were driving in the car, when she said, “Daddy, tell me about the solar system.”
“Well,” I said, not seeing the pitfall that lay just before me, “Do you remember what a star system is?”
“Tell me again.” she replied.
“A star system is a star and any planets that are going around the star.” I said to her. Still not understanding my peril, I continued, “So what is the Solar System?”
“The star system we live in?” she asked.
I nodded and she smiled, innocently. Then the next question came, “Daddy, what are the planets in the Solar System?”
Still oblivious to where this was headed, I answered confidently, “Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.”
Then she hit me with the question.
“But Daddy,” she asked, in a slightly upset voice, “what about Pluto?”
What about Pluto indeed…