I was a very curious kid. If you’ve seen the Pomo rice advert, I was exactly like that kid. Perhaps, I was even more curious. I asked every kind of question and, of course, got all sorts of answers. Some were too complex for my comprehension while others were so simple that I questioned their authenticity.…
I was a very curious kid. If you’ve seen the Pomo rice advert, I was exactly like that kid. Perhaps, I was even more curious. I asked every kind of question and, of course, got all sorts of answers. Some were too complex for my comprehension while others were so simple that I questioned their authenticity.
For me back then, I believed everything I didn’t understand had to have some sort of expert explanation and the only experts I knew were my parents. Unlike most children, I didn’t consider my teachers to be experts. Maybe it was because my dad had faulted some of the things my teacher had taught. Whichever way it was, Mommy and Daddy were my Einsteins. I looked at the world through their eyes.
Recently, I began to recall some of the ridiculous answers my parents gave to various questions I asked as a child. I decided to share them on Facebook, and even tagged Daddy in the note.
Living in an area which was an arrival route for the Murtala Mohammed Airport, I was accustomed to seeing airplanes fly at low altitude, close enough to see whatever was written on and around them. I soon got curious as to what the interior of an airplane looked like. With no DSTV in those days, the only person I could turn to was Daddy. He was kind of an expert since he was a regular traveler and flew about five times the average dad.
Dad told me the inside of an airplane is like a house and so I grew up thinking the body of an airplane was modelled around a fully built house. To me, there was a house in the plane, literally. Daddy even nodded yes when I asked if it was possible to enter into the wings of the plane through what I presumed would be a hollow in the side wall of the house. How ridiculous?
One time I asked Mommy why a boy was a boy and a girl was a girl. This was the answer she gave.
Mom: When babies are born they are just babies like that. But there is something called hormones that make them turn into boys or girls. Boy hormones turn babies into boys and girl hormones turn babies into girls.
Me: Mommy how do they get the hormones.
Mom: They give them the injection when they are small.
I realize now how ridiculous that explanation was. I had the belief that I was a boy because my parents agreed when I was a baby that the doctor gave me the injection that turned me into one.
On Tall Buildings
Driving past the Cocoa house at Ibadan while visiting family friends, I noticed the building was tall but different. I had of course seen a lot of tall buildings in Lagos but this one was rounded. I had never seen a rounded building. I couldn’t imagine how the rectangular blocks that I knew were for making buildings would have been able to build such a structure. I asked Daddy what had been used to build such a fascinating structure.
Me: Daddy, what did ‘they’ use to build this house here? *pointing*
Me: So they arranged the money on top of each other to the top?
Imagine that! I grew up thinking the cocoa house was a pile of money stacked on top of each other. Honestly. I could believe this because I was probably four or five years old at this time.
On Where Babies Come From
When I asked Mommy how babies were made she told me a woman got pregnant if she slept on the same bed with her husband. So this was my resulting theory. That a woman would get pregnant by simply lying on the same bed with a man provided they were married. If they weren’t, it won’t happen. Don’t worry – there’s no need to explain it to me now; I know perfectly how it works.
On Weather & Wrong Conclusions
I overheard my brother discuss Harmattan with my daddy, about how the Harmattan season was so long. The immediate picture of Harmattan that I had was a streetlight. The longest thing I knew was a streetlight. It took some years before I knew the streetlight wasn’t the longest thing in the world and wasn’t as I had thought.
As preposterous as these things sound, they all did happen. It doesn’t stop me from being curious. In fact, I’m still very curious and curious people eventually fall for cock and bull stories, as long as we don’t know everything. As we grow older, we are less likely to fall for such tales but hey, you live and you learn.
My parents probably told me these things to silence my nagging. Perhaps they believed that my young mind could not handle the truth. I forgive them. The real wonder is whether I will do the same to my own kids.
So how about you guys? Do you recall any hilarious (or ridiculous) “explanations” your parents told you as a kid? How old were you when you realized these tales weren’t true! Looking forward to reading your comments!