Like most fathers, mine has very rarely uttered the words “I don’t know.” To his credit my dad actually does know quite a bit about a lot of different things, more than enough in most cases to at least be “in the ballpark” of the correct answer. On the occasions when he is completely BSing, he does so with such confidence that I’m not always sure whether or not he knows what he is talking about.
I like to think of myself as possessing above average intelligence and make a great partner in a trivia contest, but lag far behind my father in “practical knowledge.” I have very little idea how things work and even less idea about how to fix them. Renaissance man that I am, I leave such matters to my wife.
Like my father and most other fathers I know, I have determined that my children will think that I know everything for as long as I can get away with it. I may not have inherited my father’s mechanical aptitude, but his unmatched ability to BS has been genetically transferred successfully.
Technology makes this easier with the teenager. Whenever she asks a question that I don’t have an answer to, I tell her to “google it.” By making her search for herself I am both empowering her and teaching her independence. Because I have managed to remain pretty hip, I’m able to avoid the usual teenage assumption that I don’t know anything because I’m so old.
It amazes me that teenagers don’t seem to realize that their phones have this capability. They literally have the answer to any question attached to their hands at all times. It seems technologically impossible to do poorly in school.
The toddler has asked approximately 100 questions a day for about a year straight now. Most of the time they are pretty straight forward and she accepts whatever answer is given. “You can’t wear shorts to the store because it’s too cold.” “The lines in the road tell me what side to stay on.” “That little boy isn’t in a carriage because he listens”, ect.
That’s not to say she doesn’t argue with me. After asking what time it was today, Alaina spent twenty minutes arguing with me about what the numbers on the clock signified. I’m not proud of the fact that I spent twenty minutes arguing with a three year old about what time it was, but I confess to being a little proud that she thinks it’s funny to mess with me. Being a smart-ass is a valued personality trait in this family.
So far there have been no metaphysical questions or anything about fixing the toilet, so for now Alaina still thinks daddy knows everything. When the time eventually comes when she may start to figure out my BS, I’ll just tell her to “google it.”