I have to admit I wasn’t really looking forward to August 2013, the month when Koopa was already out of his daycare in Montreal but wasn’t yet in school in Toronto. That is, I wasn’t looking forward to having to unpack and arrange all the stuff you have to arrange in new city without any child care support. We ended up working in shifts, me and Gleb, each of us alternating parenting and unpacking/working shifts. And I don’t know about Gleb’s shifts (I think the two of them were mostly busy exploring the Toronto transit system, judging from the fact that Koopa has memorized the whole subway map by now), but my time with Koopa was largely filled with these philosophical conversations about the essence of the universe. It’s like all this time spent together set off some kind of inquiry mode in him, and he was finally able to ask all these important questions that must have bothered him for a long time. Basically, he wants to know how the world works. And I am there to offer my (very limited) expertise about these issues. So even though August was not an easy month, it was also a lot of fun to spend more time with this new inquisitive Koopa. And now he goes to school but only till 3pm, so we still have a lot more time to talk every day than we used to.
Probably ninety per cent of his questions have one of the following formats: a)”Who made X?” b)”Do Y die?” c) “Can Z move/operate by itself? d) “Can I drown in ___?”
“Why is thunder so loud?”
“Can I drown in the ocean?”
“Who made lakes and rivers?”
“Why is it dark at night?”
“Do cars die?”
“Who makes toilets?”
“Can I drown if I get into your cup of coffee?” (I’m not joking, he seriously asked it the other day)
“Can a bus move on its own?”
“Why do people need a nose?”
“Do toilets die?”
And, finally, my personal favourite:
KOOPA: Who made ME?
ME: me and daddy
KOOPA: But how? How did you make me? [Me: oh shit, do we have to get into this already? i don’t have energy for this right now… but thankfully a helpful clarification follows] Did you make my arms or my legs first?
ME [thank God, he must think we made him out of play dough]: Well, they just kind of formed at the same time I think, your arms and legs.
KOOPA: Did you make my head too?
ME: Yeah, I suppose.
I didn’t realize what a serious impact this conversation had until the following exchange took place two days later. I noticed Koopa sitting on the floor and shaking a not-very-stable shelf with a heavy cast iron pot on it. I rushed towards him, exclaiming “Koopa, please don’t do it! It can fall on you and break your head!” To which he calmly replied: “Well then you and daddy will make me a new one!”
So as of this writing, we’re not completely unpacked, not quite settled down, and not really feeling like we’re home or anywhere in particular (that won’t happened any time soon, but whatever, that’s a different story). But who cares? I don’t. When your (only) head is occupied with such important matters as the life and death of a toilet, the last thing that will bother you is a couple of unpacked boxes and stranded household items scattered around the under-furnished living room.