The thing about having kids is that they ask you bloody difficult questions.
I hate stuff about electricity and magnets and suchlike. I mean, how the *&%! should I know how they work? Can't they ask the teacher? To me, it's magic when a light goes on. The changing of a bulb stretches me to the limits of my scientific knowledge.
The eldest mini-W (nearly seven) has made a couple of quite interesting observations recently though.
The first suggestion really shook me up.
I was showing her treble clefs and musical notation, explaining about how they were read by people playing instruments. (Although the minis have done French and ballet, we haven't yet stretched to the pianoforte.) Anyway, she looked at me as if I were daft and suggested that it would be easier if the letters of the notes were marked on the piano. You could then record a musical score in alphabetical form, rather than have to learn all these strange hieroglyphics.
Thank God for Mrs W. She pointed out that the musical notes also denote rhythm. I was grateful, because I was struggling for a period of maybe five or ten seconds to counter what seemed like an eminently sensible idea from someone who was six and three quarters.
The second recent incident was connected to dog faeces.
I'm always warning the kids not to plough into it on the way down the street. Mini-W 1 (her of musical notation fame) asked why people let their pooches crap all over the street. (Well, she didn't actually use language like that, because I bring her up nice and proper, but that was the essence of the question.) I explained that it was difficult to catch people in flagrante decrappo because there's hardly going to be a policeman or council official around when a local chihuahua or dachshund is caught short. She then suggested that there should be cameras - like speed cameras - that are trained on the pavements specifically to spot these foul canine deeds. Mrs W promptly dubbed the device a 'pooper snooper', which annoyed me because I'm the copywriter.
Mini-W 1 will soon be joining the Blair government as an adviser on community surveillance.