The Myth of the All-Knowing Parent

Isn’t there supposed to be a stage when kids believe their parents are all-knowing, all-powerful beings? I’m not sure my offspring have ever regarded me with a sense of hero worship. And if they did, the bloom came off that rose many, many moons ago.

Justin rolls his eyes when he sees how I can’t complete math equations as fast as he can, or when I have to admit I can’t count to 20 in Spanish, or when I have absolutely no idea who was voted the most valuable player of the 1974 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Brayden used to ask questions I could answer, but that changed around the time he learned to read. We went from “Why is it so dark in the winter?” to “Where did ancient Egypt get its sand?”and “Why did Canada have to defend Hong Kong?”

Here’s a sample of the kind of conversations we have these days:

BRAYDEN: When did Canada become an independent country?

ME (confidently): In 1867.

BRAYDEN: But that was Confederation. Then we were part of the British Empire, right?

ME (less confidently): Well, yes.

BRAYDEN: So when did we become truly independent? And what’s the deal with the Commonwealth?

ME (edging out of the room): Um…

(The sad part is that I actually minored in Canadian history at university. You’d think I’d be able to answer an eight-year-old’s questions without resorting to Google. But no.)

At this point, Brayden’s keyboarding skills are not so great, so he still needs me to actually look up all this stuff on the Internet. But I know the time is coming when my middleman role will no longer be necessary.

Which I guess is as it should be.