Sunday, 3 November 2013

Bedtime Philosophy

Bedtime in our household is usually something of a military regime - as I expect it is in most families to some degree.  Pyjamas on, the children head upstairs under orders to get straight into bed... and the negotiations begin - Miss I and Mr J argue for reading time (about one chapter or ten minutes), which is usually granted as they're older, while Miss A and Miss C are sung one song each and bribed with the promise of chocolate stars in the morning if they do not emerge from their beds until the sun rises.  I am usually pretty tired at Bedtime and - especially if Mr M is still awake - race through night rituals as fast as I can with a certain amount of ill grace to anyone who resists.  Then I can head downstairs to my Red Bush tea and chill for the evening - maybe even write a blog post.

Then, occasionally (a bit more often now, as Mr M usually goes to bed at the same time as the others) I'll slow down just enough to answer a philosophical question from Miss A or to discuss relationships with Miss I or to chat about science with Mr J.   For me - despite the timing - these are some of the most precious moments I have with my children.

Tonight was one of those nights.  It began with a question from Miss A that would probably cause another parent's heart to sink.  For me it's the kind of subject I love to engage with.  I suspect Miss A realises this and uses it to distract me from Bedtime Regime - a bit like the way we used to get our French teacher to talk about her childhood in Portugal under Salazar.  The question was this:  "Was Jesus a baby when he died?"  Now, this is an easy one to answer with a "No, he was a grown up man." and then say goodnight and disappear downstairs to my Red Bush.  But I didn't spend three years studying for my Theology Degree for nothing.

I described how Jesus had grown up from a baby into a little boy.  That he had learnt to be a carpenter and worked with his earthly dad and how he learnt a lot about God, who was his real Father.  Miss A then followed up with another question "Did he work with both his Fathers?"  This led me to, "Well, yes.  Do you remember when we left you behind at the camp in the summer and I said that Jesus' parents had left him behind once when he was at the Temple..."  And on like that for a good half hour prompted by "And what happens next?"  (Don't worry, I'm not going to repeat my full theological treatise here, but I'll be happy to try to answer any questions you may have if you leave it in the comments - *grins* )

Interspersed with this theological discussion were little comments from Miss C who shares a room with Miss A.  "There's Jesus, on the wall."  After a moment I realised she was talking about the picture of Snow White and the Prince that is on their bedroom wall.  Sweet.  Followed a little later during a discussion about Angels and Bad Angels (Demons) "There's an angel on your 'puter, Mummy."  Another moment of thought - Tig's friend in Woolly & Tig is called Angel.  Ah, yes.

Not to be out done, Mr J had some questions for me when I had finished talking to the girls.  "Mummy, why is God so big?"  I think this question comes from a song that we sing together.  "Well, he has to be bigger than everything to have created it."  A thoughtful frown from Mr J.  "Is he bigger than Jupiter?"  "Yes."  Good, these are pretty easy metaphysical questions, I thought.  "Mummy, when the sun explodes what will happen to make all the lava come up?"  Now, here I'm a little more stumped, since most of my scientific knowledge comes from Science Fiction.  However, I gave it my best shot.  This was followed by a discussion about space travel and other planets around other stars, followed by a return to questions about God and what a soul is and what Heaven will be like and "Will we see God in Heaven?"

At about this point Husband came upstairs to find out why I wasn't sitting drinking my Red Bush tea a whole hour after bedtime started.  Mr J and I asked Daddy the "Lava" question, and he said not to worry because it's a long way in our future and to go to sleep.

Now, why didn't I think of that?

Probably because - like my French teacher - I quite like talking about these kinds of things.


  1. Coombe Mill (Fiona)4 November 2013 at 09:55

    Kids do have a knack of asking pertinent questions just when you are trying to put them to bed. Mine are past masters at it! Looks like you answered them all well. Popping over from Magic Moments

  2. Excellent answers though! I don't think I would have the patience by bed time to come up with some of those!

  3. lol my daughter would have me going round in circles all night asking questions.

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

  4. They do, and often I'll fob them off with a quick answer, but I was feeling quite relaxed that night so got into our discussion!

  5. Thank you. As I said, I don't usually have much patience at bedtime, but every now ad again I make an exception!

  6. Trouble is sometimes it's the only quite space in the day for these kinds of questions!


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