“If you were a dinosaur which one would you want to be?”

Jo-Jo, the beloved Elf on the Shelf of Rose Thompson's family.
Jo-Jo, the beloved Elf on the Shelf of Rose Thompson's family.

This question was posed to me out of the blue last week by my 7-year old son.  He has a way of randomly asking questions that require some thought.  I stalled to think of an answer as he proudly proclaimed, “I’d be the one with big spikey things on the end of its tail.  Ya know that one, Mommy?  Its tail is heavier than our house and can smash other dinosaurs.  I’d be that one so I could protect myself.” 

My first thought was “T-rex”, but then in my head I could see how illogical that was with myself looking like a terrifying beast or like a buffoon struggling to hold up my big blockhead and waving my tiny arms.  My second thought and final answer was,“Brontosaurus.”  Of course he asked me, “Why?”   My speedy reply to that was, “Well, I like the symmetry of its long tail and long neck, and I believe it’s a vegetarian.  If I were a dinosaur, then I don’t think eating other dinosaurs would appeal to me.  I’d rather be taller than trees so I could see and be safe, and I’d like to eat those trees sort of like how we eat broccoli.”  He was satisfied with that.

Curiosity compelled me to read up on my dino idol, the Brontosaurus, and as it turns out, it’s a controversial creature of myth.  I stand corrected, Apatosaurus.  Bummer.

Don’t you love the inquisitive things your kids say?  Isn’t it great when you can tell they really put some thought into the question that they’ve posed?  It’s even better when they stump you.

My dear hubby and I frequently get questions about religion, God, heaven, and the Bible stories my children are taught.  We do the best we can with the knowledge and faith that we have to answer those.  Our kids actually have made some pretty profound statements (especially about life and death – two concepts that are hard for us adults to grasp and accept).  Out of the mouths of babes - It’s often funny how simply children perceive things, but sometimes their simple perceptions are absolutely brilliant.

We also get bombarded around the holidays with questions about Jolly ole Saint Nick, his flying deer, his chimney shimmying, and his unparalleled time management skills on Christmas Eve.  The words, “Santa’s watching you” have an ability to freeze time at our house during the month of December.  Yep, I think I may have uttered those words in the fall, too.  Naturally these two other figures are questioned often, too:  The Easter Bunny &the Tooth Fairy.  I have a lot of questions about those myself (like what happens to all of those teeth?  Why does a fairy pay children for them?  Why does the E.B. hide eggs?  How does he break the time &space continuum?  Does he drive a DeLorean?). 

Thanks to our children’s teachers whose classrooms get all jumbled up when the students leave for recess on St. Patrick’s Day we also get to field questions about the reality of leprechauns and why they’re so mischievous.  These guys leave footprints all around the class, turn desks upside down, and deposit green pee-pee in the toilet!?  Hmmm…that sounds like something that “Jo-Jo” our beloved Elf on the Shelf would do.  We broke down and invited him into our home last Christmas, and now, I have some regrets…he’s hard to keep up with!  One day he’d be just hanging out on a shelf close to where he was found the day before, and the next day he’d be at the kitchen table with his own big mug of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and a note.  How he climbs all around our kitchen at night without anyone waking really has me concerned.

And let’s not forget the Great Pumpkin.  Thanks to a cute Halloween advent calendar I bought years ago on clearance at Target, because it was too cute to leave in the store my kids are the only ones on our street that have daily visits from this guy in October.  That’s right – they get a piece of candy or some coins for 31 days. Explaining this to their friends and having their parents chastise me has been fun to say the least. I didn’t think about the repercussions of that purchase, but with fall in the air I can feel the excitement growing inside my brain as it’s almost Halloween.  Thus, it’s almost time to prepare for the Great Pumpkin…better put the kids to bed and hope that the Sandman sprinkles his dust in their eyes to help them have sweet dreams of more magical things for us to ponder together!