Hung Up Over Hanging Out

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Elizabeth Newcamp: This episode contains explicit language. Welcome to Mom and Dad are Fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday, August 11th.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Please don’t make me play with them. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. I write the homeschool and family travel blog, Dutch Statues. I’m the mom to three littles. Henry, who’s ten. Oliver who’s eight, and Teddy who’s five. And we live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Zak Rosen: I’m Zak Rosen. I make the Best Advice Show podcast. I live in Detroit with my family. My oldest, Noah, is nearly five and my youngest Amy is almost two.

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Speaker 3: And my name is Amina. Smile. I live in Newark, New Jersey. I’m a staff writer at Slate magazine. And this morning my son pooped so much that it came out of his diaper into the crib, and he rolled around in it and it was in his hair.

Zak Rosen: Mazel tov. What a great way to start the day.

Speaker 3: That’s my credentials.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I always thought they should have, like, badges for parents. I know people make the blog, but one should, like, appear and, like, give it to you, like, poop in the hair.

Speaker 3: Or just go back to doing. Yeah, exactly. Are you ready to hear about all the bowel movements? I’m happy to say and happy to share.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: You’re in the bowel movement, part of parenting, which weirdly lasts a very long time.

Speaker 3: Yeah, their whole lives are here.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah, yeah. We never stop talking about that. Well, today, you’re also going to help us answer a question from our letter writer who has a complicated cousin situation. She wants her granddaughter and her ex-husband’s adopted daughter to be friends, but it’s just not working out. Then on Slate Plus, we’re taking a look at The New Yorker’s a toddler father’s playbook for answering tough questions. It’s very cute. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll hear if you have Slate. Plus.

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Speaker 3: I’m so deep into the reasonable guessing game that I’m actually it’s chronic and I need to find a way out because I don’t maybe I think kids are a little dumb and it’s fun to mess with their heads. But what my nephews are asking, like, dumb questions. I give them dumb answers just because it’s funny. And, you know, I think we’ve reached the point in our relationship where they know I’m kidding and they’ll be like, No, it’s not. And I’ll be like, Sure it is. But you know, and it’s just sort of like a game that’s just part of our relationship now.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: If you want weekly bonus segments from us and your other Slate favorites, consider signing up for a slate. Plus, you’ll also get to listen ad free to this and other Slate podcasts and get unlimited access to the Slate website. To sign up now, go to Slate.com slash mom and dad. Plus again that Slate.com slash mom and dad plus.

Elizabeth Newcamp: All right. We’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’re going to dive into our triumphs and failures of the week. We’re back and going straight into sharing our parenting triumphs and fails. Amon We’re dying to know how things are going. So do you have a triumph or fail for us this week?

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Speaker 3: I do. Oh, my God. Can I share what happened yesterday? It was the most magical thing in the world. So Musil started Daycare about a month ago. He goes three days a week. It’s about from 8 a.m. till around 6:00.

Zak Rosen: Like 530. Game changer.

Speaker 3: Oh, my God. He’s such a game changer. It’s amazing. And the best part, I was always dropping him off, but it was always stained by the experience of having him cry and crawl. Like try to claw and sink his nails into my skin so that I don’t hand him off like a like a koala. But this time yesterday, for the first time, he not only was willing to go to take care, but he opened his arms and almost jumped into the arms of the teacher. And he was happy to go. And you could see they were smiling and it was just it just gave me that relief. It’s that’s what I wanted Daycare to be. I wanted to be able to just give him the somebody that I trust to give him that attention that I can’t when I’m working. And it’s just it felt so satisfying.

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Speaker 3: But I will say that I today found out why he’s so excited to go. They are without permission, feeding him cupcakes and McDonald’s and chicken fingers and fries and all that stuff that me and my wife thought we would never feed him that, at least for a while. And so I have these mixed feelings now, and I let the state over, like, well, it’s it’s not us giving it to him. We’re not going to protect him from McDonald’s forever. It’s going to happen. And if it’ll help him feel more excited about going to daycare and spending three days a week there, that’s a good thing. That’s a net positive for us. But it would have been nice that they asked that.

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Zak Rosen: So is this they’re like the catering lunches with McDonald’s or what’s happening?

Speaker 3: They decided that this was a special week that they were going to have like day or but it was going to last the whole week. So everybody was going to wear hats. And I thought that was it. That’s what they asked me to do, is bring a hat for my son. And I did. But then they sent us pictures and they’re all sitting there with trays of like chicken nuggets and fries and they log what they ve in and they didn’t feed him the dinner that we gave him. They fed him McDonald’s chicken fingers and fries. And I don’t need fast food. I haven’t even fast food in so long. And to me, that idea of just feels gross and nasty. And I’ve seen too many posts where they show the McDonald’s after like three decades and it’s exactly the same.

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Zak Rosen: Looks the same. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So, yeah. Mm hmm. And now it’s my son, which might explain the bowel movements, to be honest.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3: As long as he doesn’t, like, stop eating at home and demands chicken nuggets and all that, that’s just fine. It’s fine.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah, it’s fine.

Zak Rosen: Did you see this piece in McSweeney’s earlier this summer called My Favorite Controlled Substances? Daycare. This is I’ll just read I’ll just read the first paragraph because it’s so funny and we’ll put it in our show notes. Forget snorting that snoo and huffing that nugget. This is the real stuff. It’s expensive, it’s addictive. It’s impossible to get your hands on. And the government definitely doesn’t want you to have it. It’s called Daycare. The first time I tried daycare, my kid contentedly tucked into the care of someone who is experienced, trained, and entirely not me. It gave me such a high. I made the bed, rinsed out the entire milk carton before tossing it in the recycling and clicked yes. When an email asked if I supported their efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change. And it goes on. And it’s so right on for for anyone who who is just feeling that high like you are of the fresh dose at daycare.

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Speaker 3: We need the sound effect of like, oh, man, daycare. Yes. Feel alive.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Oh, Zach. So do you have the time for feel for us this week?

Zak Rosen: I have a triumph. I have reservations about sharing it because it was such a triumph. But I would want to hear about this if if another parent experienced it. So I don’t want to I’m trying to to just brush the guilt away. But I just took a five day vacation with my wife without my damn kids and. Holy shit.

Speaker 3: Jealous. Whoa.

Zak Rosen: Talk about a favorite controlled substance. Like, first of all, I just have to give a shout out to the grandparents. We have six grandparents that all live here. Thank you. Divorce. And so they split the kids up. Each pair took, like, the kids for a day or two days so they didn’t burn out. And my wife and I went to visit my cousin in Telluride, Colorado, like the most beautiful small town in America. We just hiked and cooked and ate, walked around. I read a book. What? I read it out on the porch looking at a mountain. It was I just I know I sound like a broken record on. A show because I’ve talked about this before. But if there is anything you can do to lean on the people in your life, to just take your kids maybe for an hour, maybe for a week. But it’s going to help your marriage. It’s going to help you fill up your cup as a parent. I just won’t be as effective of a parent if I don’t get some time alone or alone with my wife.

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Zak Rosen: Like, this is such a rejuvenating gift that that the grandparents gave us. And I just so hope that you can somehow figure out a way to do that yourself. Like your kids will be fine if they’re in the hands of of people that love them. If you haven’t done it before, maybe try breaking the seal and just like do it for again short period of time.

Speaker 3: Is there like a learning curve involved here? I feel like. Do you need to sit with each of those grandparents and show them how you do things and how you mixed the milk or any of that? Do you just drop the kids off and say, See you later?

Zak Rosen: Similar to McDonalds daycare. It’s like as long as they are being loved. Your parents have some experience parenting unless there’s some very specific things that we. I mean, like, you know, Amy has like.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Legs or something like a life.

Zak Rosen: Threatening nighttime routine. But now I would say the quick and easy answer is just drop them off. As long as you trust these people, drop them off. And yeah, we made a Google doc. I’m not going to lie, but it was not very long and it was a lot longer last year when Amy was still in bottles and stuff. So the older they get, the shorter the Google doc becomes.

Elizabeth Newcamp: So you feel like too, because like with babysitters, I always am like, here’s what we do. But what I want to come home to is like safe children. Even if I had said, this is bedtime and this is, this is. I come home and you’re all on the couch watching a movie and it’s 930. But everybody is like happy, safe, healthy. And you were like, Hey, we tried this and it was a giant mess, and I did this, and now we’re all happy. I, I feel great about that, right? The goal is for them to have a good time so that I don’t worry when I’m out. But this is where my, my triumph wrapped in a fail. Fail wrapped in triumph. It’s right here.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: I last week had all three kids at zoo camp. We, like, go out and get a babysitter. But I have never had like a week where my kids, all three kids are somewhere. Well, that is not with me. So I have like a lot of anxiety I picked up on Monday. It was like glowing reviews from all three counselors picked up on Tuesday. Glowing reviews? Wednesday I show up and Teddy is under a picnic table and his counselor is standing there and she says, We’ve had a rough day.

Speaker 3: Oh.

Elizabeth Newcamp: She said, he’s been under this table since snack. And I said, Morning snack or afternoon? Looks like she’s like, afternoon snack. I’m like, All right, okay. So it’s like he just completely refused to come with us this afternoon. And I was like, okay. And at this point, Teddy kind of like, runs off. I run after him, I catch him, I bring him back, you know? And I, I said to him, I’m not mad, but we do need to talk to your counselor because I want to understand what happened. We all have bad days, so don’t worry about it. So his counselor says that they were sitting on the wall at snack. He was eating his snack, and when it was over, they asked him to pick up his water bottle and he just crossed his arms and was like, no. And they said, you need to get off the wall and get your water bottle. And he then screamed at them, My body, my choice.

Speaker 3: And said.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Oh, it’s like.

Speaker 3: Oh, man.

Elizabeth Newcamp: No, I’m amused. It’s just, you know, it’s well.

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Speaker 3: He exerted his Fifth Amendment. That’s hilarious.

Elizabeth Newcamp: So on one hand, it’s like, okay, he hears what I’m telling him. His application is inappropriate. You know, he got in the car. We we had had friends come in and we were going to go to get ice cream. And when we got to the car, he says, like, do I not get ice cream now? And I said, Well, now we’re going for ice cream. That was like the planned event. It wasn’t like if you’re good at camp, right? It was just totally good to have ice cream.

Elizabeth Newcamp: We show up at the ice cream place and his preschool teacher is there. He’s like, Teddy, what are you doing? And he’s like, Mr. Jason, I am at camp and he’s like, How’s camp going? And he’s like, It’s rough. So I, you know, we had ice cream is totally fine. Turns out he felt like the water bottle that he had was really heavy because it’s like a long day, you know, carrying it around preschool was one thing. So we got a smaller water bottle. We had a great Thursday, a great Friday. We just chalked it up to like people have bad days, lots of good conversations about that, but I feel like it was good. I hate that feeling of like showing up and and just. No, you know, the minute I saw him under the picnic table, it’s like, well, I’m not going to be a glowing report today, but we survived it.

Zak Rosen: There are so many worse ways to to deal.

Speaker 3: You can learn to to not run from these problems later.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Exactly. It’s a kind of about it. But listeners, I think all of this to say do it acted do any minded to turn your kids over to someone else? And even if it goes badly, you’ll be fired.

Zak Rosen: Yeah.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Chicken nuggets are worth the price of the freedom that you have right now.

Speaker 3: All in all, it only took me, like, 15 minutes to clean the poop out of his hair. So worth it to have a whole day worth it?

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yes, yes.

Speaker 3: Yes.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah. Well, let’s take another quick break. And when we come back, we will get into today’s listener question.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Let’s get into today’s listener question. It’s being read, as always, by the fabulous Sasha Leonhard.

Speaker 4: Dear Mom and dad, my 12 year old granddaughter will call her Mary, who often stays with me for long stretches can be very difficult. To put it kindly, she’s been diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. She has a mind and will of her own, and it’s a challenge to get her to do anything she doesn’t want to do. The dilemma at hand is my former husband’s 13 year old adopted daughter. We’ll call her Jane. My ex and I are very close friends like brother and sister, and see each other frequently.

Speaker 4: Jane is visiting her dad for the summer. Jane is a bright girl but has Asperger’s and comes across as very awkward and immature, e.g. she carries a lifelike baby doll around. She’s desperate to spend time with someone her own age and wants to hang out with Mary, who flatly refuses. It’s embarrassing and hurtful, to say the least. We’ve tried everything from bribes to threats, trying to appeal to her sense of empathy. She has done all to no avail.

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Speaker 4: When they do happen to see each other, Mary is sullen and keeps her face on her phone. I’m angry that Mary is not only hurting her cousin who will only be here a few weeks, but she’s also putting me in an awkward position of having to give excuses. I’ve explained to my ex that there’s nothing I can really do to force her to be friends with Jane. But I can see that he feels bad about this. Any suggestions? Thanks. Cousin troubles.

Speaker 3: It really is tough. I mean, you can’t really force them to be friends, but you want to do as much encouragement as you can possible. But at this point, I think it’s okay to choose your battles and set your expectations a little bit lower. You don’t have to just want to put in a little bit of work and then all of the sudden they’re friends, right? It’s not going to be that simple. So I think maybe lower the bar for yourself a little bit, maybe try other avenues of getting them to hang out. Maybe they can participate in one activity together. Maybe they can go to the zoo together. Maybe they can do things out in the world that are away from their house, away from their toys, away from their their gadgets, that will make them more engaged in what’s in front of them. Even if it isn’t the person, if they can both engage in the same thing.

Speaker 3: I found that to be really effective and you know, it’s really funny. My nephews are twins and so they are really attached to each other and they really are having a hard time responding to the world around them if it doesn’t directly involve the other twin. You know what I mean? So you can walk into the room and say, Hey, what’s up? Blah, blah. And they’re just playing with each other. They’re not even looking at you. And that’s the world. You can try and, like, force yourself in the room, have them. Like, I’ve tried to make them play with my son, Moussa, who doesn’t get a lot of time with a lot of other babies. And these are his cousins. I want it’s like really important to me that they become friends, but because of their state, I found that trying to make them look at each other just makes them stick to their guns more and that the resistance you get makes everything harder and messy.

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Speaker 3: But once I, you know, calm myself down, made the active choice to decide not to make the bar so high for myself. I don’t need to make them best friends right away. But if I can get them to like if I can introduce a new toy at the same time and everybody kind of comes together and plays with it, that’s good enough for right now. So I would that would be my advice. Maybe take them out of their element, give them something else to focus on that’s not each other.

Zak Rosen: This one was a head scratcher to me because it just seems like this is such a it’s a it’s a tough one. And I really like the notion of lowering your expectations and and maybe lowering it to, like, this just might not work out. Is as crappy as that is. But I do like maybe the idea of if Mary has a friend who they do like to hang out with, maybe there could be like a nice kind of triangle situation where it doesn’t have to be one on one. Or it could be, you know, three people or a small group and a movie in particular might be good because they might share some interests in that sense. And they don’t have to talk during it, but they can kind of do it together.

Zak Rosen: So I know you’ve said, uh, bribes haven’t worked, but just offering to take them out to the movies might be a decent start, where the expectations for interaction are basically zero, but they’re there at least in a room together. So that could be the start of a beautiful friendship, but also it might be the last time they hang out and is as crappy as that is that that might just have to be okay.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: No, I agree with both of you that like the expectations here are off. I, I really feel for this situation because when you have neuro divergent children, which I have some experience with, I don’t think to this degree, but you can’t always function with them. Like you function with a neurotypical child, like the kind of things, particularly with operational defiance disorder, which I see glimpses of with Henry when he’s in one of his pandas players. We have he is not has not been diagnosed with operational defiance disorder, but we have stuff that displays like that because their brain is actually working to to push back on everything you’re asking them to do and to double down when you’re trying to do these things.

Elizabeth Newcamp: So I, I think the first thing that you can do is that in order to have a better relationship with Mary, because to me, the letter sounds like you are so frustrated here that you feel like Mary is a bad person when in fact what you have is a child that is that is just not neurotypical. And so there’s something called parent management therapy that I would really encourage you to go read about. And this is kind of how they encourage parents of operationally defiant children to to learn to manage them and help them. And it you’re basically using a bunch of positive reinforcements to decrease the unwanted behavior and largely kind of ignoring or not even recognizing the bad behavior because they get so much feedback from that, that every time you’re like, well, you’re not doing this or you’re like this, you’re feeding that thing inside of them that feels good. And so what you have to do is really highlight these moments.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: So, so if you get a movie or some other thing together, instead of saying, these are all the things you didn’t do for your cousin, what you can say is, I really appreciate that you sat in the room with her and here is a reward for that. I really appreciate that you, you know, took 2 minutes before you used your phone, like whatever those small moments are that you see and just highlight those. And I think that what you will see is that if the only reinforcement they’re getting is positive reinforcement and they’re never getting negative reinforcement, they’re going to seek that that affirmation from doing positive things. It is a long road. It is not going to happen right away.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I think, though, expecting Mary to be particularly empathetic is just not something that is going to happen at this moment where they are. And so you are really setting her up for failure. And then all these things you are doing are, you know, feeding that like I’m a bad person. I don’t do this, which is kind of where operational defiance comes from. Those are the internal monologues that are happening.

Elizabeth Newcamp: So I think if you can re frame that, I love the idea of like an activity I think that you definitely need and what works really well a lot of times with Neurodivergent children are like boundaries that apply all the time. So like if the phone is an issue, you need to have a boundary with the phone that applies whether you’re with a cousin or a friend or whatever it is, and then go do an activity with them where the expectation is the same thing. It always, you know, I expect for the first 30 minutes that you do not use your phone and after 30 minutes you will get your phone like that. That is just how we operate. Every time we go out, choose an activity, go out with them. That’s your only expectation, right, is that they do not use the phone for 30 minutes and that they are like polite, but it doesn’t mean they have to like them or be friends. There’s a really great ticktock going around from a teacher that’s kind of like, Let me show you how to dislike someone.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Here is what the thing that you need. Like I don’t need to say anything else. And I almost feel like that’s kind of what you need here. You need to be in a situation where they can be together and nobody is doing anyone any harm. But you just can’t force people to like people like. I just think as an adult, like we all have people that are in our circles that we live with all the time and they are not our favorite. Person and that is perfectly okay. Right. And nobody’s saying, like, I need you to be more empathetic to this person is going to make me like them or want to spend time with them. I love the idea of bringing a friend because I think that the friend may be able to be more empathetic and that modeling is excellent. I think anything you can do to set things up for success, but I also want to say, like poor Jane here is continuously kind of exposed to this person. That is not a good relationship for her either. So even if they’re cousins, like, let’s find better people for Jane to be friends with.

Speaker 3: You can always try again when they’re older.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah, I think continued like these people are in your orbit. Right. Like that should continue. And I actually really like kind of the twin analogy, which is like, hey, we’re going to keep being here and being present. This person is going to be in your orbit. But I’m not going to like if they didn’t play together today, then like this was a disaster and my feelings are hurt. It’s like, No, this is how kids are. I don’t want to sound mean to our dear letter writer, but like you need a little more empathy for for Mary, I think, and what your expectations are of her and how to set her up for success so that you can feel proud of what’s happening. Yeah.

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Speaker 3: Yeah.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Well, cousin trouble. Good luck. We all I think we all feel like this is a real. We really feel for you. I don’t know. Family things are hard because you feel like. Like it’s family. It’s different than someone that you can just cut loose. Mm hmm. We hope some of this advice helped, but if you anybody out there has thoughts on how to handle this situation, please write to us or send us a voice memo. You can, of course, also email us with your parenting questions. And that email address is mom and dad at Slate.com. And that’s it for our show. We’ll be back in your feeds bright and early on Monday. We’ll be answering another question and of course, we’ll have recommendations. While you’re at it, please subscribe to the show and give us a rating and review on Apple or Spotify.

Elizabeth Newcamp: This episode of Mom and Dad or Fighting is produced by Rosemary Belson and Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola and Zak Rosen for Amon Ismail and Zak Rosen. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. Thanks for listening. All right, Slate Plus listeners, let’s keep going. So my dad emailed me this piece from The New Yorker. It’s called A Toddler Father’s Playbook to Answering Tough Questions. And I just couldn’t wait to share it with you guys. So I’m not sure where you guys are in life, but like, my life is full of questions, some of which I want to answer, some of which I don’t want to answer, some of which I can choose to.

Elizabeth Newcamp: And I just felt like this piece and illustration, it made me giggle. But I also think there’s like a real like I don’t always think about which of these that I implement, you know? But it made me think like, I hope that often enough I’m like providing real answers.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: I particularly we tend to use the what did he call it, let’s see, the classic punt where I’m like, you know, who’s a real expert on this, your father. I do worry, actually, that my dad sent it to me because I often say you should call your group because I feel that he has, like, more time available than I do to, like, really entertain this. But do you guys find yourself doing this with the kids in your life?

Zak Rosen: Let’s just back up for a second and just explain what this is.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Oh, yes.

Zak Rosen: No, it’s fine. Yes. So this is a I love it. It’s a great comic. By David Ostow. And it’s like a taxonomy of of different responses to these puzzling questions that we get from our kids. There’s the reasonable guess, which is illustrated here by the kids is a soft fish and asks like, why is the fish’s mouth shaped like a saw? And the reasonable guess that the dad offers is maybe to like saw other fish.

Zak Rosen: Then there’s. There’s the gentle understatement. Like, why can’t we go to school in a in a rocket ship? There’s no follow up questions at this time where the kid asks about how babies are made. There is the need to know basis for the kids asking about maybe aliens or pirates. Oh, yeah, pirates. Right. So it just goes on. There’s all these different ways that we as people that don’t know everything in the world, which is all of us respond to our to our children. So, I mean, the thing that’s missing here, which is the one that I use the most, is that I don’t know.

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Speaker 3: Hmm.

Zak Rosen: Like that’s the one that actually will shut your kid up or get them like or will, you know, we’ll do some research. I don’t know. Let’s look up starfish on online because if you if like the reasonable guests, they always ask a follow up and then you’re trying to answer a question to something that like that, you know, the root of the knowledge that you already reasonably guess could be wrong. So then, you know, just kind of getting cloudy from there. I use, I don’t know a lot.

Speaker 3: I’m so deep into the reasonable gas game that I’m actually it’s chronic and I need to find a way out because I don’t maybe I think kids are a little dumb and it’s fun to mess with their heads. But what my nephews are asking like dumb questions. I give them dumb answers just because it’s funny. And, you know, I think we’ve reached a point in our relationship where they know I’m kidding and they’ll be like, No, it’s not. And I’ll be like, sure it is. But you know, and it’s it’s sort of like a game that’s just part of our relationship now, and that’s really fun. I mean, it’s I don’t want to be the person who is like making things up all the time, but it’s definitely part of how we have fun together. So I just want.

Zak Rosen: To say that, like, I stay as long as they know. Yeah. Like a fun.

Speaker 3: Game. They don’t always know.

Zak Rosen: Uh, well, that’s what makes it fun for you.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Do you. Do you ever do the. I actually do a lot of like well what do you think. Mm. Which with the ten year old like I get a pretty reasonable like it makes him think but the five year old is like but well maybe it says other people and then I feel like well I asked him now I should like value this answer. Right. But also like I don’t think it sells other fish, you know. Right. I’m stuck in that like, well, I asked you, but now you’ve given me an answer that I know is wrong.

Zak Rosen: I mean, bless these kids for just having the best questions. No, it was asking me about clouds the other day. I was like, Thank you for, like, reminding me that clouds are this incredible, formless thing that, like, impact the way we see the world.

Zak Rosen: Let’s. Let’s learn about clouds. Actually, I’ve been meaning to do some cloud research with her.

Elizabeth Newcamp: There’s some really fun at home science experiments. I know how much you love.

Speaker 3: I want to do.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Like, put shaving, shaving cream on top of a thing of water, and then you drop food coloring into the shaving cream. Yeah. And then it will kind of slowly work its way through the shaving cream and then fall out the bottom like rain. But the idea is sort of like that the moisture is in there and then it’s going to like come out like streaks. Oh, that’s really cool.

Speaker 3: That’s amazing.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah. Makes a huge mess.

Speaker 3: We’ll do it. Outside is good.

Elizabeth Newcamp: For a project. Yeah, do it outside.

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Speaker 3: Is it weird to do that without a kit around?

Elizabeth Newcamp: No, no. Have you guys found yourself in the. I always thought I’d be truthful with my children. But now look at the sordid web of lies I’ve spun.

Speaker 3: Yes, 100%. I mean, this is sort of my take on it is that they’re going to ask these questions and you’re not always going to have the answer to it, but it could still be part of your fun. And I’m doubling and I’m like doubling and tripling down on this. But I don’t know if we need to be so attached to this like teacher pupil relationship that many of us expect to have with our kids. Like we should be trying to teach them good manners, the things that are going to help them through life and teach them how to ask questions I think is really important. But then when it comes to like things like clouds, I don’t know. Are they going to remember that? I guess. I guess it’d be really bad for them to go to school and be like and like arguing with their teachers. Be like, no, my dad told me that. Clouds is is God shaving his beard or something like that. But at the same time, I think it’s kind of funny. Like, it’s fine.

Elizabeth Newcamp: What are you going to do? Well, sleep plus. We, of course, would love to hear what you think. How are you guys answering your kids questions? Definitely. Go check out the article and let us know which is your favorite. You can send them to mom and dad at Slate.com. Thanks for joining us and be sure to join us on Monday for our regular show and then back on Thursday for another bonus segment. Bye.