What's wrong with saying "I don't know"? Or, even better, "I don't know but let's find out together"?
(Note to self: in 2010, learn some punctuation rules)
So last night, we were at the National Zoo in D.C. for "Zoo Lights" which is their annual wintery "open the zoo after hours and charge admission to walk around and see a few lights even though most of the animals are sleeping or in for the evening" festivity. One of the few habitats open was the panda house.
A curious little boy-child stood nearby as we looked in on Tai Shan, the 4yo panda born at the zoo. His father (assuming) told him that this was the mommy bear and that the way he knew this was that "she" was smaller than the other two bears they had seen. I did not say anything since we all know I'm such a non-intrusive sort, but managed somehow not to punch the guy in the face as he misinformed his son.
When what to my wondering eye did appear but a very welcome sight - a zoo volunteer! The lady began telling the story of baby man-bear Tai Shan. The kid next to us proclaimed loudly "no, that's the mommy bear, my dad said so!".
(Seriously, the punctuation. It's embarassing.)
Yep, well, your daddy "educated" you incorrectly, small child. Why not tell the kid he wasn't sure which bear that was but let's ask someone and find out! Or let's look it up later! Make a project out of it, spend 5 minutes with the kid finding a volunteer or doing a search on Google when you get home.
As a non-parent, can some out there help me understand? Are parents really expected to be all-knowing beings? Such a lot of pressure that must be. It seems to me the more valuable lesson would be in admitting that nobody knows everything but that it's worthwhile to take the time to find the answer. These small "harmless" fibs to satisfy the child's curiosity seem designed only to suit the
Anyways, I'm rambling. When I started this post, I thought it would end up a lot more coherent. But then, I usually think that. And we all know how that turns out...