Go Ask Your Father: Teapots, Puddles, Holes, and Big Numbers

What a week it’s been. Nothing big happened, but we sure were busy. Or at least it felt like it. FitBit says I have walked the length of the Great Barrier Reef, 1,600 miles, since last June. In the last seven days I have averaged 17,052 steps. Crash is still ahead of me, little bugger. Maybe that’s why I’m tired. It has nothing to do with staying up until 11:30 reading a book only two other people in the whole world have read.

Have you ever received an email from your kid’s teacher and the subject line simply says “this morning”. There’s always a brief hesitation where you hope it’s good but think “Oh God. What did he do?” Turns out Crash had a great day at school yesterday. His teacher sent him to write by hand on lined paper to a table at the back of the room. This was to eliminate the distractions around him. It worked like a genie in a bottle. She said he wrote a play for two and half hours. The ‘by hand on lined’ paper is important because sometimes his handwriting can be atrocious. She said it was neat and on the lines! Ahhh… the little things in life…

1. Why’s he holding a golden teapot?

all_hearts___genie_by_lynxgriffin-d52g7ljHe’s holding a golden tea pot because a long time ago the Gods punished the Jinn civilization by scattering to the wind. The evil ones were imprisoned. The golden teapot referenced here, though belongs not to my grandmother but to a Genie. More specifically, Aladin’s Genie. And the teapot isn’t a teapot. It’s an oil lamp.  According to legend, Genies, or Jinn, date back to about 2400 BC, over 4,000 years ago. Ironically, that’s around the same time my parents met and fell in love. According to the Qur’an, God created jinn out of the “fire of a scorching wind”. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that Europe’s Antoine Galland, the translator of the original Arabian Nights, added a few self authored tales to the collection. His best sellers included Ali Ababa and the Forty Theives and Aladdin. Aladdin’s genie was stuffed in a bottle and has been there for the past 300 years. Or at least until NBC dreamed up a genie in ’65 Disney made him blue and sing about friendships in ’92.

2. Why do the puddles instantly disappear?

It was a warm, summerish day as we were driving down the highway when Crash pipes up with this question. There were puddles on the road up ahead that seemed to be moving faster than us. But, generally speaking, puddles don’t move. This is called a mirage. Or more specifically, an inferior mirage (not a superior mirage). It’s only inferior because the mirage is  located under the real object. A heat haze, such as the one Crash experienced, is a type of inferior mirage. Heat hazes are about as unstable as a Kardashian. Pretty much for the same reasons, too. Hot air. Light bends differently in different temperatures of air. This mixing of temperatures causes images to distort when looked at.


3. What’s that hole for?

He nearly got his finger stuck in the hole in question. I was brushing the toast crumbs (and the rest of the day’s food) from his teeth when this one popped up. This is simply the overflow drain. If your sink (or your tub, because it has one, too) fills up too high, this overflow drain reroutes the water back down the pipes rather than onto your floor.


ignore the math here

This is a good thing because during one storm (hurricane) we started filling our bathtub in case we lost power. Naturally, we lost power while the tub was filling. We were on a well at the time so we lost water at the same time we lost electricity. We went out that evening after the storm but before the power was restored. When we came home the power was on and the faucet in the tub was running on full blast. Had it not been for that overflow drain we would have effectively flooded our own house (but not quite as effectively as kids in the tub can do it). Also, many damns have overflow drains to prevent their reservoir from flooding. It works in much the same way except it reroutes the water past the damn. It also looks creepy.


4. What’s a big number?

I used to think infinity was pretty big. Doesn’t infinity last forever and have no end? Howblast-off-buzz-lightyear can anything be bigger than that? Apparently you can count past infinity. This means Buzz Lightyear had it right all along, “To infinity and beyond!” Michael of Vsauce describes how to count past infinity in this video. Be careful, though, it’s mind blowing. But the “big number” in question isn’t a number at all. It’s an expression. We use it describe damages, injuries, amounts eaten, etc… “Wow, he did get quite a number on his knee!” in reference to when Crash fell down while play outside at school. The number he did earned him an early dismissal. It was (and still is) gross. Or “She did a big number to your finger when she bit you!” in reference to when TimBit bit Bang’s finger. That was gross, too. If you eat many pizza slices you have done a number to it. If you smash your car you’ve done number to it also. If you give yourself a haircut and it looks like a toddler did, you have done a number. In any of the numbers (except maybe pizza) you’ll wish you had some genie wishes to take back your number.




26 thoughts on “Go Ask Your Father: Teapots, Puddles, Holes, and Big Numbers

  1. Little things in life, as parents we take them and hide them in the genie bottles as reminders for the days when we questions our parent skills. lol.

    Great Post!


  2. Pingback: Friday Favorites 6.3.16 | Three's a Herd

  3. I think I learn as much from your kids questions as they do! I have a question for you myself. If they ask you something you don’t know, do you fabricate or do you respond like my husband (the psychology major) with “Hmmm, that’s a really good question!” Until you can find the answer? 😊


    • I think we all learn something when kids ask questions. As for yours, 99% of the time when they ask a question I can’t answer I’ll tell them “That’s an excellent question.” Until we get a chance to look it up. There is a rare occasion I’ll make it up. I like imagination as much as knowledge 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that you ‘translate’ your FitBit feet into something tangible. I have a good friend who bores me constantly with his ‘feet’. I’m going to share the ‘Great Barrier Reef’ with him (!) Also, I couldn’t agree more: those overflow drainage holes are CREEPY!


    • Fitbit “translated” for me, but I like that, too. My last badge was for crossing the Sahara desert. I wonder if those giant overflow drains are like waterslides? What would happen if a person went down one?


      • Now you’ve done it: I’m gonna have bad dreams about giant overflow drains (!) p.s. I guess you can tell I don’t have a FitBit (hah!) I honestly thought you’d translated all those feet on your own

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL. I could have, but it was easier to let Fitbit do it 🙂 Perhaps overflow drains are like giant waterslides? That might be fun.


  5. Pingback: Go Ask Your Father: Overflow, Driveways, Hitchhikers, Puberty | All In A Dad's Work

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