5/15/09

Trust: How It's Made

Orangeboy finally found a show he likes among all the new choices we have since getting satellite television. He's fascinated by the program "How Its Made" on Discover.
Natch! (That's short for naturally!) What a surprise. Of course Orangeboy wants to know how things are made, because he can't accept anything at face value. He can't just accept that something works just because it does. He has to know why and how and why again and what if...
What makes a light bulb light up?
It has electricity going to it.
How does the electricity make it light?
It heats a piece of metal and some gas that glows.
Why does it glow? Why are some bulbs white and some kind of clearish? Why does it get hot but not have flames? (And speaking of flames-) Why are some blue and some orange? Which color is hotter? Can light bulbs catch things on fire?
Why don't we just use candles? Why do candles melt?
Do all metals glow when they get electricity? What happens if the glass breaks?...

Indulgent adults say he is curious and smart. I say he doesn't trust any of us and therefore can't accept anything he's told as true just because it came on good authority. I don't think there is such a thing as "good authority" in Orangeboy's book. Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but I think this is what is behind his penchant for reading ALL the directions for play that come with every board game, and for reading ingredient labels even after I've assured him there is nothing in the food that he is allergic to, and for poring over his report card and the teacher's comments and noting the points necessary for passing even after being told that he is a very good student and is in no way in danger of failing.
I say he doesn't trust. He wants to know things he doesn't need to know because of this - like how many Chrysler dealerships are going out of business, or how fast one should drive in a driveway, or how many layers are supposed to be in a lasagna.
This week I told him the formula for figuring out how much chemical stuff to put in the pool because I figured he'd be reluctant to swim in it if he couldn't check my math.

So it's no surprise to me that Orangeboy enjoys watching a rather dry television program about how things are made from start to finish; because if he knows and sees how it's made, he can keep an eye on things and make sure they look right, are done right, and are safe for him. This week he feels better about wallpaper, strobe lights, french fries, electrodes, violins, balloons, beaver pelts, and boat oars.


4 comments:

  1. Trust.

    Hmmm.

    I have to think on this. You should not be at all surprised for me to note at this point that I am like Orange Boy in this: I also have to check the directions to where I'm going after someone has told them to me, and I'm a label-reader, too. Some of this is learned, but a lot of it is natural for me.

    I tend to think of it as skepticism rather than lack of trust.

    Are those the same thing?

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  2. Yes, QM, I think skeptism is rooted in mistrust. Orangeboy is definitely a skeptic. As his parents, he makes us feel like he doesn't trust us when he doubts, double-checks, and questions everything we tell him.

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  3. Wow, your kid sounds like a younger version of me. And if he is, then you hit the nail right on the head. I have done all of those things, and it's exactly because there is no one in this world I trust fully, except myself. (Though my husband runs a very close second.) The trust issue likely stems from the knowledge that the world doesn't always work the way it should, and *not* anything you as parents have done, or not done. AS demands predictability. Anything unpredictable can really cause distress. Questioning everything provides a sense of control in a world that often feels so random.

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  4. I think Blogger ate my comment...

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If you get the facetious, sarcastic, or humorous quality in this post, please comment! At least LOL.