“Dad, are you a baboon?” Miss6 wanted to know.
With our two youngest in daycare today we’d told the older three we were taking them to Kenilworth for a BBQ and play on the swing, but in truth Tracey and I were making a beeline for the cheese tasting at the cheese factory across the road. It was just great to do something with these guys without all the distractions and demands of the younger two.
“Not anymore,” I told Miss6. “Why?”
“Cause baboons are naughty monkeys and you’re naughty.”
It took a little coaxing but I eventually worked out this whole topic started because Master8 was telling a bad joke from a joke book:
What do you call a naughty monkey? A badboon. Hilarious if you’re in primary school. Apparently.
When this was sorted I decided what a great opportunity to talk about one of my favourite topics – the evolution of man – and give them a head start for when they teach it in class.
“Actually,” I told my kids, “we’ve got the same ancestors as baboons.”
“What’s an ancestor?” asked Miss6.
“What I mean,” I explained, trying to put it as simply as I could, “is we’ve got the same great, great, great, great, great, and lots more greats, grandparents as baboons.”
There was silence as this was digested.
“No, we haven’t,” said Miss9.
I assured her we do. Which is the short way of saying a verbal tennis match of ‘no, we haven’t’ ‘yes, we have’ ensued for the better part of a minute.
“But we’re actually more closely related to chimpanzees and gorillas,” I said in my best ‘this is so interesting’ voice. “We’ve evolved from the same animals way, way, way back in time. Those animals aren’t around anymore, but they’ve proven it by looking at our genetic makeup.”
“Makeup?” Master8 sounded very doubtful about anything involving the use of makeup.
“Our DNA,” I tried, and knew that was a dead end too. I really felt this topic was slipping away from me. “Which is like our body’s blue prints.”
“I’m not blue,” said Miss6.
“I think I give up,” I told Tracey, and decided to focus my attention on getting us to that damn cheese. I mean the park.
Tracey took up the argument on my behalf.
“If you don’t believe we’re related to monkeys,” said my lovely wife, “just watch your dad get out of bed in the morning, dragging his knuckles and grunting. Then you’ll really see the resemblance.”
“Plus,” said Miss6, “he’s naughty.”
I really wish I could be there when some poor teacher brings this topic up in class and one of our kids raises their hands.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’