What did parents do before Google?

ANSWER: something spoken or written in reply to a question

Son routinely stumps me with questions.

Last night it was: “What number comes before infinity?”

Husband answered, “Infinity minus one.”

Son was not satisfied.

Sometimes I find Facebook is actually faster than Google.   So, I posted a plea for help/insight/knowledge.

Turns out I have lots of smart friends and more than a few mom friends who have blazed the infinity math road before me.  In the course of a few minutes, I was reminded that infinity is a concept, not a number.  And, I received several referrals to a helpful BBC video explaining infinity to small children.  As a bonus, a friend turned me on to the Vi Hart blog for future math inquiries.

This morning, I was greeted with “Which way is the Earth rotating?”  [west to east, as it turns out]

I was moaning to a friend about how the difficulty of kid questions is increasing and she reminded me that these are the easy questions.  They are the questions with right answers and facts you can find on Google.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that there is more pressure on my generation to give accurate answers.  We teach the correct name for body parts and avoid the stork as an explanation for babies.  Toddlers no longer accept “long neck” as a proper dinosaur name. Our kindergarteners know that Pluto is not actually a planet.

I can’t help but compare the answers I received as a kid to those I give as a parent:



What did parents do before Google?

They made stuff up.

We still do…but less frequently.

That’s progress, right?



4 thoughts on “What did parents do before Google?

  1. Great post!!! I actually remember a lot of the “made up bullshit” my parents told me and I’m starting to use some of it with my daughter. It’s awesome!! The best one comes from my husband. His sister saw a Nun one day and asked why she was dressed that way (classic black nun outfit). His dad replied, “Oh, that’s a penguin.” About a year later, she saw a Nun again and blurted out, loud enough for the Nun to hear, “Oh look, a penguin!”

    Bahahah!!! I can’t wait to mess with my kids like that.

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