'Why,' asks my 8-year-old, 'does Monday come before Tuesday?'
'Who has the longest toes in the world?'
'Does anyone in the world have no coins, only banknotes?'
My son dislikes silence. He'll fill any gap in the din of family life with a question and these questions bother me; not because I don't know the answer, but because I don't care.
It's not that I don't have an enquiring mind. I wonder why facial moles sprout bristles, why my cakes never rise, why the Vicar hates spinach and why Uggs became fashionable. I ponder things of consequence, you see, and my son's unthinking enquiries are a frivolous interruption.
But at night sometimes, when the incessant voice is stilled, I ponder the mind of an 8-year-old. A mind in which men caper on toes like Savaloys or wait helplessly beside slot machines with wallets burdened with banknotes. I require beer or unconsciousness to achieve such surrealism and, in those night hours, I wish I'd tried to share more in his liberated world view.
And, amid the peace of my pillows, it strikes me that his mind delves deeper than my own. He probes science: 'Am I blood-related to myself?'; economics: 'What would you rather have - £100 or £1m?' and ethics: 'Would you rather eat a pudding or for me to be dead?'
When these sleepy insights hit me, I conclude that I have a son of misunderstood brilliance. I resolve, in future, to engage with his questions, instead of grunting replies without listening. I pledge to celebrate his inquisitiveness and learn what the infant mind has to teach me.
But, come morning, the merciless voice resumes while I'm busy on Twitter: 'Mum, have you ever been cremated?' And my good intentions flee for, by day, the infant mind is merely bothersome babble when I am wrestling far greater cosmic queries - chief among them, what day does the milkman next come?
Have any of you, by the way, been cremated?