Mom, who was the First Emperor of China?!

Um…China has emperors? Okay…

I wasn’t kidding. My son comes up with some doozies. This came to him while we were outside getting our daily dose of vitamin D. He was pedaling up and down the street when he shouted out this Emperor of China randomness. It’s a mystery what thoughts aligned in his brain to lead him to this question. I promise you my brain has never had this thought. Ever. Unless it once did and my mom was just super successful at repressing curiosity. Now that’s a strong possibility.

I also cannot discount the role that “the smart one’s” genes are playing in all of this. It sounds suspiciously like a thought he might have.

Everyone thinks having a smart kid with a precocious nature sounds like a great idea. It’s not. There’s too much work involved.

Now the kid that eats paste…he’s the one you want. He’ll grow out of eating paste. Chances are the kid asking questions will NEVER grow out of it. I present you with exhibit A…my husband.

Suddenly I feel a deep bond with my mother-in-law. This is exactly what her life must have been like raising “the smart one.” 

On with the research…

A quick google search tells me that the First Emperor of China was a jolly old fella by the name of Qin Shi Huang. Easy. That was actually my first guess. Followed by Qin Shi… this-is-brain-wasting-information.

Emperor of china

First Emperor of China in all his glory…

Now, there’s a 78% chance that my child will issue rapid fire bonus questions, which is why I must come armed with backup facts.

So…Qin Shi Huang was actually the King of Qin first. He succeeded the throne at age 13. Apparently he was precocious too. You always have to watch out for the smart ones.

Qin was a state in China until Qin Shi Huang decided all of China should be unified. Which actually sounds like a nice thing…how can joining things together be bad? As it turns out, it can be bad and he was really successful at “unifying” which in this case just meant he had a serious control issue. 

Once he was done unifying he decided emperor would be a more fitting title. He was right, Emperor sounds way more badass than King could ever hope to be. Apparently China agreed because for the next two millennia all rulers went by emperor.

Sadly, while trying to find the cure for mortality it’s theorized he was killed by the very elixir he’d hoped would allow him to rule forever. Some people just never know when enough is enough.

Another theory is that he was assassinated, which doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, given all that unifying he did.

His dynasty only lasted for 3 years after his death. Clearly the son who succeeded him, Hu Hai, didn’t inherit the same leadership skills. Which is kind of surprising considering how he took the throne. Hu Hai being the younger son had zero chance of succeeding the emperor so he plotted against his older brother, with the influence of his trusted adviser. 

Classic sibling rivalry.

They actually altered the emperor’s will to name Hu Hai as the next emperor. Then they  forged a royal edict that sentenced the older brother to death. Shockingly, the older brother obeyed and committed suicide. It’s possible the saying “trust but verify” make have been born out of this incident. Hu Hai was then free to ruin the Huang dynasty.

This actually takes sibling rivalry to a whole new level.  

During my research it occurred to me that maybe my son is already aware that I’m deficient in the random knowledge department and he’s trying to encourage me to overcome it. You know, in case I ever want to subject myself to a trivia night. He wants to spare me the agony of sucking and being kicked off the trivia team. (Whose team name would obviously be, “the smart ones.”)

That’s what I’m sticking with. He’s a genius humanitarian. Way to go, buddy. I feel smarter already.