Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are You Smarter than a Four Year Old?

Jeana recently posted about a conversation with her eldest child, which left her feeling somewhat at a loss. It reminded me of a similar conversation some years ago--same child, talking to my husband (Pepaw)
There had been a severe wind storm just a few days before, and my husband, trying to find conversational ground with his four-year-old grandchild, asked:
What did you think about that big wind storm the other night? Were you scared?

K: Actually, Pepaw, it was a vortex. A vortex in the air. Like when you let the water out of the bathtub.

Baffled at this point, Pepaw encouraged her to continue.

K: When you let the water out of the bath tub, it swirls around as it goes down the drain. If you are here, it goes clock wise. If you are in Australia, it goes counter clockwise. The storm last night was like that, only in the air, not in water.

My husband then noticed a large poster on the wall, with an illustration of an ant. He pointed it out, and asked her if she knew why the ant had such a big tummy.

K: Actually, Pepaw, that is the ant's thorax.
She proceeded to give him a brief dissertation on the other parts of the ant, its habits, what it eats.

I don't remember how Pepaw disengaged himself from the conversation, but I do remember his aside to me:
If she is this smart now, we won't even be able to talk to her by the time she is twelve.

After reading Jeana's post, I think I agree with him. Why would either of us think ourselves capable of explaining anything to her?