The Child Philosopher
October 24, 2013 10:18 AM   Subscribe

The Child Philosopher [slreddit]: What is the most philosophical thing you've ever heard a child say? “No one is really a grown up. They just act old because they have to” | “This side of the highway is for going places, the other side is for getting home.” | "What does the wind do when it's not blowing?" | "I've been getting old since I was born"
posted by odinsdream (84 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
 
We're going to be so disappointed when we find out all children are actually being run as an art project by two guys in New York.
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 AM on October 24, 2013 [43 favorites]


"When you're dead, you're dead."
(some kid in a Cary Grant movie)

Go ahead. Get all technical and say a screenwriter actually came up with it
posted by philip-random at 10:27 AM on October 24, 2013


Pre-schoolers can often be very thought-provoking. Some years ago mefite kitchenrat posted a revelation by his two-year-old that I still think about now and then. And of course there is the roundup of possibilities from the three-year-old of a friend of mine: Maybe it is a dog, and maybe it isn't, and maybe it's maybe.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:28 AM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have a couple cousins who grew up on Long Island and are a good deal younger than me; once when I was in college, my aunt invited me to spend the day there as a sort of full-day babysitter. They were about nine and seven.

Anyway, I'd gone for the "hey let's make brownies" thing after dinner. The oldest had gone off to watch TV while they were baking, and the youngest was helping me clean up. And she was doing that kind of stream-of-consciousness rambling some kids do and I was just giving noncommittal grunts in response, when suddenly I heard her say something like "it must really be hard to be a mom."

"What'd you say?" I asked.

"I was just thinking, it must really be hard to be a mom."

"What makes you think that?"

She stopped washing whatever she was washing. "Well....your kid gets dirty, and you clean them off again, but then they get dirty again, and then you clean them off again, and then they get dirty again and you clean them off again and over and over....and you know, it just must be really hard." And she picked up whatever she was washing and went back to work.

I think when my aunt got home I told her that story and said, "they understand."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:29 AM on October 24, 2013 [19 favorites]


"What about words? Words change and grow when we use them. Words are alive."

Yes, little friend, yes they are.


"You are a good man. You are an angry man, but you are good."

They understand. They always understand.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:31 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


I now think of the hulk in a very different, and infinitely more interesting, way.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:33 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


What definition of "philosophical" is in use here? There are a lot of twee, cloyingly heartwarming anecdotes in the thread that maybe at best bear some passing resemblance to Khalil Gibran-style sage wisdom as relayed through a Hallmark card. I feel like they need footnotes saying what specific philosophical resemblance is being claimed (like "well if we're all going to die why are we so afraid of it?" kid is clearly Boethius Junior or whatever).
posted by RogerB at 10:34 AM on October 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yesterday a friend of mine was picking her daughter up from preschool and then going straight from there to the vet with their dog Sunny. She explained this to her daughter who was quiet for a moment and then said wait. Is Sunny's doctor going to be a person or another dog?

It's not philosophical or deep but I'll be damned if it isn't the funniest thing I've heard all week.
posted by kate blank at 10:35 AM on October 24, 2013 [103 favorites]


"I'll be right back. Nobody eat my dinner for me."
posted by jquinby at 10:35 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


What definition of "philosophical" is in use here? There are a lot of twee, cloyingly heartwarming anecdotes in the thread that maybe at best bear some passing resemblance to Khalil Gibran-style sage wisdom as relayed through a Hallmark card.

Those children are not your children. They are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


I was shopping with my son (he was four) and he was helping. Then he said "Dad, can you hold this cheese? I need to dance" and I've found that it is a pretty good life guide.
posted by Twicketface at 10:36 AM on October 24, 2013 [50 favorites]


"What definition of "philosophical" is in use here? "

"Bun-bun's existence precedes Bun-bun's essence!"
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like this one.
My friend's kid explained The Hulk to me. She said he's a big green monster and when he needs to get things done, he turns into a scientist. Blew my mind.
posted by fings at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2013 [73 favorites]


My friend's five-year-old, looking through her parents' wedding pictures:

"Love is kind of creepy, isn't it?"
posted by like_a_friend at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2013 [22 favorites]


A lot of these kids are not really that smart. Sure, what they're saying might SEEM interesting to a layman, but are they actually intelligent? Not really. Pretty poor showing, I'd have to say. I mean, I don't put a lot of stock in "IQ" but mine is 147 (!) and I got an offer from Mensa to teach a seminar to them (which I turned down, because my IQ isn't really a big deal). And I'd say that, overall, I am definitely smarter than these kids. Not that "smarter" really MEANS anything, but if it did, I would definitely say that my 147 IQ makes me smarter than them. We don't even know what their IQ is, not that that makes a difference, of course.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2013 [29 favorites]


Just yesterday I told my nine-year-old daughter that a friend with a nine-year-old son and I had decided they would get married someday.

She sighed and said "Thank goodness, now I can focus on my career instead of on meeting guys".
posted by padraigin at 10:42 AM on October 24, 2013 [38 favorites]


"I suspect the possibility that, when motivated by a gameable reputation system and not overseen by any form of verification, people are compelled to exaggerate or even wholly fabricate the purportedly true stories they post on the internet." - my 4 year old girl
posted by roystgnr at 10:44 AM on October 24, 2013 [72 favorites]


There are a lot of twee, cloyingly heartwarming anecdotes in the thread that maybe at best bear some passing resemblance to Khalil Gibran-style sage wisdom as relayed through a Hallmark card.

One of my earliest memories is being about four years ago, a beautiful summer day. For some reason, my big brother's best friend (six or seven year old Jeffrey) has decided to play with me, and me alone. Just the two of us. Which for four year old me is huge -- a big kid I'm not related to actually stooping to include me in their fun.

Except there was nothing to do. We just wandered around, listless, uninspired, bored (it was the 1960s, a semi-rural situation, we were free range kids, no parental supervision required). I can't speak for what was going on with Jeffrey, but for me, this was my first genuinely existential moment. Life just felt so pointless, unrewarding, an ordeal even on a nice day.

Who knows what I actually said that day? But I suspect I may have dropped a deep and despairing insight or two when I got home and my mom asked me if I'd had fun with Jeffrey.
posted by philip-random at 10:45 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: I think when my aunt got home I told her that story and said, "they understand."

Kids are sponges, especially when they're young. They're always watching and listening, even when they're babbling on. At least until they get surly in their teen years, then they drown everything out with their metalcore/ dubstep/ polka music.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:46 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


roystgnr: "I suspect the possibility that, when motivated by a gameable reputation system and not overseen by any form of verification, people are compelled to exaggerate or even wholly fabricate the purportedly true stories they post on the internet." - my 4 year old girl

My two-year-old son isn't yet that astute. He's stuck on some basic tricks, like saying "too tight," even before we have put on his seatbelt, sweater, or shoe.

Ooh, I get it. What the kid says reflects upon the parent. Damn, I lose both ways.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:49 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apparently when my folks told my 3 year old brother they were getting a divorce, he replied "OH NO. We're going to get sued!"
posted by like_a_friend at 10:50 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


If a child innocently says something that would have seemed profound had it been said by an adult, is it still profound?
posted by Foosnark at 10:51 AM on October 24, 2013


The Hulk one was pretty great, but philosophy for children is a real thing. Here are some examples:

Ian (six year old) found to his chagrin that the three children of his parents' friends monopolized the television; they kept him from watching his favorite program. “Mother,” he asked in frustration, “why is it better for three children to be selfish than one?”

Jordan (five years), going to bed at eight one evening, asked, “If I go to bed at eight and get up at seven in the morning, how do I really know that the little hand of the clock has gone around only once? Do I have to stay up all night to watch it? If I look away even for a short time, maybe the small hand will go around twice.”

More at the link.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:51 AM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


So I was re-reading the book I was reading when my five year old was born...

"Hey kid, This is the book I was reading when you were born."

"It sure is taking you a long time to finish it, daddy."
posted by three blind mice at 10:53 AM on October 24, 2013 [11 favorites]


When I was about 5, I wasn't entirely clear on the colloquial use of "up" to mean "north", nor the difference between a state and a planet.

And so I was a little concerned about leaving Florida on vacation without a spacesuit.
posted by Foosnark at 10:59 AM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


"If God is Jesus' daddy then who is Gods daddy?" - little girl asking the babysitter (me). Go ask your mother.
posted by littlesq at 11:01 AM on October 24, 2013


My kid: Hey Dad! Look at that castle!
Me: That's a temple. You know how Grandma believes in Jesus and angels? Those people believe in Buddha.
My kid: Do you believe in that stuff?
Me: Not really. But you can. If you want.
My kid: Do you believe in... our house?
Me: That's not how I mean "believe." "Believe" is when there's something you can't see or touch, but you feel it in your heart, and it's real to you.
My kid: Oh. And I can believe in what I want?
Me: Yes.
My kid: I'm gonna believe in cowboys.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2013 [64 favorites]


Not sure if /r/AskReddit
-_-
or /r/trees.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:06 AM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


My 2.5 has expresses the human condition pretty succinctly when she puts on her frustrated face and informs us:

"I want everything I want."

I mean, that's Buddha's second Noble Truth right there.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 11:10 AM on October 24, 2013 [20 favorites]


I told a kid that he just said a made up word.
"All words are made up at first.."


A+++, kid.
posted by erlking at 11:11 AM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


Not quite the same thing, but when she was nine my Irish friend's younger sister informed me that she didn't like President Bush (the first one) because "he sounds desperately whiny".

Not philosophy, but politics for sure.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:13 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


From my twin daughters:

Age 3: "Lets pretend I have imagination."

Age 4: "We are the people who don't understand."

"It broke tomorrow" "No, not tomorrow, that means the day that never came."

(About my wedding ring) "If you had 20 wifes, you would need some on your toes."

"I don't have very many fingers."

(noticing my Palm Pilot syncs with the same port used for charging) "It's talking with its mouth full!"

Age 5: "Sometimes I think about things before I say them."

"I got my wise beard on; it makes me feel wise and it makes me wise."

Age 6: "It's the future's fault!" "But the past takes the blame!"

Age 8: "Are birds like a car with nobody in it, or is there like a person in there looking out?"

"I liked rocks then, but not in the way that I do now, because now I think about them."

"Something that's dead is kind of like a baby. A baby's just started being alive and something dead has just started being dead."
posted by straight at 11:13 AM on October 24, 2013 [46 favorites]


I was rock climbing and a kid and his dad walked by (it was in a publicly accessible park). The kid asked what we were doing and the dad said "Rock climbing". The kid, his voice dripping with contempt, "Why? The father replies "For fun, you know like when you play video games". And without missing a beat the kid says "Sometimes I lose at video games".
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:17 AM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]




This kind of thing often leads me to wonder if children experiment with saying cryptic, gnomic, pithy, whatever things maybe because that's what gets the most attention from adults? And maybe specifically the adults who already put the most stock in that sort of thing and are the most likely to tell lots of other people about it?

Is what this 4 year old said to me once.
posted by Nomiconic at 11:23 AM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Totally need to start saying "I got my wise beard on" more often.
posted by dry white toast at 11:23 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


When my dad was slowly dying of a head injury sustained in a car accident this past spring we simply told my 3 year old that her grampa hurt his head and was very sick. When I came home after he finally died and I was clearly upset but hadn't told her yet, she just snuggled up to me and said, "Baba's head doesn't hurt anymore, he told me when he visited me this morning while I was sleeping."

In related news my 5 year old told us randomly and unsolicitedly at dinner that she "doesn't believe in God" and then looked around horrified at us like she'd just said a swear word until we told her that was OK and her choice. Later she backtracked a bit and confessed that she thought that Santa was real though, "because he brings you stuff, but God is just something people made up to explain how things got the way they are."
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:23 AM on October 24, 2013 [23 favorites]


A lot of these are depressing because the child's understanding of the world is not the world as is, but as we wish it to be.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:26 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


but God is just something people made up to explain how things got the way they are."

are you sure your five year old isn't hanging out on the internet?
posted by philip-random at 11:27 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


During gym class in Kindergarten, we were all told to sit in one of the circles that was painted on the gym floor. It had a painted line cutting it in half. Without being instructed to do so, all the boys sat on one side and all the girls sat on the other. I sat on the line cutting across the middle because I "wanted to be friends with boys and girls."

At least that is the story as it gets told to me. I'm fond of it for obvious reasons.
posted by erlking at 11:30 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


To word it slightly better: I think it gives kids less credit to coo over the degree to which they are conduits for the naive wisdom of the universe than to appreciate that they are very good at, and work very hard at, being what their parents want them to be even if the parents do not think they are communicating that.

Which is not to say little kids do not often have the legitimate insights of those without preconceived notions! But they're not just a cute diminution of some pat concept of "wisdom" or "philosophy," there's more going on than that, and kids are frankly more interesting than that.
posted by Nomiconic at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Which is not to say little kids do not often have the legitimate insights of those without preconceived notions! But they're not just a cute diminution of some pat concept of "wisdom" or "philosophy," there's more going on than that, and kids are frankly more interesting than that.

There was a pretty hysterical This American Life a while back that proposed what kids say is all highly logical, just based on an entirely different logic (and often premise) from what an adult might use in the same circumstance.
posted by like_a_friend at 11:48 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


For a little over three years we kept a Twitter account of some of the (oh my god so many!) questions our son asked:

@joshquestions
posted by maupuia at 11:49 AM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


A lot of these are depressing because the child's understanding of the world is not the world as is, but as we wish it to be.


It's also bittersweet because pretty much all of our educational, social, media and employment structures are designed to smash this interesting stuff out of you as thoroughly as possible.
posted by colie at 11:52 AM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm aware that there is more than one definition of the word philosophy but I feel compelled to point out that the horrible little monsters very rarely construct valid deductive arguments.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:54 AM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


My two-year-old recently started telling people, when they say goodbye and leave our house: "Goodbye! Don't worry about the good news and the bad news!"
posted by The World Famous at 11:54 AM on October 24, 2013 [10 favorites]


Children are creatures of god. Their words come from an intuitive place, beyond reason, and, like the words of God, are intended to cause us to go into regular drunken revels where we strip off all our clothes, dance in secret places, and sacrifice and devour a representation of the God.

Did I mention that my God is Dionysus?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:59 AM on October 24, 2013 [13 favorites]


As a counter to this - Ken Jennings has an occasional feature on his blog he calls "Bewildering Conversation with a [age]-year-old".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:00 PM on October 24, 2013


6 year old niece...

Dad, plunging the toilet: "This plunger isn't working."
The Kid, from the other room: "Sure, it's the plunger's problem."
posted by Sophie1 at 12:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [14 favorites]


the horrible little monsters very rarely construct valid deductive arguments.

Not according to your logic they don't. But then again... who came up with that specific brand of logic anyway, and what's to say that they're correct?
posted by Blue_Villain at 12:01 PM on October 24, 2013


the horrible little monsters very rarely construct valid deductive arguments

My 5-year-old the other day brought out a box that some toy had come in. "Santa is not real!" she exclaimed.

"Wait, do what?" I asked.

"The animal did not come in this box on Christmas. Why do we have this box? Santa did not leave the box anywhere under the tree. So Santa did not leave the animal!"

I wanted to bake her a dozen cookies for figuring this out, but instead I lied and explained that Santa's shipping process has certain packaging requirements and sometimes he brings a box for Mommy and Daddy to store stuff in, but sometimes he doesn't. Apparently I'm trying to teach that deductive reasoning is bad, and the world is controlled by complicated bureaucracy.
posted by mittens at 12:16 PM on October 24, 2013 [24 favorites]


"I don't think religions are real. They are all made up by people"

-dfm500, jr., age 5.

(note: He has always had a rock-solid identity as a Jew, and an equally rock-solid belief in Santa Claus.)

The other one that comes to mind was when he was about two, and said he could not sleep because his toenails were growing. I had a hard time not giggling while telling him that was kinda normal.
posted by dfm500 at 12:32 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: Did I mention that my God is Dionysus?

They're like insane dwarves!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:34 PM on October 24, 2013


According to a friend of mine:

Mom explains that her divorce from the dad doesn't mean anyone is going to divorce the four year old.

Four year old says: oh, you mean between parents and kids it's like glue, but between adults it's like magnets? (It can be pulled apart.)
posted by vitabellosi at 12:35 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


erlking: At least that is the story as it gets told to me.

"No" is my son's go-to response. My mom said that when I was younger, I told my parents that my brother, who was going through the same "no" to everything phase, was hiding the yes inside.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2013


From one of my sprogs a couple of weeks ago:

Is infinity a number or an idea?
posted by Cuke at 1:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


When my daughter was three, she and I were at the supermarket and I was acting antsy in the Soviet-style line.

"You must be patient, Daddy," Ellie said to me.

I knew she was right, and I calmed down and focused on being in the moment with her.

But I would have trusted the blonde bodhisattva more if she could have consistently put her shoes on the proper feet.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:15 PM on October 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


"That's probably why you're not supposed to cross the line."

Bahahahaha... I cannot stop laughing at this.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


My kids are so old now, it's hard to remember them saying philosophical things.

My older son, who has Aspergers and ADHD, once described his brain as having many arms that came out of it with hands that grasped for the ideas that were orbiting around it. He was about 10.

When his younger brother heard this he described his brain as being like the conveyer belt at the market and all the ideas came off of it and went into the little boxes they belonged in. He was 5, and would go on to be diagnosed with mild OCD.
posted by Biblio at 1:36 PM on October 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


I agree, these are mostly not really philosophy.

My wife is a philosopher, here is a book of philosophy for children that she contributed to.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2013


Kids eat boogers, OK? Their supposed philosophical genius is proof of the Infinite Monkey Theorem.

Also, this.
posted by sixpack at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


function maybe()
{
  return "Maybe it's a dog, and maybe it isn't, and maybe it's ".maybe()."\n";
}
posted by xorry at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Me: Why did you do that?
3-year old daughter: Because I did.
posted by afx114 at 2:18 PM on October 24, 2013


People who use the word twee need to look in the mirror even more than usual.
posted by Twang at 2:34 PM on October 24, 2013


My four year old said to me a couple of days ago, out of the blue:

"That's what you think, potato head!"
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:35 PM on October 24, 2013


9-year: 'Why am I me and not someone else, and why are they not me?'
7-year, after being explained about black and white t.v.: ' but....did you have colour in your real life when you were a child?'
posted by oenzemain at 2:36 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]




How come water makes plants go up but fire go down? (3 years old)

The more you eat, the bigger you get. The bigger you get the more you eat. (5 years old)
posted by spitbull at 3:08 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


We were on a summer family vacation beach trip with my brothers and the acccompanying kids, and our bedroom was a throughway to a deck. Here is a conversation between my husband (NortonDC) and his four year old niece at 6am in the morning:

Maddie: *runs through our bedroom slamming multiple doors*
NortonDC, groggily: What? Who?
Maddie: Hi! Will you come downstairs and play with us?
NortonDC: *looking* It's 6am!
Maddie: I don't know time!
posted by onlyconnect at 3:12 PM on October 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


People who use the word twee need to look in the mirror even more than usual.

I just see a puffy unshaven man terrified of failure in a cute rag and bone shirt.
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


When I was young, for Christmas we hid the Baby Jesus figurine from the manger scene and Santa would find it and put it in the scene. Except when I was four or five, I re-hid the Baby Jesus.

Apparently my parents were up all night looking for it, and just didn't mention the whole "Santa put the baby Jesus in the Manger!" thing that year.

A week later I came down the stairs one night crying that Santa wasn't real.

My poor parents, to put up with me.
posted by notsnot at 4:49 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


When my youngest sister was 7, she drew a picture from above looking down at a turtle in the center line of a road with a thought bubble over it that said "think no smush".
posted by Red Loop at 5:31 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


My neighbor's 4 year old was really into dinosaurs and had many books about them and how they'd gone extinct.
This family had a really old dog. One day I said to the boy, "I haven't seen Scruffy around lately, is he OK?"
And the boy sadly shook his head no and replied, "Scruffy died out."
posted by third rail at 6:42 PM on October 24, 2013 [6 favorites]


My sister is a drug addict and an alcoholic. Her two daughters were temporarily placed with me until their dad (who is awesome!) got permanent custody. One night, my 5 year old niece asked me why they were staying at my house. Not wanting to tell my nieces EVERYTHING, I said, "You and your sister will stay with me for a little while and then you'll be moving to your Daddy's house." My niece said, "It's because Mommy drinks beer. You shouldn't love things that can't love you back.". (Yes, the tears were in my eyes!)
posted by Eclipsante at 7:49 PM on October 24, 2013 [8 favorites]


Last fall I taught J., the five year-old girl I was babysitting about the concept of being a psychic. She was having a lot of fun pretending to psychically observe me in my own home.

"I can see you in your bathroom!", she announced.

"I don't know about that J. Everyone goes to the bathroom, but it's a private thing. How would you like it if I looked at you in your bathroom?"

She thought about it for a second.

"I would have a celebration! A naked celebration!"
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:05 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are great....

a five or six year old, my friend's son, once said
...as he was waking:"Is it today again?'
posted by eggtooth at 8:46 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know that we're shooting for pithy rather than funny, but these are a couple of my favorites:

After I accidentally ruined dinner and ordered pizza one night, my son (7 at the time) sat next to me, put his hand on my shoulder and told me, without a trace of irony, "It's OK Dad. Not everyone can make Kraft Macaroni and Cheese."

Even better was when he was a little older, right after he learned how babies are conceived. Apparently referring to his two brothers, he asked plaintively, "So you and Mom have had sex three times?"

His younger brother is a little more philosophical, or at least more logical. He announced that if the universe had a beginning, it can't be infinitely large because it hasn't had an infinite amount of time to grow.

He also told me that God will welcome me back when I'm ready to start believing in Him again.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:47 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


One time I was hanging out with my friend and his niece, who was about 5 years old at the time. She was being all happy and running around the room, until suddenly, without warning, she stopped dead in her tracks and looked incredibly troubled.

"What's wrong?" we asked.

"I'm sad!"

"Why are you sad?"

"Because I want so much!"

At that moment, we became enlightened.
posted by speicus at 11:17 PM on October 24, 2013 [12 favorites]


My son when he was 5 said, 'Get a rod, ya fish!' and 'get a life, ya zombie!', which I thought was pretty clever actually. Don't know whether he should put it on his resume, though.
posted by h00py at 1:49 AM on October 25, 2013


I spend my work day with a whole passel of 3-6 year olds, I should keep better track of these...

One from 5 years ago, on a morning when my teaching partner was out, I was a new teacher, and I was pretty frazzled - I must have looked like I was about to lose it, and a kid said to me "Just take three deep breaths." I need to remember that one more.

I tell improvised stories to my kids, and ask them for suggestions (character, location, problem). Sometimes they come up with doozies:

"A man who lived in the woods and wanted a truck and he went to China"
"A giant potato" (that was a location)
"Florida was blocked by a playground"
"A giant water bottle that squirts eyeballs" (character)
"A little girl that did God at her house with her brother and sister and mommy and daddy and grandma and grandpa"

Oh, and this:

4 year old: Mrs. Booksherpa, you're going to die some day.
Me: Yes, that's true.
4yo: We're all going to die some day.
Me: Yes, we will. (Thinking, "where is he going with this?")
4yo: Except God, He never dies.
Me: Ah...
6 year old: But then, after you die, you become a little baby again.
4yo: No...
6yo: Yes, after you die you become a little baby again, and I'll still be older.
4yo: No, after you die, you can't come be alive again. (thinks a moment) Except Jesus.
6yo: Mrs. Booksherpa, who's right?
posted by booksherpa at 6:19 AM on October 25, 2013


My friends explained to their daughter about conceiving babies and her reaction was, "You did this...IN THE HOUSE?!"
posted by straight at 8:49 AM on October 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


When my parents told me, I just assumed they used the bathroom.
posted by philip-random at 9:41 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of "parts," though not terribly enlightened, my little one at age 2 referred to all the nether regions as her "bottom" no matter what we called it all. On day she shoved her way into the bathroom while I was using it, as is the common custom of 2 year olds and she stopped cold right in front of the toilet and just stared at my boy-zone for several seconds and then cocked her head and turned to me and asked in a disturbed tone, "why you got that bottom?"

Now she likes to inform guests to our home, in case they might not be aware, that "boys have penises and girls have vaginas".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:14 AM on October 25, 2013


the other day my friend told me her 6ish y.o. daughter turned to her and asserted, "you've got to get the junk out of your trunk and learn to love everybody".
posted by ifjuly at 2:07 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


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