Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Conversations with a Four-Year-Old: Just Wait 'Til He Finds Out Where Chicken Nuggets Come From
At the library, MOTHER and CHILD read a book about insects together.
CHILD: Is that dragonfly eating a butterfly?
MOTHER: Actually, I think that dragonfly is eating a moth.
CHILD: But moths are like butterflies. I like moths and butterflies! That dragonfly should not eat butterflies. Why do dragonflies eat butterflies?
MOTHER: Well, lots of insects eat other insects. All sorts of animals eat other animals. That's just the way the world is. Besides, dragonflies eat lots of bugs we don't like, too. Like mosquitoes! Mosquitoes bite people, right? And dragonflies eat mosquitoes. So we should be happy when we see a dragonfly. More dragonflies means fewer mosquitoes.
CHILD: It still shouldn't eat butterflies.
Later, at home, CHILD watches as MOTHER scrubs toilet.
CHILD: Are you washing that toilet with water?
MOTHER: No. I'm cleaning it with a mixture of water and bleach.
CHILD: Why are you using bleach?
MOTHER: I am using bleach to clean the toilet because bleach kills germs.
CHILD: You mean, after you use bleach to clean the toilet, the germs will be dead?
CHILD (accusingly): What germs are you killing?!?
MOTHER: E. coli, for one.
CHILD: But I like E. coli!
MOTHER: No, you don't. Really. At least, not outside of your intestines you don't.
CHILD: Hmph. You should not kill so many things.