Semantics

Thomas, my little herpetologist:

Mommy did you know that snakes are the same as people?

Except we have hands.

And feet.

And also talking powers.

Thomas is currently in a strong animal phase. He’s always loved bugs and other creepy crawly creatures (like frogs and lizards), but now he’s old enough to remember obscure facts about them. His favorite animals are the¬†electric eel, cobra, Gila monster, and Komodo dragon.

Every now and then, when he’s in the middle of a lecture about the Komodo dragon, I’ll ask a question. I’m just a LITTLE BIT sheepishly admitting that these were intended as rhetorical questions. But you get it, right? This is the terrible, condescending way we talk to little kids. We don’t expect a response, most certainly not an intelligent one. But every now and then the kid answers you and you find out who the smart one really is. You ask a kid if they like their new teacher and they respond, “Well she makes me do homework every night and moved my seat away from my best friend so what do YOU think?!?”

Anyway, that’s what happened here. I was just asking questions because I wanted him to know that I was listening. I didn’t expect an answer from my FOUR year old.

Me: Where do Komodo dragons live?

Thomas: On Komodo Island, of course.

(I immediately fact-checked him on this. He was right. They live on islands off Indonesia, one is named Komodo.)

Me: What would you do if you saw a Komodo dragon?

Thomas: I would climb a tree.

Me: Oh? Komodo dragons can’t climb trees?

Thomas: No, they’re too heavy.

(He was right about that one, too.)

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