Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Inclusiveness

MK thinks differently. Obviously. He classifies things differently. He sees all sides of the question and does not accept that anything should be put into an arbitrary box.

Someone other than his doting father might simply say that it is impossible to get a straight answer out of him.

Me: Was Darth Vader a good guy or a bad guy?
MK: Sometimes he's good and sometimes he's bad.

Me: Which do you prefer, french fries or rice?
MK: Both.
Me: But if you had to choose?
MK: I'll choose both.

And so on.

But it's not just indecisiveness. For several years he approached each new thing that he learned about in the following way.

Me: This is a hard book.
MK: What's not a hard book?
Me: Well, for example, Goodnight Moon. Goodnight Moon is an easy book. (This works.)

Me: This is purple.
MK: What's not purple?
Me: Red, yellow, blue, black, brown and white. Those are all different colors. (This is a bit unorthodox, but it can be done.)

Me: This a refrigerator.
MK: What's not a refrigerator?
Me: (Trying very hard not to sound exasperated.) Everything else in the entire world.
MK: Even me.
Me: Yes, that's right. You are not a refrigerator. Nor am I. We are both not refrigerators. (This really is not the way I'm used to looking at the world.)

He doesn't ask the "What's not a..." questions anymore, but I thought the conversation we had tonight about gravity was good proof that his penchant for inclusive thinking is still strong.

Me: ... so without gravity, you and I wouldn't even be on the ground. We'd be floating around.
MK: Birds float around, even if there's gravity.
Me: Yes, but a bird is doing work to beat gravity, He's flapping his wings.
MK: Or her wings.
Me: Yes. Or her wings.
MK: Or his and her wings. If it's a boy and a girl bird. Like a fem-male. Does that exist, a male and a female at the same time, born that way?
Me: Yes, that's a hermaphrodite. (It's really a shame that he dropped his previous line of questioning. "What's not a hermaphrodite?" would have been quite easy to answer.)

1 comment:

kristen said...

I sometimes wish there was a big book of explanations. Not the kind you find in an encyclopedia or a reference book, but simple, easy to understand and therefore easy to explain answers to how and why things work. I am very often stumped by the questions my son asks. I hesitate and stumble over so many things because his mind is so literal, still. I assume many parents can sympathize.