Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Snow Week part 3: questions about babies

I think most kids start asking where babies come from as preschoolers; we have not yet reached that point. Ryan's questions about babies are far more interesting.

During snow week, Ryan watched a cartoon that seemed to really get him thinking. On Jungle Junction, Ellyvan (a blue elephant who is a van, voiced by Billy West) accidentally touches a special bush that makes him shrink and shrink until he is in danger of "disappearing forever." Fortunately, the other characters find the antidote and Ellyvan is restored to his regular size.

This world is seriously trippy.

This prompted Ryan to ask, in his own tortured sentence structure that I won't even try to replicate, when you shrink do you turn back into a baby?

Stu and I were stunned. This was the first time Ryan had let us in on his thought process. 

We explained that real people don't shrink - that the cartoon world is just fantasy - and that kids just grow bigger until they're all grown up.

He seemed unconvinced, and perhaps in the interest of preparedness he wanted to know what babies can do and what they can not do. I said that babies are essentially boring: eat, sleep, mess up a diaper, cry, repeat.

Then, most astonishingly, he asked to see pictures of himself as a baby. I happily delayed bedtime and broke out a photo album. We noted how small he was, and how little hair he had, and his complete lack of teeth.

That made laundry day convenient while it lasted.
Sometimes Ryan will ask if he can "be a baby" - this seems to mean curling himself up in a blanket. I tried to get him to tell me if what he really was looking for was a reduction in big-kid responsibilities, but he's not ready to have that type of conversation.

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