Writebrainit

January 5, 2009

INNOCENCE or CONCRETE THINKING

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 1:24 pm
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This story is just too precious to pass on. How do they think of these things?
So this morning my sister picks me up to drop me off at work (as I am still sans car). She is on the phone and my niece is in the backseat. My niece asks me, “Uncle Bill, if I count all the corn on this ear, is that how old it is?” I peered in the back to see what she is talking about. She is holding an ear of dried up corn.
“No honey.” I continued with putting on my seatbelt and such and then went on to explain, “Remember, corn grows over the summer.”
“We get corn in the winter too?”
I look back again to see if she is teasing me or serious, “I know, what I mean is that an ear of corn can grow in about the time it takes for her to be on summer vacation.”
“Oh.”
Her mom finished her phone call and proceeded to tell me how angry she was with this caller. When it appeared my sister was finished ranting, my niece jumps in with, “Mom, I asked Uncle Bill if you count the corn on this ear, will that be how old it is.” (Evidently she didn’t believe me or understand that I was referring to the concept of time).
My sister laughed and said, “No honey, it’s not like a turtle or an alligator. You can’t tell how old it is by counting.”
‘Huh?’
‘Like a tree, if it’s cut open, you can count the number of rings on the stump and learn how old a tree was. Though I am not sure how accurate those things are. You can only tell how old an alligator is up until his 7th birthday.’
‘What?’
‘They grow a foot a year, until there are 7, but after they are 7, they can be as many feet as they are.’
‘So no one knows how many feet an alligator over seven has?’
Now it’s my sister’s turn and I have started to giggle. ‘What?’
‘You said it grows a foot a year.’
Not feet, S., don’t you think an alligator would look at little silly walking around on 3 or 2 feet?’
‘Or one.’ I decide to include my two cents while I am fighting a case of the ‘out-of-control giggles’.
‘Yeah S., can you imagine an alligator with one foot trying to get around?’
‘I’m sorry, but you said it grew a foot a year until it was 7 and then as many as it grew, so I thought you meant feet.’

The conversation continued for several minutes and I continued to hide how hard I was trying not to laugh so as not to embarrass my niece. But all I could think was ‘oh my Christmas break was too long this year – talk about some concrete thinking.’
I did think that it would make a fun picture book – the different concrete comments that must confuse the creative minds of children.

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