Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Four Year Old's Questions

Lately the sweet girl has been a veritable fount of questions. They come faster than I or her Dad can answer them. "Why?" "How come?" "What if?" are her especial favorites.

Sometimes it's exasperating, but sometimes it's also precious and funny -- and more often than not, I'm in awe of her insatiable curiosity.

She comes up with some good ones too.

The other evening we had our atlas out, looking up countries from our prayer calendar. We've done this for a couple of years and the child loves maps. This time around we happened to be looking at Europe, and down at the very bottom of the map, not far under Greece, you could just see the beginning of Turkey. We were naming all the countries and when we got to Turkey she looked very thoughtful and then asked with a giggle "Are there any turkeys in turkey?" A very good question, especially considering we'd just seen wild turkeys at the zoo! This question got such a chuckle out of both D. and me that she's been asking it with increasing giggles in the days since -- she's figured out it's funny.

Then there was the other night at dinner. We were eating peas and corn and all she wanted to talk about was how they grew. Corn grows on cobs and peas in pods. We talked about this for quite a while, and then she wanted to know why we didn't eat the peas in their pods. "Sometimes we do," I said. "Remember snow peas?" She paused, then asked in her planitive little voice, "What color are snow peas?" With some surprise (because I thought she remembered them) I said "They're green, sweetie. Just like regular peas." Another pause. Then: "Why aren't snow peas white like snow?"

Yet another good question!

She's also been on a kick lately about height. She's been wondering if people grow and grow their whole lives, and we've been trying to explain that people only grow to be so tall and then stop (usually somewhere between 15 and 20). We've explained that people keep growing in other ways, but they don't just keep getting taller. (If I didn't know she couldn't read yet, I'd be worried that she'd been reading science fiction by Orson Scott Card...) But this is still a tough concept for her grasp. The other day she kept worrying at it like a dog with a bone. "What if we got to be 100?" she asked doggedly, and I said, "well, some people do live to be 100. They're very old." -- "But would they be really, really tall?" she persisted. I do think she's starting to get it though. This morning, sitting in her room in her little Sleeping Beauty nightgown (her new haircut making her look oh so grown up) she suddenly glanced over at D. and said "is Daddy as tall as he's gonna get?" :-)

Of course, it's not all curious questions. Sometimes it's just interesting observations. I love some of these most of all, especially for their totally "out of the blue" quality. Like this morning at breakfast, as she sat there spooning her cereal, and suddenly announced: "Lions don't roar really well when they have hiccups."

You know, that's probably true. And thanks to my sweet girl, I think I have the genesis of a new story!


Erin said...

Hehe, I love those out of the blue pronouncements! And I hope you do write a story about hiccuping lions! ;)

Beth said...

I love them too! And yes, my mind's been hard at work on the hiccuping lion idea. I'm still trying to figure out what to name him though. :-)

I've been home sick for two days (sigh) but seem to be on the mend at last. That's why you caught me blogging mid-morning!