Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Why, indeed

Yesterday we had the day off – which really is more work for me, since I don’t have the benefit of school to go shopping unaccompanied.
As I mentioned yesterday, Coco is now becoming expert at asking, “Why?”
It frustrates Madge, which can be quite amusing. And because we were all together, thanks to the day off, she got to be my press secretary for a while.
Coco: What this called?
Madge: It’s called a magnet.
Coco: Why it called magnet?
Madge: You can’t ask why about that. It’s the name. You don’t understand why. It’s called a magnet.
At the time I chuckled to myself and thought, “Ha, ha. It’s payback time.”
But later that night – much, much later – I realized that her response is better than mine are. I tend to explain or make stuff up, as you might guess. “Good question. Obviously someone decided to call it ‘magnet.’ Let’s look it up. […] Oh, look, it says here it’s named after the lodestone which was supposedly found on the island of Magnesia. Weird, hunh? You want to call it something else? Let’s call it glue-metal.” At which point he’s hopefully confused enough to give up the cross-examination.
But of course Madge’s answer is much better because Coco is not only trying to figure out relationships between things, but also how questions work. And “Why it called that?” right after “What it called?” doesn’t make sense.
Darn that Madge.
It would only be worse if she had said, “Because I said so.” Because I have the feeling that to her he’d say, “Okay.”

1 comment:

Yai Yai said...

Oh, for the wisdom of a seven year old.