I distinctly remember a feeling from when I was a kid that I am now knowingly repeating in my daughter.

It’s kinda like deja vu, but not.

I remember having assumptions about the world – assumptions that my parents had definitely (at least in my mind) confirmed for me at some point, either by emission or commission.

And then, one day, they’d tell me that’s not how the world works.  And then I would have to completely rebuild my ideas about the world.

Now that I’m a parent, I totally understand the concept of letting your kid believe something – because sometimes, it’s easier than the truth.


The mind of a four year old is a fascinating place, because they’re old enough to apply the scientific method and draw conclusions, but way too young for those conclusions to have even the tiniest amount of accuracy.


Sometimes, it really is best to correct those assumptions as soon as possible to avoid later disappointment.

We drove up to Target the other day.  Ali wanted one of the special carts – the ones with the seats on them.  She calls them “gymnastics buggies” because of my long-standing parental irresponsibility of letting her swing on them, jump off of them, and balance between the two seats.

(I’m stellar, aren’t I?)

However, those carts aren’t great for babies, so I explained, “We can’t get a gymnastics buggy right now, because I don’t have anywhere to put Noah.  He’s not old enough to sit on the seats yet.”

“Oh.  Well, when Noah goes back to his family, can we get Gymnastics Buggies again?”


“Uh, baby…we ARE Noah’s family.  He’s not going anywhere.”

**shocked crickets**

“Six months and you still thought Noah was going to go home eventually?”

“Well, he’s going to get married and go live with his family, right?”

“Yes, but probably not until after you do.”


**disappointed crickets**


Sometimes, those assumptions are harmless and cute, so why not leave them alone?

Ali is convinced that life is made up of two paths: the white path and the red path.


The cool, adventurous people travel on the white path.

But her Mommy – her Mommy ALWAYS drives on the red path.  And, therefore, is the most uncreative, un-fun Mom in the entire world.

“But Mommy, WHY can’t we go on the other side and drive on the white path??  Why do we ALWAYS have to be on the red path??!!”


And then there are other assumptions.  Assumptions so dangerous that you cannot possibly discern which is worse: the assumption itself, or sharing the truth.

In a completely logical manner. Ali has decided that size is directly correlated to age.

Makes sense, no?

It’s great and wonderful when kids are involved, but notsomuch when applied to adults.


ESPECIALLY since Ali is also very curious about how old everyone is.

It goes something like this…

We’re in a public place, and Ali sees an exceptionally large person.

Her eyes get wide.  She begins to stare at them.

I mean, STARE.  THEM.  DOWN.

Then she points dramatically.

“MOMMY!!!! How OLD is THAT man??!!”

“SHH.  I don’t know.”

“Do I even KNOW anyone that old?!?!?!”

I talk in a whisper, hoping that my tone will rub off on her…

“Well, Mammaw is 84 – she’s probably the oldest person you know.”

Yes, but she’s not old like he’s old!!! He’s the OLDEST MAN I’VE EVER SEEN!!!!”

But I can’t bring myself to deal with it.  After all, if I had my rathers, I’d go with being called old every single time.

But one day, she will find out how the world really works, and she’ll have to rebuild her ideas about the world.

Oh well – it didn’t hurt me.

15 thoughts on “The Misconceptions of Childhood.

  1. Being six feet tall, I get the old statement a LOT. Especially when I was teaching kindergarten. Kids always thought I must be waaaay older than their parents. And sometimes I just let them go on with it.

    It is funny how kids think of everyone else growing up, but not themselves. I think I may still be that way…

  2. I had to break it to my 4 year old that God doesn’t make veggies grow at Costco. They actually grow in the gardens. It was fun to play along for a little while though!

  3. The dorm I lived in when I was in college looks like a castle. A few months ago, the boys & I drove over for the day to hang out on campus. This is the conversation that took place when we were at my dorm:

    Luke (4 yrs): mommy, did knights guard the castle?
    Me (trying not to laugh & having a little harmless fun): yes, they did!
    Jackson (6 yrs): was there a king & queen?
    Me (more of the same): your daddy was the king & mommy was the queen
    Both boys in unison: coooooool!!!

    I finally fessed up a couple of days later but it was fun to be queen for a day;)

  4. I think I’m driving in that red path too. How in the world do we get over to the white one??? If Ali figures it out, let me know!

  5. She is a thinker! At least she is going with old and not “Mommy, why is that man so FAT?” Hasn’t happened to me yet, but with a kiddo with a voice that carries, I’m sure my shame-faced day is coming. :)

  6. Those are hilarious! I love that she thought Noah would be leaving sometime. I had a friend whose Mom came and stayed for a week after her 2nd was born…when she was packing up to leave the 2 year started dragging all the babies stuff over and putting it in her suitcase. :)

    The size/age thing is hilarious too! It makes sense since that’s what she is used to in her own clothes. :)

    1. Ha! I’m sure there are some times that Ali would like to pack Noah up! But most of the time she really does seem to like him…

  7. I clearly recall one of these moments when I was young, although my parents didn’t perpetuate it; I don’t think they even knew.

    We didn’t leave our small town very often, but when we did, it was to go very far away, usually either an 8 hour drive to visit family and friends. At this young age, perhaps 7 or 8, I was fascinated by exits. I would count exits, monitor them on the map, and even try to memorize exit numbers. But, I believed that our town did not have an exit. After all, I was always asleep when we arrived home at the end of that 8 hour drive, so how was I to know?

    I distinctly remember the night that I was conscious when we reached our town. As my father put the turn signal on to pull off of the highway, my mind turned over on itself. Yes, that was an exit sign, yes, we were using that exit ramp, and YES, the name of MY TOWN was on that exit sign. My world had changed forever…my town was not the center of the universe. It was just like all the others.

    1. That’s a great one! And very deep, too, since we all as kids think the world revolves around us. It’s such a bummer when we find out it doesn’t!

  8. My favorite is the first one, so funny that Ali thinks Noah is going to go back to his family. You guys should come with us on our Target trips, we make use of every inch of space in the gymnastic buggies :)

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