Slacktory

thoughtful kid

A curious kid can be either completely exasperating or wholly hilarious. The endless chain of “but why?” has driven many parents mad, but from time to time these questions can make even the most educated person re-think basic concepts.

Recently thinwhiteduke99’s daughter threw him for a loop:

My daughter came to me and said, “Daddy, I have a problem and maybe you can help me out with it. How do I know that I’m real and not just a dream of someone else?”

The question caught me off guard, but I decided to introduce Descartes to her and said that there was no real way of knowing, but that there was a guy who used to think about these types of things and he said, “I think, therefore I am” and that means that if you are thinking and can create, then it is the best proof that you exist.

She countered with “How do I know that it’s not just the dream making me think that I am thinking?”

At that point, I knew that I wasn’t going to win and told her that thinking was still the closest to proof that we have. It contented her enough and she went back to watching iCarly.

This prompted the father to ask, “What deep ponderings or odd questions have you heard from kids?

Maire24’s brother just wanted to know how aware other kids were:

My brother was always very interested in the consciousness of other children when he was a toddler. Whenever there was a baby around, he’d walk up to them and their mother, frown down at the kid when they were shown to him, look at the mother and ask, “Do they know they’re alive yet?” He creeped a lot of my aunts and my mother’s friends out. Never got a good answer, either.

Nezumify’s cousin wanted to find a way to help people understand each other:

My cousin was 7 or 8 when she came up to me and asked, “Since I know English and think in English that means that someone who knows French thinks in French too right?” I said yes, and then what she said made me rather sad. “Then even telepathy couldn’t stop different people from fighting and hurting each other.”

Mathjoke’s cousin was trying to understand the concept of infinity:

My four year old cousin asked is apparently very interested in infinity. As a mathematician, I tried to explain things as best I could for him. One day he sits down with me, draws a circle and says:

“Okay, so there are infinity lines from the middle of this circle to the sides right?”
“Yes”
“But what if we extend those lines out? Is there more infinity?”

Motherfucker, Cantor went mad about this shit. You’re four. Go play with some Hot Wheels.

Reddwarf666’s daughter thinks like Einstein:

My 5 year old daughter asked about stones falling to the ground, so I explained gravity to her in a very simple way. Fast forward to when she was 5, almost exactly one year later, and we were driving home. Suddenly she asks me, “Daddy, does light fall down as well?” After picking my jaw from the floor I asked if she meant the same thing as we discussed a year before about stones falling to the ground. Yes, that’s what she meant. She applied gravity to light, all by her self!

She later told me she wants to be an astronaut, discover the end of the universe, and take me there to show it to me. Atta girl!

Thinwhiteduke99’s daughter wants to be an astronaut too, but for arguably more cuddly reasons:

Your daughter’s aspirations to be an astronaut beat mine. Here is a conversation that we had while driving home one day:

Molly: “Daddy, if I were an astronaut and I went to Jupiter, would I get extra pay?”
Me: “What are you talking about?”
Molly: “Well, usually astronauts go to the moon, so if I went to Jupiter, would I get extra pay because it’s out of the way?”
Me: “Probably.”
Molly: “Yay! Then I could afford to buy a hamster when I got back!”

Joke_Choke’s cousin grasps emotional relativity:

My cousin (who was in 1st or 2nd grade) asked me:
“Mike? How would you know that you are happy if you were never sad before?”
“Well you wouldn’t really.”
“So it’s a good thing people are also sad?”

I didn’t really know what to say. I did not really realize that everything is relative ‘til I was much much older than him.

Seattleroots’ student is a straight shooter:

I’m getting a degree in education and during a classroom observation I saw an assignment with the prompt, “What makes a good citizen?” A unknowingly prophetic second grader responded, “They don’t lie. I hate school.”

Agrammalech’s son is into research:

At an Italian restaurant with my ten-year-old last week, I ask him if he likes his food. He nods, pauses, looks down and says, “I wonder what my arm tastes like?” He then licks his arm, looks off in the distance, and says, “Tastes…neutral.”

Iam4real’s nephew thinks big:

My four-year-old nephew looked out the window when we were driving cross country and said, ”That’s my world out there, isn’t it?”

IamNotDrinkable points out that he missed a golden opportunity to play Mufasa:

And I assume as the sun was setting, you whispered with a dramatic monotone voice, “Yes, and those shadowy places, you must never go there.”

Whatthephysics’s nephew is Doctor Who:

We were sitting round the dinner table and talking about age, and I asked my 7-year-old nephew, “How old do you think I am?” He thought about it and said kind of jokingly, “About a million!” We laughed and I asked, “How old do you think your mum is?” He thinks about it and says with the same attitude, “‘Bout 20 million, billion years old!” So I said, “Well that’s interesting because to the closest estimates the universe is only about 14 and a half billion years old.” He just fobs it off and goes, “Pfffft yeah, IN THIS DIMENSION!”

-Teekey-’s son is a true scholar:

My 6-year-old son asked me why when he farts, spiders run away.

Letsgetrich has repeatedly chased the “why” questions down the rabbit hole:

I have, on several occasions, got into conversations with children where they persist in asking, “Why?” to every thing I say. It usually ends up in a long chain of answers which ends with, “Because that’s how fundamental particles react with each other.”

Finally, inferior-raven throws down for the internet’s favorite little philosopher:

I maintain that David After Dentist spoke the deepest words on the internet:

“Is this real life?”

I’m sorry, little stoned bro. Theists and philosophers have been trying to answer that question forever. No headway has yet been made.

Photo by/CC tamckile on Flickr

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