Philosophical Musings of a Three-Year Old
My beautiful, brilliant and extremely delightful daughter, Ashley, has recently been showing signs of a budding philosopher (as well as a budding ballerina, a budding botanist, and a budding comedian). Below are some of the more philosophical comments and inquiries that she has posed recently:
- (1) Application of the principle of non-contradiction. How so? We use a timer that we call a “dinger” when we put her in “time-out” for disciplinary purposes. Our dinger recently bit the dust, and we have yet to replace it. A few days ago, I needed to put her in time-out, and after doing so realized that we still are without a dinger. So I told Ashley that I would be the dinger, seeing that she was protesting that without a dinger she didn’t or couldn’t possibly stay in time-out. Right before I left the room, Ashley, with a very serious look on her face said, “How can you be the dinger? You are the momma?”
- (2) Am I my body? Before turning out the lights and saying goodnight, we often ask Ashley what her job is, that is, we pose the question, “what are you supposed to do?” To which she answers, “Stay in bed and go to sleep.” Lately, we’ve had a difficult time getting her to stay in bed, as she likes to explore in her toy box and make up all kinds of imaginary worlds, which each get their own song and characters. So we’ve added, “show us with your body that you will stay in bed”-meaning show us with your actions not just your words. To this, Ashley asked, pointing to her toe, “Is this my body?” “Yes,” we said. Then she pointed to her elbow, “is this also my body?” “Yes,” we answered. Ashley looked puzzled, as if she wanted to ask, “shouldn’t we then say bodies, and not body?” or “how many bodies do I have?” Then she touched the bedpost and asked, “Is this my body?” “No,” we replied. Pointing back at herself, she asked, “Am I my body?” Pretty good question for a three-year old.