Not Smarter Than a Fourth-Grader

This morning on the way to school, my fourth-grader and I had the following conversation.

Him:  Did you know sloths move so slowly that sometimes they mistake their arm for a branch, reach for it, and then fall to their deaths?

Me:  Sloths have arms?

Him:  Yeah!  Of course they do.

Me:  Sloths don’t have arms.

Him:  (disbelievingly) Yes, Mom!  They have REALLY LONG ARMS!

Me:  No, they don’t.

Him:  Yes, they do!

Me:  They do not.

Him:  (patiently) Mom.  I’m talking about SLOTHS.  S-L-O-T-H-S.

Me:  I know what you’re talking about.  Sloths.  Sloths don’t have arms.  Do they?

Him:  (exasperated) YES!  Sloths have arms!!!  S-L-O-T-H-S!

Me:  Stop SPELLING it.  I KNOW what you’re talking about!  Sloths have arms?  I never knew that!

Him:  (disbelievingly) HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT???

Me:  I really think they don’t.  I’ll have to look it up when I get home.  That’s really interesting.

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You see, that entire time HE was talking about sloths, he saw this animal in his mind.

"Bradypus" by Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) - Own work (Stefan Laube)Originally uploaded at de.wikipedia.org: 2004-10-02 02:26 by Tauchgurke (658235 Byte) (Dreizehenfaultier (Bradypus infuscatus), Gatunsee, Republik Panama). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bradypus.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bradypus.jpg
“Bradypus” by Stefan Laube (Tauchgurke) – Own work (Stefan Laube)Originally uploaded at de.wikipedia.org: 2004-10-02 02:26 by Tauchgurke (658235 Byte) (Dreizehenfaultier (Bradypus infuscatus), Gatunsee, Republik Panama). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bradypus.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Bradypus.jpg

The entire time I was talking about sloths, and insisting he didn’t need to SPELL it out for me, I was seeing this animal in my mind.

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Photographed by Guttorm Flatabø (user:dittaeva), from Wikimedia Commons, CC license
Photographed by Guttorm Flatabø (user:dittaeva), from Wikimedia Commons, CC license

 

 

In my defense, they are both very slow-moving animals.

 

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