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.
You see, that entire time HE was talking about sloths, he saw this animal in his mind.
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.
In my defense, they are both very slow-moving animals.