Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Why don't you just ..."

You need to know up front that my 6 year old daughter, E, hasn't really been exposed to much "Christianese" in her short lifespan. Note, as you read, the text I've bolded. It helps at the end.

The other day I picked her up from school and the following conversation ensued:

me: So E, I was talking to your teacher and she says that you and L. are the two best readers in the class. That's awesome! Way to go!

E: Yeah, and actually, I'm really the best reader, 'cause sometimes L. doesn't know a word and I help her.

me: You know why you're like that--so smart and good at reading? It's because of your genes.

E: What are genes?

me: Well, your whole body is made up of millions of tiny cells ...

E: (interrupting, and rolling her eyes) oh, *that* again!

me: (thinking "I'm losing her. Must regroup!") Ok, well, everybody has this special thing inside them called DNA, and it's kind of like your own special library. When you're born, your mom gives you half of her library, and your dad gives you half of his library, and it become your very own special library, and it tells you how to do everything!

E: Everything?

me: yes. and part of the reason your the best reader in your class, and you're so smart and so forth, is because your mom and dad are both so smart at that stuff, so when you were born, and got your DNA library from us, you got one that made you really smart too.

E: Ohhhhhhh! So L.'s mom isn't as smart as Mum?

me: (backpedaling). Well, it doesn't necessarily mean that. There's some variation. But essentially, yes, if your parents are really smart, then you're likely to be really smart, and if your parents aren't that smart, then you're likely to be not that smart. But sometimes you can be really different from your parents. Like for instance, you have this thing called "emotional intelligence".

E: Emotional intelligence???

me: yes. it means that you're smart emotionally. You're really good at being kind to people and connecting to them and so forth. It's important to have emotional intelligence to go along with academic intelligence

E: Academic intelligence?

me: Yes. That's like being really good at reading and understanding things. But it can lead to arrogance and obnoxiousness.

E: What's "obnoxiousness"?

me: that's a bad attitude where you think you're better than other people and then you're not kind to them.

E: That's what I thought you meant.

me: You don't have that. You have emotional intelligence, which means you're kind to other people and good at connecting with them.

E: Ohhhh! You mean like in class when L. doesn't know a word, and I kind of whisper it to her, but I don't try to take over the reading from her or anything.

me: Yes, exactly. You're good at that. I'm not very good at that at all. I have high academic intelligence, but low emotional intelligence. I wish I was more like you and had higher emotional intelligence.

E: Well, Why don't you just get born again?

me: (pondering) E, You're awesome. You totally rock. I'm glad you're my daughter.


byron smith said...

From the mouths of babes (or six-year olds)...

This conversation made me grin.

Megs said...

lovely Eowyn!