Monday, October 9, 2006

Surrendering the Fantasy

My son asked me if I knew what a turnstile was this
morning. I paused, thought about it,
and realized that, although I had heard the word countless times, I could not
quite place what it meant. I told him
that I wasn’t sure but I thought that it was like a lazy Susan. He looked at me like I was crazy and said,
“What? No it isn’t.” So I asked what it was. He said, “Remember when we were at Disney
World? They had turnstiles before we
walked in.”

Not quite sure what he was talking about, I replied with my
standard acknowledgment, “Oh.” I knew
that, at some point during the day, I would have to figure out what a turnstile
was. I kept doing mental scans of the
entrance to Disney World, trying to find something that remotely resembled a
lazy Susan. I was wholly (and
erroneously) convinced that a turnstile and a lazy Susan were synonymous.

After I dropped him off at preschool, I met some friends for
my morning walk. Resigned to the
prospect of surrendering the fa├žade that I am actually a relatively intelligent
human being, I discreetly asked one of my friends what a turnstile was. She immediately said, “Well, a perfect
example of a turnstile is at the entrance to Disney World. They are those silver things that you push
through when you enter the park.” My
son was right.

This turnstile incident was the first time that my son has
actually known a bit of factual information that I did not. What an epiphany that was. I thought that his knowledge would not
surpass mine until he was well into his teens. I guess I was wrong. It is a sad
day when your three-year-old’s vocabulary is superior to your own. I know that I should be pleased because he
is obviously very smart and retains information easily. I just desperately want him to see me as a
brilliant scholar, capable of answering any question he may pose. I might as well surrender that fantasy
though, because my son has an incredible memory and six months or so from now
he will say, “Remember when you told me that a turnstile was a lazy Susan? That was silly.”


  1. We told you he was a genieous when he was borned, speeks fer th powr uf a goood educatin dont ya thunk??? them schols in illinoise is ful of smarte folkz!!! and, now ya no how we felt when u yungans hit school age.

  2. Smart little man you have on your hands there J....he will really be one to keep you on your toes!

  3. LOL! Love it! Truman's a highly intelligent little guy! You must take comfort in the fact that he had to get SOME of it from his mama. ;o)

  4. Papa Dale-
    Obviously, he takes after your side of the family :)

  5. Angie-
    Yes, I'm afraid he will. Makes me worry about those teenage years...

  6. Lauren-
    Thanks for the props. I hope that I can claim responsibility for SOME of his intelligence. We'll have to see. If he is a whiz at useless, entertainment trivia, we'll know that comes from me :)

  7. The other day, we were at my mom and dad's house for dinner. My dad was asking Aleita questions to see how much she could tell him, like "how old are you?" (she knew that she was 2.) "what's your name?" (Aleita Hale.) Then, he asked, "where do you live?" She thought for a minute, then said, "time out." Awww...they do know so much at such an early age, don't they?

  8. Awe, poor Aleita. She thinks she lives in a perpetual state of punishment! I guess that is pretty much the case when you are two.