The Biology Of Growing Up

, , , , | Related | November 7, 2017

(I’m a student worker in a university biology department, and I’m fairly close to my boss. One night she asks me if I’d be willing to babysit her five-year-old, since the regular sitter cancelled. I agree. The little girl is very sweet, and is mostly interested in playing with her new toy, a set of plastic dinosaurs with a little printed cardboard backdrop. I’ve finished cleaning up from dinner, and she’s telling me about the picnic adventure her dinosaurs are having.)

Little Girl: “This one is a meat eater, but he’s not eating meat so that he doesn’t scare his friend, who is an herbivore, and this one likes the cupcakes best, and this one is mad at the herbivore dinosaur because he wanted the salad…”

(Out of nowhere, the little girl suddenly sweeps her arm across the table, sending the dinosaurs and their backdrop and their “picnic” flying.)

Little Girl: “And none of that matters, because then the meteor hits, and dust covers the sun, and all the plants die, and ice squishes them all!”

(She looks up at me, perfectly placid.)

Little Girl: “And they all die. And that’s what happens.”

(I was completely aghast. Five years old, and this little girl had a better grasp of mass extinction than most adults I’ve met. Don’t mess with a biologist-trained kid, I guess! This child is going places.)

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