Friday, January 25, 2013

The Art of Getting Schooled By a Three Year Old

Actual conversation between myself and my three year old on the way home from work yesterday:

3yo: (very serious tone) "Mommy. The sun is hiding behind those clouds!"
Me: (not so serious tone) "Yes. Yes it is."
3yo: "Mommy. Please turn off the clouds. Please, please, please, please, please turn off the clouds and let the sun out!!"

So, I jumped at the opportunity for a life lesson here: although me, your average, run-of-the-mill mom, may appear to the average observer that I can do magnificent, magical things like control the weather, I am actually just like everyone else. I can not, in fact, control the cloud cover any more than I can control the spin or tilt of the earth, the color of the sky, or the migration of birds.

Me: "I can't turn off the clouds. No one can turn off the clouds - they just happen!" and on and on about nature, the atmosphere and the basics of how the world works. My long-winded explanation for the current weather pattern was met with MUCH skepticism by the world-wise 3 year old.

3yo: "But, Mommy! YOU CAN turn the clouds off. You have the 'troller!!"
(For those of you unfamiliar with "'troller" it's my son explaining to me that I do, in fact, have a controller that turns the clouds off. You know? Like the TV controller? Or, the surround sound controller. You know, just one more controller I carry around in my purse that goes about controlling things, right?)
Me: (adamant!) "No, honey, I don't have a controller for the clouds!"
3yo: "BUT YOU DO!! At your work! You have a controller at your work!! Turn off the clouds at your work!"

And then it hit me: He knows exactly what he's talking about. I DO have a controller for the clouds at my work. See, every morning on his way to grandma and grandpa's house we pass by my work. And, every morning he comments on the steam coming off the cooling towers. Every morning he tells me, "That's mommy's work. You make clouds at your work!" And, every morning I tell him, "Yes, we DO make clouds at work!" (I figure he's too young to learn the whole process of refining, so I stick to the basics like "yes, we do make clouds at my work" conversations with him.) And last week, on a day when the relative humidity was low and the visible water vapor was low, he asked why we weren't making many clouds that day. I explained to him about relative humidity and temperature (not sure if he "got" that or not), but his follow up comment was, "Oh. You control the clouds?" and I distinctly remember saying, "Yeah, kinda."
So, there you go, yesterday I got schooled by a three year old. I guess I should have stuck to the long version of how the refinery works and I wouldn't have been in that position I suppose....


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