While I applaud him for his use of logic...

A terrible myth is being spread around our house. Somehow Kid A has been deceived into believe that one of the developments of being four is suddenly knowing everything. Of course, I've taken it as my perogative to "disinform" my four-year-old of this non-fact.

Kid A walked out of his room today and announced, "It's not 'pants', it's pant," while shaking his head in amusement. I smiled.

"Well, no. It sounds like it should be 'pant', but we say 'a pair of pants', so it really is 'pants'."

Kid A shot me a derisive look. (As derisive as a four-year-old with brown eyes the size of tea cups can be.)

"No," he said. "It's pant." I don't drop these kinds of things anymore, because really, the kid has to know.

"Well, you're almost right, because almost any other word wouldn't have an 's' sound on the end like that, but it's 'pants'. Trust me."

"No, it's pant."

This is when I had to pull out the old standby.

"Kid A," I said. "Who's four years old?"

"Me!!!!" (BIG smile)

"And who's twenty-six?"


"No. Me. Who knows how to read?"

"You do? You know how to read, Mama?"

"And who has been through school? Me again. So you can trust me. It may not make sense to you, but I know that the word is pants. You may call your pants 'pant' if you want to though."

I've found that this tactic works well for other things, too, like when Kid A tries to instruct me on driving ("You were supposed to stop back there, Mama!" "Kid A, do you even know what city we're in?") or cooking or other things. Except that I may say things like "Who's been driving for ten years?" and "Who's not tall enough to reach the pedals or see over the steering wheel?"

It helps us all remember where we stand.