Church has never been my thing. But, as a child, there was a strange excitement when we would go. You see, my dad was super tight with God. Well, that’s what I thought. (If you know my dad, you know this is very, very wrong.)
You see, before I could read, I paid a lot of attention to the way people said words. Prayers ended by saying Amen. My dad’s name, Eamonn, is pronounced very similarly. For a number of years, I believed prayers ended by saying my dad’s name — which I would do, then smile and look at him.
Logical, right? Then I learned to read.
Sitting in a pew, I cracked open the bible at our weekly pilgrimage to the chapel and found the prayer I had memorized staring back at me. This time I could read the words rather than simply repeat them. Something struck me — my dad’s name wasn’t there. That’s not the conclusion I reached though. Instead, I decided the bibles all had misspelled the word. This may be a telling tidbit into my future life, that I spent my childhood looking for typos in the bible. But, I truly believed it was an error made by god, my pastor, perhaps even the printer of bibles. Never did I think, perhaps this is a different word.
That’s the kind of kid logic that is explored in This American Life this week. The podcast, which I just listened to, is actually from 2001. It may not be recent but the conversation will always be. Children have a limited understanding of the world to use while coming to conclusions. Often that results in incorrect but genuinely entertaining results. The hour-long program is worth a listen, if you enjoy those things. I would caution that the last part is a bit sad. However, the program did remind me of one other kid logic moment.
My brother only struggled with saying one word, vagina. He would say china, as in the country although he didn’t understand the concept at about 3 years old of a different country. Saying one word incorrectly became a confusing moment for him at 3, maybe 4 years old. Dustin had this small plastic Tigger doll that had writing on the bottom, Made in China. He asked me once to read it to him, what did it say. So, I told him.
He double checked what I had told him. China? Was I certain? I was. He looked puzzled. Then he looked down at each of the ladies around him and back at the toy. It soon lost favor in his rotation of playing with toys thanks to whatever logic went through his little head. I, on the other hand, loved that toy. Such a funny realization.
I wonder what others got completely wrong when they were little.