My kids are pretty, pretty smart. But not quite as smart as I think they are.
One time, for instance, we were listening to a Danny Kaye song about “they’ll never outfox the fox!” It goes on to marvel over the exploits of a dashing young scoundrel:
Whenever they try to find me They find me where I am not I’m hither and yon, I’m there and gone, I’m Johnny-not-on-the spot! (He whistles as he jump to a low tree branch) I’m out on a limb they think! (He whistles again, jumping down) I’m down on the ground in a wink My enemies say “Gadzooks! It’s spooks!” Shivering in their socks They know that they’ll never, I’m far to clever They’ll never outfox the Fox!
The toddler at the time said something like, “He singin’ ’bout Wobbin Hood.” OH MY STARS! I thought. What an intelligent child! She extrapolated from the mention of all this clever, limb-jumping derring-do, and made the assumption that this song was about Robin Hood — when it’s actually about a very Robin Hood-like character, The Fox.
Then I suddenly recalled that we had just watched Disney’s Robin Hood, in which the main character is . . . a fox. All that was going on was that when the kid heard Danny Kaye sing, “The Fox! The Fox!” she figured he was talking about “the fox, the fox.” Not a bad assumption, but not especially brilliant, either.
I never learn. Today, my dear baby, who is the smartiest-whartiest baby in the whole wide world, oh yes she is, came up to me and said, “Doggie have nursies!”
What an intelligent child! I marvelled all over again. We don’t even have a dog, but somehow she divined that they are mammals! I wonder what slight clue was enough for her agile little mind, so that she understood that female dogs nourish their young with, as she so preciously calls them, “nursies.”
Then I saw the picture of the doggie she had in mind:
Yep. To those with nursies on the brain, it sure do have nursies.
Bet you never look at Clifford the same way again.