Thursday, January 6, 2011

The areas of my expertise

So before I actually do anything productive - for example finish the lecture I have to give at 7am tomorrow - I thought I should offer some back story on Jack's list. You might think that a four year old, asea in a vast ocean of untapped knowledge, would be daunted by the task of enumerating the things he doesn't know. That it would be easier to count those few solid pillars of fact on which he can rely: Mama loves me, the sky is blue, my Wheelie-Bug is awesome.

Not so for Jack, master of the unfounded pronouncement. Never thwarted by lack of factual information, Jack is willing to hold forth on any subject. He issues his statements with bold conviction. "Aliens cannot open the back doors of vans." Simple, incontrovertible fact.

He does this with such regularity and conviction that Leslie and I termed him an Expert. With a capital E. We called him this in our most confidential tones, apparently deluded in our belief that he wouldn't notice. Nary a syllable escapes the notice of the twins. Actually that's not true - nary an inappropriate syllable escapes their notice. Syllables like "pick up your toys, it's bedtime" seem to escape their notice quite routinely. But no such luck in this case. Now we are saddled with a four year old who KNOWS that he's an expert, and when the adults around him seem unable to grasp this obvious fact, he will explain. "I'm an expert in everything." Which is wildly obnoxious. But if you can see his earnest little face when he says it and refrain from laughing, you're a better grownup than I.

So for now, you can assume that the Things Jack Doesn't Know list is exhaustive. In the unlikely event it is amended, I will let you know.

1 comment:

  1. In this wise--all knowing Expert at four--he resembles his father rather mightily. Les was, at four, an aspiring poeter (not poet, but something wonderfully more active), an avid reader of all print in his range, AND, apparently the oldest person on the planet. He remembered EVERYTHiNG--especially those things that happened before he was born (like, most of history). Perhaps fortunately, neither of us yet realized that I remembered when he was born--yea, the very moment, for I was there...