Further adventures in 4-year old logic

I was having a little quality time with my favorite 4-year old the other day over quesadillas in the kitchen.

Tabitha: What is an umbrella bird?

Me: I don’t know. I’ve never heard of one before. Did you hear about umbrella birds somewhere?

Tabitha: No.

Me: Did you make it up?

Tabitha: (casually) No.

Four-year olds don’t concern themselves with the law of the excluded middle.

6 responses to “Further adventures in 4-year old logic

  1. Might not be excluded middle. Maybe she saw a picture, and that’s not ‘hearing’.

  2. Or maybe she thinks saying yes to the question as to whether she made it up means saying its not real–as in making it up as pure fiction. She can believe that Umbrella birds are real even and still have thought of the idea herself. Physicist make up new particles all the time, have no direct evidence of their existence or anyone else having evidence of their existence, but still think they are not “just made up”.

  3. Hmmm…Good point, Sue. Maybe it’s a case of the literal four-year old. It’s not, though. After I saw your comment, I asked her. No picture. We talked a bit further about it and she only told me about the origins of umbrella birds under the condition that I not “put it on the computer”. So let’s just say that one of her prior answers was an untruth.

    To be fair to me, bwfrank the just in your quotes is yours. I asked if she made up umbrella birds, not if she had just made them up. We value and encourage imagination around our house.

    And in my own defense, I was perfectly willing to live in the four-year old’s logical world in which knowledge of umbrella birds neither comes from outside, nor from within. I just needed to write about that world.

  4. ‘Umbrella bird’ is frequently the animal used for the letter U when an A-Z listing is given. I’ve seen two or three different toys tell my son that U is for Umbrellabird.

  5. If you go to the knob thing at the bottom and change the setting to 240, this one is more likely her speed:

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