22 March 2009

Elementary Physics for the Wee Lass

I don’t know where she gets it. Okay, maybe a little because I’m a geek. Still, her recall for such things is astounding.

Wee Lass and I were on our way to day care the other morning, a very cold day in the aftermath of the 8” of snow we had received earlier in the week. The sun was out, very brisk and the breeze was plucking leaves and bending needles. She was watching the trees go by and chattering away about leaves and trees and snow and ice. Then she paused, and said:

“Daddy, what’s that two word?”
“What word?”
“That two word.”
“Two word? Two word for what?”

Wee Lass sighs. In the rearview mirror, I can see her staring at me with the same look one gives harmless but annoying idiots when they obviously have demonstrated their idiocy. She didn’t roll her eyes, but I swear I heard an exasperated sigh.

“You ‘member, the two word. For the water to ice, ice to water.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Daddy! You know, when the ice changes to the water, or the snow to the ice…”


“…or the water to mist…”

She chattered on for about another minute until it finally dawned on me. She was trying to remember “phase change”.

Jay-zus, at a time when I am lucky to remember my own name, or how not to get lost on the way to the liquor store, er, grocery store, my daughter is calling up physics terms! What is even more astounding, I know she heard me say that phrase once when I was trying to explain ice to her. I’m a dork like that, can’t look at ice without thinking of phase changes. And I wasn’t even all that interested in physics in my younger days.

But she heard me say it once. Once. And that was probably about two weeks prior to this day.

“You mean phase change, sweet pea?”
“Yes, Daddy, phr-, phff-…phrase change!” she said with a big smile. Then she proceeded to explain to me all the things that had phase changes, which included the aforementioned ice and water and mist. Then she said:

“…birds hatching and like seeds to flowers…”

“No, dear, seeds to flowers aren’t a…” then I caught myself. Seeds to flowers? While a seed turning into a flower isn’t exactly the strict definition of a phase change (I told you I am a dork), the idea behind it is similar: something undergoes a reorganization of itself and turns into something else. Pretty powerful stuff for such a young person to recognize.

I’ll have to keep an eye on that kid, she could be trouble later…


  1. That is one smart cookie you have there, Gumbi!

    And FIRST!!!!!


  2. Um. Second. And no kisses. Maybe a manly hug.

  3. Visions of her approaching a big red button come to mind or playing with a chemistry set in a closet. I'd watch her close for sure!

  4. Ah-hah! See, education really DOES begin at home with the dorky parents.

    Off to tell my friend Tricia at Shout Daily about this...

    And it's so lovely to see you, dahling.

  5. I'm going through a phase change just reading about physics.


  6. That is one smart kid you got there!

  7. Irish, old boy!

    Top o' the mornin' to ya!

  8. Sounds like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. (You try to fool us by playing dumb. We know better.) A pretty, little girl is delightful, but a SMART, pretty, little girl... what a treasure!

  9. Interesting how simple concepts can be interpreted in unique ways and applied to things we never thought possible. Quite the genius I must say.

  10. Oh, the Federation of Children Wait for us there is some ideas to explore. :)
    What is Really Healthy-Health Blog
    Humor & Fun World-Funny Blog

  11. Nice. We have those kids at our house, too. Keep on dorking!

  12. It takes a lot to impress me. Wee Lass impresses the hell out of me! Nice!

  13. Midget geniuses are awesome.

    Yep, she's a keeper. ;)

  14. OMG I was thinking the EXACT same thing......lol, you are in trouble......!

    Clever little bunny you got there.

    Mine, well, lets put it this way.....

    Child #1 asks, "Mom what do you want most for Xmas?"

    ME: " I want really good, well behaved, children more than anything else"


    Child #2 who is 5, suddenly chimes in with..... "Well,... I am going to get you a camera"

  15. When my 7 year old daughter asks a question it's usually my 9 year old son that answers first, and usually a better explanation than me.....sigh

  16. I think you'll know you're in real trouble when she gives you a withering look for your less-than-rudimentary grasp on advanced quantum physics...

    (And, as I'm 19th in the queue, I'll go with a warm and hearty handshake, squire)

  17. I love it when they bust out with stuff like that.

  18. Awww, she's wicked smart. Nice to see you showing up, Gumby.

    Also, you might want to be careful not to swear in earshot. My guess is that she'd try that out too...

  19. That's my little Darling just like her Dad oldman irish

  20. Awwww...Wee Lass talking the talk!

    Peace - Rene

  21. She's going to be putting you to shame soon. I'd watch my back, if I were you. ;)

  22. Perhaps she can explain physics to my dummy mummy!

  23. hehehehehehe oh you are SO in for it as she gets older. Mine is like that, she soaks up knowledge like a sponge and then zings it back at me at the most unlikely times :-) It's pretty freakin awesome to have a kiddo like that though. Never ever a dull moment!

  24. That reminds me of my daughter and my late husband. Jamie was three and in day care, the workers said she kept talking about Easter Norop. Turned out to be Eastern Europe! (My late husband was a history buff)
    Wee Lass is a Smart one!

  25. I'd say that's a guarantee.


  26. HA! Not a trouble maker. She'll probably make more money than all of us combined with those brains!

    I am a nerd/geek/tidbit carrier too! Every time I watch snow fall, I think about the tiny little speck of dust that is in the middle of every flake to start the formation process! Minerology fascinates me too!

  27. Let's talk about the time my then four year old son had to tell me what an ovid was. Yeah, I'm not into geometrical solids and he picked that up at school? I would be a total fail at "Are you smarter than a fourth grader", because at the time I wasn't smarter than a four year old. Sheesh.

    But hey, hows the new job????

  28. She is one smart cookie! Sounds like something my daughter will say in a couple years!

  29. I could barely get passed the butterfly lessons in elementary school. How does she know that stuff..sigh I am way behind

    Great post and it sounds like a great little one you have.


  30. Oh the wee lass sounds simply adorable! It really is amazing what kids retain. It floors me, sometimes, the information that comes out of my niecess and nephew's mouths.

    I have been wondering why I haven't seen any of your posts on my reader, and then realized somehow I'd stopped blogstalking you. Well, that's been rectified, blog on .. blog happy!

  31. Well, she is your child... Just you wait til she's 11. *sigh*

  32. Wow, what a COOL story! Love it.

  33. Thanks for following my blog. You're a terrific writer and have some seriously brainy progeny. Looking forward to reading more.

  34. Just you wait, the eye rolls will come and you will hear the sigh and then "you just don't understand"....
    She's a smart cookie - keep feeding her!!

  35. Smart cookie rolls from the dough.

    No? Hm. Let me get back to you.

  36. I've been thinking about you. Glad to see you out and about again. That little one is a smartie. Better watch out!

  37. Obviously, genius abounds. Very sweet story.

  38. This is exactly why you have children. You get not only their wonderment, but your own wonderment that what you say and do actually makes a difference in one person's life.

  39. seriously?!?! i mean, seriously?!?! wee one is frightening me there. such an amazing thing to get to watch them come up with this shite.


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