The other day we took CJ to a house with a friendly, but barking, golden retriever. CJ was a little intimidated, and at one point really scared when the dog took a run at him.
Later we had this conversation:
Me: CJ, were you a little scared of the dog?
CJ: I was scared but Daddy was not scared.
Me: Maybe when you’re a little older you won’t be scared.
CJ: When I am a little older and Daddy is a baby we will go in the house with the dog and I will not be scared but Daddy will be scared!
Update: Toby asks in comments whether it’s common for children to have this misperception. Fortunately, the indispensable I Used To Believe, the online repository of weird childhood beliefs, is here to help. We quickly find:
- “I used to belive as i got older my parents would get younger and i would have to take care of them as babies until there body couldn’t age as fast then they would die”
- “I used to believe that when I got to a certain age, my older brother would ‘turn small’ and I would be able to be the older sibling. I believed that this cycle would last forever.”
- “i used to believe that my brother and I were going to switch places with my parents – that as we got bigger, they would get smaller. I was under 5, because my other brother had not been born yet – and it seemed to make sense.”
- “When I was about 3 or 4 years old, I believed that, just as little kids were in the process of growing bigger and older, adults were in the process of growing younger and littler. So I thought that my parents would one day be little children again.”
And that’s just from the first 5 pages out of 27 on the topic of “growing older.” Much more common, apparently, is the belief that you switch genders as you age – CJ has expressed some thoughts along these lines, too, now that I think about it.