January 03, 2012

Bedtime Philosophy

After last night's bedtime stories, Caitlyn rather randomly asked about seasons. Something like, "Why is it cold in the winter and hot in the summer?" So I did a quick overview of the Earth's axis being tipped off of vertical and the resulting annual wobble as the planet revolves around the sun. I'm always pleased with myself when I review this topic with Caitlyn since I inevitably try to illustrate the not-vertical nature of the axis by physically leaning to the left. Maybe I'm 23 degrees off vertical, maybe not. But thus far, I've managed to not fall down. That seems the critical part.

This seasons question is not a new question, so I didn't spend a lot of time on it. Caitlyn was a smidge disappointed that I didn't revolve and rotate while leaning into my personal approximation of 23 degrees, but it was bedtime. As I headed for the door, she asked another question, quick-like, like if she kept asking, I wouldn't leave.

"Is lightning hotter than the sun?"

"No, I don't think so."

"It says so in a true book at school."

"Oh. I'd have to look it up."

"How do they make paper?"

"We'll have to ask the Internet."

"Who was the first person on Earth?"

"That's a complicated question."

At this point, I was thinking, Great. I need to do a nutshell overview of various creation stories and cover millions of years of evolution and tonight's a school night and it's late and man, do I need to pee.

Caitlyn barely slowed down, though.

"'Cause people have to come from somewhere. They start as babies and then they grow and then there are more babies. But where did the first baby come from?"

"Ah. You have discovered the Chicken and Egg Problem."

"The what?"

"Where do chickens come from?"


"But where do eggs come from?"


"But where did the chicken come from?

"An egg."

"Ah. But where did the egg come from?"

She was giggling now. "A chicken!"

"Hmm. But where did the chicken come from?"

This was the funniest thing she'd ever heard. "An Egg!"

"You see?"

"A chicken!"

"Good night."

"An egg!"

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