I’m not sure what they are teaching The Kidling in pre-school these days, but she appears to be far ahead of where I was at the tender ago of four. Case in point, this dinner table conversation from late last week:
Alice: Did you know Pluto was once a planet?
The Mama: Yes, it was once, but now it isn’t.*
Alice: Yeah. Who lived on it?
The Mama: No one.
Alice: (shocked) Huh?
The Mama: Alice, of all the other planets, how many do you think have people?
Alice: Lots of them.
The Mama: Actually, Alice, none of them. Earth is the only planet with people.
Alice: (again, shocked) Huh? But this is a very big planet so there is room for all the people. (enormous belch) Excuse me!
* Fine, so this isn’t technically accurate. It isn’t like Pluto itself actually changed. The poor thing just had its membership in the planet club revoked. As such, a proper response would have been “Astronomers once thought Pluto was a planet, but now they know it isn’t.”
I sure as hell wasn’t going to tell Alice it is a dwarf planet. I would have been stuck explaining that a dwarf planet is a planet of abnormally small stature.