Monday, March 26, 2012

The Existential Conor

I don’t know what they are teaching my son in his school.  It must be some sort of existentialist philosophy.  Or transcendentalism.  Or something like that.  I confess, I don’t know much about philosophy.  I had one class in college, and all I remember from that course was that some poor freshman said orgasm when she meant to say organism.

I felt sorry for her but, hey, you can’t NOT laugh at that.

Anyway, this past week, Conor’s been coming up with all these weird questions about word definitions.

“Mom, what does 'I' mean?” he asked me the other day.

“What do you mean, what does 'I' mean?  You mean, what do you mean?” (He messes up pronouns all the time, so I thought he had made a mistake.)

NO! What does 'I' mean?” he repeated, mumbling.

“Can you spell it?” I asked.

“I,” he said. 

Oh, yeah, ok.  “I means you, Conor,” I said.

“You?” he said with a blank look on his face.

“No, not you, I.”  Oh boy. How do I explain this one? My brain hurt.

Or take today for example.  Resting on my bed, Conor looked up at me and asked, “What does ‘end up’ mean?”

“What do you mean, ‘end up’?  Can you use it in a sentence?” I asked, trying to figure out where he heard the term so I could address it in the right context.  That, and I was stalling for time trying to figure out the clearest way to explain this simple word.

“What does end up mean,” he replied.  Well, that’s a sentence all right.

Or after his bath.  “Mom, what does ‘has’ mean?”

Oh, for the love of Pete.  I can’t wait until he asks me what the meaning of ‘is’ is.  That one will be easy.  I can just channel President Clinton.

Well, Conor… "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....”

See?  Easy-peasy.  What he said.

No comments: