posted by Joe Anaya on June 9th, 2014

A friend just posted that his 3 1/2-year old son argued for 30 minutes that the magazine was called “The Wiggly Reader, not the Weekly Reader.” Even after showing his son (who can’t read) the magazine, Dad was still wrong.

It reminded me of when my son was about the same age and thought he had learned all there was to learn. The scary thing is he may have been right.

After signing out my kid from pre-school, we stopped in the bathroom. While we chatted about his day, a little kid’s voice came from one of the stalls and asked, “Who is out there?”

My son responded with a grin, “Guess.”

“Who is it?” the boy in the stall insisted.


The voice in the stall responded knowingly, “Oh, it’s the smart kid.”

While I didn’t say anything at the time, I was a little disturbed that my son was known as “the smart kid.” Most parents would find it a compliment, but at that age it was the thing that most adults commented on and we didn’t want it to be his only source of identity and we certainly didn’t want it to go to his head. I wanted to make sure his pre-school teachers weren’t reinforcing this idea.

During the drive home, I quizzed him, “So, why did that boy call you the smart kid?”

“Because I know everything,” was his innocent reply. It wasn’t delivered as a brag or boast, just a straight up fact.

“Has Miss Ann Marie said something about you being smart?” I asked.

“No, I just am.”

“Why do the kids think you’re the smart one?”

“Because I know everything.”

“You don’t know everything,” I explain.

“Yes, I do.”

“Nobody can know everything,” I try to impress upon him. But it doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

“I do.”

I decide I have to nip this in the bud. As a means of proving that he doesn’t know “everything,” I decide to ask a question to which he won’t know the answer. “Okay, what’s the capitol of Washington state?”


What? Since we live in California, how’d he know that? Maybe because I’m from Washington, I’ve mentioned it before. I try to come up with another. “What about the capitol of Ohio?”


Crap! Is that right? I’m not even sure. I just picked a random state. This isn’t going as planned. I have to get off of geography. Now I pull out the big guns. “What’s the chemical makeup of water?” There’s no way he knows chemistry.

“Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.”

What the hell? Am I being Punked? How in the world does a preschool kid who rides around in a car seat know that?

As if he could read my mind, he threw out, “I saw it in a book.”

Damn, I hope he can’t read my mind, because I started to think maybe he does know everything.

Of course he didn’t. And of course he’s grown out of that stage and understands that he doesn’t know “everything.” But heaven help me when he’s a teenager and is certain he knows more than his parents about everything. I won’t stand a chance.

File Under King of the Castle