Toddler Logic

06 August, 2019 | Steven Specht
  • Toddler Logic

My son recently had a fairly severe ear infection accompanied by a high fever. The acetaminophen came with a syringe that holds about 6 milliliters. The maximum dose for my kid’s weight is 7 milliliters, so I just used the 6 and called it good enough, rather than refill it with the one extra milliliter.

This went without incident for 24 hours before we could get into see a doctor and get amoxicillin that came with two 10-milliliter syringes.

After misplacing the 6-milliliter syringe I just used one of the two 10-milliliter syringes for the acetaminophen. Able to give the max dose, I did, giving him the whole 7 milliliters.

Four hours later, having found the original syringe, I loaded it up with 6 milliliters and tried to give it to him. He bolted shouting,

“No, I don’t want the medicine in that! Use the other one!”
“It’s too much!”

After talking to him, I realized that, from his perspective, the 6 milliliters that completely filled a 6-milliliter syringe was MORE than 7 milliliters only partially filling a 10-milliliter syringe.



Toddler logic.

And it takes many forms.

Sometimes it is in the form of wanting “blue milk” which is not 2 percent with a blue cap but milk poured in a translucent blue cup, as opposed to any other color of the take and toss rainbow.

It’s funny.

Until it’s not.

For example, when I try to comfort a crying baby and become trapped in a web of causation confusion.

“Why are you crying?”
“Because I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
“I’m sad because I’m crying.”

Why did I have to have an emo kid?

I’d like to think there is a support group for parents of kids who can’t logic, but I certainly won’t get any help from my own mother.

All she will do is remind me of the time I had a meltdown over her cutting a piece of squash in half lamenting that “now I have to eat twice as much!”

About The author

I'm a military spouse to my US Navy Lieutenant Commander, Lauren. We are proud parents of Wolf and Bear. When I'm not supporting her career and raising my two wild animals, I teach a law course at the University of Florida, run ultramarathons, and write. I'm the author of "Parenting as a Contact Sport" and currently in search of a publisher. Most stories I publish are proposed additions to a sequel titled "Daddy Hold My Milk: Famous Last Words of a Toddler. Twitter: parentingsport

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