The Smart™"Daddy, are leprechauns real?" Eli 4.7 is pedaling along the sidewalk on his bike. He has the unique ability to pedal his bike slower than he walks, thanks to training wheels.
"No, little man, I don't think they are," I said. "But the idea of leprechauns is very fun. They're pranksters. Do you know what a prank is?"
"No," he said.
"Remember when we talked about putting whipped cream on mommy's hand when she was asleep, then tickling her nose so that she'd rub it and get whipped cream all over her face?"
"Oh yeah," he said. "Can we still do that? Because that would be GREAT."
"Well, that's a prank," I said.
"But my teacher SAID leprechauns are real." Time for some fast maneuvering here. I think I've stumbled onto one of the "not real but real for now" urban legends of childhood, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
"Well, what did she say about them?" I asked.
"She SAID that at the end of a rainbow, there's a pot of gold and there's a leprechaun. But they're not real, are they?"
"I don't think so," I said.
"But the pot of gold IS real," he said. "And maybe if we find a pot of gold, we'll find that leprechaun."
"Maybe we will," I said.
"And he'll try to trick me, but he can't, because I've got the smart," said Eli 4.7.
I like that--The Smart™.
"But would it be OUR pot of gold?" he asked.
"I think so," I said. "If we find it at the end of the rainbow, it's ours."
"But what about the leprechaun?" he asked. "Isn't it HIS pot of gold? Because he's standing RIGHT THERE."
Then there are the state's rights to consider, of course. Next week: Eli 4.7 gets introduced to the concept of eminent domain.
Five minutes after we wrapped up the leprechaun discussion: "Daddy, I think that when astronauts pee in outer space, it goes STRAIGHT UP. Isn't that GREAT?"
Five minutes after that: "Here's a question, Daddy: do you poop when you're dead?"