“Sloane Told Me I’m Not Four!”
Tall friend disputes child’s age; facts are facts, parents insist
Kina’s friend Sloane is not yet four, but she’s about to be. She is definitely taller than Kina, though, and so she finds it hard to believe that Kina can be four when she herself is three. It seems that Sloane finds these facts so dissonant, in fact, that she’s now a Kina-is-four denialist. This is really troubling for Kina, because she is definitely four, and it’s weird to have to reconcile the strongly held beliefs of your best friend that you are three with your once-serene “I am four” worldview.
When Kina came home yesterday afternoon, she made a big stink about this, because she is fundamentally certain that Sloane is still three and therefore has no standing to make a statement on the Kina’s fourness. I promised Kina that she was, in fact, four years old and that, despite Sloane being slightly taller than Kina, she is still a little teensy bit older than her friend. In order to further assuage her, I measured her against the kitchen doorframe and showed her that she was, in fact, still growing (a full inch in the last four months) and therefore could not possibly be growing smaller and younger.
Age is weird. These two girls, if they remain friends, will someday say they are exactly the same age, and yet these four months at the edge of three years are an unfathomable chasm that is actually a little scary for each of them to contemplate. How far is three-and-two-thirds from four, really? Might as well be a different generation. I am comforted—and these two kids should be as well—by the fact that their ages will soon be in full alignment for another eight months, and that everybody that matters will be four for a good long while. Until Kina is five, depending on who you ask.