Sunday, September 18, 2011

Anatomy Lessons: A four year old's take on how the body works...

Zavion asks a zillion questions a day.  Lately, he's been really obsessed with how the body works. Being a physiologist by training, I'm happy to supply the answers (when I can!) He's especially interested in how the body sends/receives messages, how food helps the body and, of course, being a four year old boy, the workings of the nether regions as well.

Here are a few tidbits of conversation from the last few days:

Me: Zavion, why did you knock that over?  Z: Welllllllll.... It wasn't my fault. My brain just sent a message to my hand to move that way, so it did. There was nothing I could do. It was my brain's fault, not mine! (using your own brain as a scapegoat? Pretty clever...)

Me: Zavion, it's time to go to bed! Z: Welllllllll.... My stomach is ready for bed, but my brain isn't. My brain is much more powerful than my stomach, so I shouldn't go to bed yet.

'My heart just sent a message to my brain and my brain sent a message to my mouth to tell you I love you.' (aahhh)

'My stomach is telling my esophagus that it's hungry, so we need to eat right now!' (I just found out that in England it's spelled Oesophagus! Who knew?) 

After peeing down his leg on the way to the toilet- 'Sorry, Mommy - my bladder was sending a message to my brain that I had to go pee, but my willy got the message first!'

Z: Mommy, I need some water fast! Me: Why? Z: Because my mouth is burning! I think the germs are having a little campfire in my mouth and I need some water to put out the fire!

'Girls can't pee standing up because all they have is a little hole down there, no willy, right? The first time I saw a girl down there, I thought it was an injury.'

Me: Zavion, you're so cute, I could eat you up! Z: But, mom, if you eat me, then you won't have a son anymore and you'll be sad!

Z: How do I turn my nose off? Me: What?? Z: My nose just sent a message to my brain that this place smells disgusting and my brain doesn't know how to turn it off!

Oh, and the questions keep coming...

'Are girls' holes more private than boys' willies? Scrotums are more private than willies, right?' (And a doozie from a few months ago- 'are girls' parts made out of skin or popcorn?')

Why do some people have fuzzy armpits?

What if you get that prickly stuff on your face like Daddy Jack and can't kiss me anymore? (whiskers)

What are those red squiggles in your eyeballs?

How come mans' boobies don't grow like ladies' boobies? It's not fair!

How come where your joints are, the body is really hard? (knees, etc)

If I didn't have a bottom anymore, how would I go poop?

Why are some people allergic to stuff? Am I allergic to cow and pig meat? Is that why we don't eat it?

How does food make us stronger if it just comes out the other end as poop? (Me: only the waste comes out in the poop, the nutrients go into your blood.) But, how does the body know which are nutrients and what is waste?

If my food goes into my trachea instead of my (o)esophagus, will I die? But, not all the time, right?

Finally, proof that my brainwashing is working:

'I'm such a big, strong boy because I eat healthy stuff and exercise, right? We don't like McDonalds and Coke and cotton candy, because they're yucky and don't make you strong.'

(ok, one more tidbit from the past-) When he was about 3  1/2, his class was discussing other words for 'chew' (chomp, gobble, etc) and Z said,  'Masticate is another word for chew!' His teachers told me about it because they were concerned - they'd never heard the word and thought it might be something naughty. No, teachers, masticate really IS a word for chew! 

I'm sure there have been many more, but I'll leave it for now. Never a dull moment around here...


  1. Hey Tracy, I wish I'd waited for these very quotable quotes before posting about your new blog. Check you and Z. Out at

  2. the best 4-yr old vocabulary on the planet!

  3. rock on big Z.
    give me all your Coke.

  4. Hey Tracy,

    I will be in Seattle early October; it appears I will miss you unless you jump back on a plane for a brief excursion to the States. So what is your projected itinerary? I have read golf is popular in Iceland, is it? So happy for you and Z being able to play and learn around the world. Z has quite a mind:)