Overly Astute Four-Year-Old Expresses Skepticism Over Mother’s Explanation of Chlorophyll

sciencemadesimple.com

So we were driving along, chatting about poop or, more specifically, what can make poop green. (Don’t you love a story that starts that way?)

Alarmed earlier in the day, I had consulted the internet and among the short list of perpetrators are excess bile, food coloring, and green veggies. I decided it was the food coloring in the sprinkles on the cut-out cookies Mbot had helped make after breakfast.  Mbot decided he had eaten too much broccoli, which he likes to eat but tends to whine about while it’s cooking because of the odor. He decided that food coloring makes broccoli green.

No, I explained. Something called chlorophyll makes broccoli and other plants green. “Chlorophyll can turn sunshine into nutrients,” I said brightly. “It’s kind of like magic. So when we eat broccoli, we’re really eating sunshine!”

Mbot paused, then asked in a voice that betrayed his suspicion: “You mean when I smelled broccoli, I really smelled sun?”

“Kind of!” I chirped.

At least he didn’t make the next connection, which would be: if broccoli smells like sun, and broccoli turns into green poop, then does sun smell like poop?

It’s a question for another day.

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2 thoughts on “Overly Astute Four-Year-Old Expresses Skepticism Over Mother’s Explanation of Chlorophyll

  1. Hahaha – this is great! I was a microbiologist before turning in my microscope and hanging up my lab coat to be a full time stay at home mom. I love having science based discussions with my boys whether it be about green poop or not. 🙂

    • Yes–they’re endlessly curious, and it really puts the pressure on me to KNOW things! Several times a day I have to say, “I don’t know, let’s look it up on the internet when we get home.” And I love the learning too.

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