Jane and Hal were playing with some dominoes on the dining room table this morning. Hal had initially been lining them up and then knocking them over, but when he saw his big sister building a tower, he imitated her.
He not only imitated her, but moved faster and completed his tower first. It wasn’t as stable – it curved a bit and some of the uprights were leaning precariously. But it was also taller than her finished one since he had stacked an extra domino on the topmost piece. That domino, and indeed the entire structure, wobbled dangerously.
Jane stood up from the table and walked toward his. She didn’t touch the table or make any sudden movements but his tower collapsed. He immediately cried foul and put his head down to cry. I quickly explained to him why his had fallen and that it wasn’t her fault.
In an attempt to help, Jane, who had walked into the kitchen to prepare breakfast, reassured him: “Hey, the only reason mine didn’t fall down is because I used magic. I used my magic powers to keep mine standing.”
Hal stared at her for a minute. And then he turned to stare at her tower. And then he shook the table. The tower – of course – collapsed. Jane cried out in shock.
“Hah!” the six year old, always-underdog kid replied. “See! You didn’t use magic.”