Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Tiny Lesson in Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

My year and a half old daughter has become fascinated by what she calls "beeps."  And yes, they are in fact beeps, she is just (understandably) not looking at the bigger picture.  She'll get there.  I don't expect her to be a critical thinker just yet.

"Beeps" are the sound that is made by our apartment building front door when someone waves the lock-fob past the sensor.  Many doors are like this.  She takes great delight in it.

Yesterday we were standing at the front door making beeps, and I started pressing the automatic door opener when she beeped the door unlocked.  She was amused by this extra level for a while, but soon wanted the door closed.  It does close hydraulically of it's own accord after a few seconds - it is on a timer.

But that wasn't soon enough for her.  She started beckoning the door to close.  It wouldn't obey her.  Eventually she asked nicely "peease?"  (Which is "please" for those of you who don't speak her personal language - clearly it shares the same root as the English language derivative.)  And the door shut.

Oh my was she surprised and delighted!  Clearly she now knew the trick.  Obviously the door reacted to her pleasantry - it had closed, just as she wanted, immediately after her polite request.

The next few times I opened the door after one of her beeps, she lead with "peease?"  And the door did not obey.

Somehow I don't think she quite "got" the take away in it's fullness, but she did eventually give up on "peease?"  ....which upon further reflection may be something I must deal with further down the road.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry, she'll re-learn the word when it's time to start mastering the art of deceit. And if she doesn't, then you have a major problem; 'cause usually the weird, anxious ones never learn to deceive (and those end up being some form of "psycho"), so being deceitful is normal for women. Nice post mate, it's funny.