A Hypothesis Is A Wish Your Brain Makes

April 2, 2011

‘Mommy, I have a hypothesis.’

Emilia is on a science kick right now. ‘What kind of hypothesis, sweetie?’

‘It’s about Disney World.’

‘Okay. Do you want to tell me what it is?’

‘My hypothesis is that Disney World is where dreams come true.’

‘That’s a very interesting hypothesis.’

‘I think it’s a true hypothesis because Tanner wished that we could go to Disney World together and have a family holiday there, and we’re going, and that was his wish.’

‘That is excellent science, sweetie.’

‘But we haven’t actually tested the hypothesis, Mommy, because we aren’t there yet.’ You will have to imagine her exasperated tone here. Clearly, I don’t understand science.

‘We won’t know that the hypothesis is true until we get there and actually see the wishes come true, Mommy. That’s science.’ I don’t know that she rolled her eyes at me at this point, because she turned on her heel and walked away, presumably to go put on her lab coat and record her observations about my dunder-headedness in her Mommy Doesn’t Know Very Much file.

Still. Rationalism, for the win.


We’re off to Disney World this week, thanks to Air Canada and Disney, for the everybody-all-together-spinning-in-teacups family vacation that Tanner has wanted so badly. To say that our hearts are very full would be an understatement. To say that the brains of some among us are also very full would just be to acknowledge that Emilia is incapable of undertaking any enterprise without interrogating it thoroughly.

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    Ami April 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    My wish is that you and yours will have a trip with more tears of joy than tears of sadness. You ARE stronger than you think and your heart IS big enough for all the emotions you’re going to have. Truly. Sadly, I think the very act of our heart breaking is what makes it stronger.

    (On a lighter note, I have a small part of me that would like to be Canadian, so that I could legitimately use the phrase ‘holiday’ rather than ‘vacation.’ It sounds much more adventurous and exotic.)

    J from Ireland April 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Oh I wish you all to have a lovely magical time. Well deserved. Best wishes.

    GingerB April 3, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I am so delighted that Tanner will have this wish, and for you and your sister, and your whole family, I hope that this holiday, bittersweet as it is, will be far more sweet than bitter, now and in your memories in the future. You all deserve far better and far more than what you have been given with Tanner. Even though I don’t “know” your family, my heart aches for you all, and so I wish you all the joy that you can find on this holiday with your loved ones.

    Backpacking Dad April 3, 2011 at 1:56 am

    Tell Emilia to let go of the logical positivism: we don’t verify hypotheses anymore, we can only corroborate or falsify them.

    Geez Catherine, hasn’t she read any Popper?

    Carey April 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    @Backpacking Dad,

    Yes, I honestly remember the day when I learned in psychology class that the scientific method was simply affirming the consequent. So disillusioned, and disappointed in my favorite 9th grade science teacher for not pointing that out.

    Catherine — I hope you and your family have an absolutely wonderful time, and that Emilia’s hypothesis is 100% corroborated! :)

    Her Bad Mother April 11, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    @Backpacking Dad, laughing out loud here. laughing out loud.

    Rachel April 3, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I love that your daughter uses ‘big’ words! And I love that you dialogue with her and teach her how to use them correctly.

    I hope you all have a marvellous time in Disneyland!

    Penbleth April 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Have a wonderful trip. I hope Emilia’s hypothesis stands up to the scientific investigation of the holiday. Enjoy.

    kelly @kellynaturally April 4, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Have an absolutely joy-filled time, Catherine!

    Cam - Bibs & Baubles April 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    enjoy the happiest place on EARTH!

    The Mommy Therapy April 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Clearly you have the next Marie Curie on your hands. :)

    Too cute! Have a fantastic time on your trip. I can’t wait to take our kids someday. I believe Disney is where dreams come true too….I think they might even market it as such.

    Murr Brewster April 5, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Well, Disneyland is definitely where dreams come true if your dream is to go to Disneyland.

    roo April 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Hooray for Science!

    And an extra-special hooray for Tanner’s wish, which sounds like it might soon come true.

    Also– a most excellent and subtle title to this post!
    This definitely prompts some further investigation.

    David Wescott April 6, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    best science blogging I’ve seen in a long time.

    bobby hughes April 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Dreams come true at Pigeon Forge, too, so your daughter’s hypothesis may need to be tested there. Here’s a link to a family trip giveaway in Pigeon Forge: http://www.mypigeonforge.com/familychallenge/Giveaway-Rules.aspx

    Jyl Johnson Pattee April 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I am SOOOOO excited for you guys! I hope you’ve had the time of your life. Feels like just yesterday we were discussing this as a team. Thrilled that wishes come true!

    Call and tell me all about it when you’re back!


    Lauren April 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Fun times and fond memories to you all.

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