Zachary at work in the Kitchen

Zachary helping Christine in the Kitchen. March 2002.

Zachary had a difficult day today, missing his afternoon sleep, and getting a bit cranky as a result. This evening, as I was cooking dinner for Christine and myself, and supervising Zachary eating his dinner, he decided he’d had enough of his meal (i.e., he had fingered it a bit, no more), which he had specifically requested (chicken + vegetable rissole and toast, please), and would much prefer grapes. The scene continued something like this:

Zachary: “Grapes. Grapes. More grapes.” Approaches the refrigerator and opens the door.

Daddy: “No grapes, Zachary, until you’ve had some more of your dinner. You asked for the chicken, and I think you should eat some more.” Gently shuts the fridge door.

Zachary: “No chicken. Grapes.” Opens fridge door.

Daddy: “No grapes yet, Zachary. Not until you have had some more chicken. You asked for the chicken, and I made it for you.” (Speaking not quite truthfully, as I had simply reheated the rissole, and toasted and buttered the toast. Zachary and Christine had done the lions share of making the rissoles a couple of days before.) Shuts fridge door again.

Zachary: Falls face down on floor (classic tantrum position), and says in a clear, calm voice, “Tantrum. Tantrum.”

Daddy: Quizzically. “Are you having a tantrum?”

Zachary: Calmly. “Yes.” Gets up by himself and returns to his dinner to eat some more.

If he understands his own emotional state this well by the time he is in his teenage years, I should be a very happy father.


I’m Greg Restall, and this is my personal website. I am the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, and the Director of the Arché Philosophical Research Centre for Logic, Language, Metaphysics and Epistemology I like thinking about – and helping other people think about – logic and philosophy and the many different ways they can inform each other.


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