But then you wouldn’t have to…

Mummy: “Wouldn’t it be good if we planted lavender at the farm.  Apparently it keeps insects away.”

Lillian: “Why does it keep the insects away?”

Mummy: “Because they don’t like the smell.”

Lillian, alarmed: “But then the grasshoppers will go away too!” Lillian likes to catch grasshoppers; she and Mummy spent some happy time doing that on the weekend.

Daddy: “That would be a good thing!”

Lillian: “Why would that be good?”

Daddy: “Because the grasshoppers eat all the plants and things.”

Lillian: “But then you wouldn’t have to mow the lawn!” Daddy had spent quite some time mowing the lawn and slashing long grass on the weekend.

Aside: simple conversations can have so much cognitive texture. Most obviously Lillian is curious and wants further explanation to help her make sense of the funny things adults say.  Having heard the explanation, she can immediately see potential consequences, and raises these as objections to the views of others.  In particular she can see how a consequence can amount to an objection to a proposal from somebody else’s point of view. 

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