When my son was about 18 months old, he figured out how to open the refrigerator, a development that came to my attention one morning when I heard him give a sudden wail from the kitchen. Heart in my throat—had he burned himself? Was something broken? Was he bleeding?—I ran in and found him standing in front of the open refrigerator and holding half a cherry tomato, his face covered with juice and seeds and the flush of outrage. “It kachoo-ed at me!” he sobbed indignantly.
What a cool, fascinating deduction! Based on his limited experience—he had never eaten a tomato before, but he had, apparently, been sneezed upon—he came to a brilliant, though entirely wrong-headed, conclusion. It took me a while to convince him that the stuff I was cleaning off his face was not, in fact, tomato snot.