Too much salt
March 24, 2013

toomuchsaltD: Can I have some salt on this?

Me: There’s already some on it.

D: I can’t taste it. Can I have some more on?

Me: A tiny bit. Too much salt is bad for your heart.

D: I know!… Mum?

Me: Yes?

D: What happens to your heart if you have too much salt?

Me: Weeeell… Salt dries things up. You know when you eat salty food it makes you thirsty?

D: Yes.

Me: Well, if you eat lots of salt, then your body thinks it’s trying to dry up your insides and so it holds on to lots of water and keeps it in your body, so there’s less space for everything to move around. Your blood can’t travel around in the tubes so well, because the walls of the tubes get thicker to cope with all the salt, so the space in the tubes gets smaller. Your blood pressure goes up and your heart and kidneys have to work really, really hard and might not be able to work properly.

D: I know about when kidneys don’t work properly – Cooper, the dog, had a problem with his kidney and he wee’d all over the floor, but it wasn’t his fault – it was his kidney not working properly.

Me: Oh yes, his insides didn’t work very well did they? I don’t think that was too much salt though – I think it was just old age.
Sometimes, too much salt can affect your brain too – high blood pressure and thin tubes sometimes means that blood can’t travel up to your brain so well.

D: So your brain doesn’t work properly?

Me: That could be – yes. If your brain doesn’t get as much oxygen as it needs, because not enough blood is getting there with the oxygen in, then your brain won’t work properly.

D: Oh! I hope my brain won’t break because I had too much salt!

Me: You’ll be fine. But you shouldn’t eat too much salt on things – just a teeny tiny pinch will do.

School dinner and brain surgery
January 14, 2013

dinnernote

D: I LOVE that type of fish we had at school today!

Me: What sort of fish was it?

D: You know the fish that’s crusty?

Me: Was it battered?

D: No, you know the one that’s a flattened circle?

Me: I think the menu said it was fish in batter. Was the fish inside, with a crunchy coat on it?

D: Yes – it was orange outside. How do they make it? Do they kill the fish, then make it into the crunchy shapes, then chop the tail off?

Me: Something like that!

D: Do they suck the blood out first?

Me: Yes, there’s no blood in it when you eat it.

D: And they take the bones out, and the inside bits out… Do they take the brain out?

Me: Yes.

D: Yuck! I’d like to see that. I’d like to try taking a brain out, just to see. I’d have to wear gloves though, because it would be all yucky. Not the gloves I wear outside though – that would be silly – gloves like in my science kit.

Watching versus doing
December 30, 2012

watchingvdoingD: Mum, you shouldn’t watch too much TV, should you?

Me: No – your eyes might go square.

D: But that’s just a legend isn’t it? It’s not really real is it? It’s a LEGEND.

Me: What do you think will happen if you watch too much TV then?

D: Nothing. Your eyes will just go round like they already are.

Me: Well, perhaps you’re right – but your brain might stop working properly if you watch too much TV.

D: Why?

Me: You might stop having ideas. When do you have YOUR best ideas?

D: When something’s gone wrong and I need to think of a way to fix it, so it doesn’t go wrong again.

Me: OK, and do you ever have those good ideas whilst you’re watching the telly?

D: No, because when I watch the telly I switch my brain off.

Me: So if you watch the telly TOO MUCH, you’d stop actually DOING things and your brain wouldn’t need to come up with as many good ideas.

D: Yes, my brain would just be switched off all the time and I would just say “erm, erm, erm” all day long and even at my birthday party I would still be going “erm, erm, erm…”!

Your brain = YOU
October 30, 2012

[Following a read of a book called The Human Body]

D: How does your brain make you who you are?

Me: Because your brain tells you what to think and everything you do is because your brain has told you to do it.

D: Is my brain telling me something now?

Me: I don’t know – you tell me.

D: …All I can hear is “whooosh”.

Me: Your brain just told you to say that.

D: Nooo – my brain just told me to say that??! And YOUR brain just told YOU to say that???

Me: That’s right.

D: [Starts poking at his head] Stop it, brain – go away!

Me: It’s a good thing – your brain is the most precious thing you’ll ever have. Your brain will help you to do anything you want to do!

D: Anything? Don’t go away, brain. Stay in there. Even when I’m asleep.

State of mind
September 7, 2012

Me: Why did you behave so badly this morning?

D: My brain controls me. I can’t help it!

Me: You CAN help it – change it!

D: What, my brain? Take a bit out and put another bit in?

Me: No, but you can flick a switch to think in a different way.

D: Actually, there IS a switch! Every time I roll over, it knocks the switch and my brain thinks different ways. There’s four ways:
1. Being nice
2. Being bad
3. Playing nicely with people and not rough
4. Fighting with bad people
…I’ve just put the bad one in the rubbish bin in my head. So now there’s only three ways.

Amazing people
September 2, 2012

D: You know the Olympics?

Me: Yes?

D: Mikayla showed me a picture on her phone of a man with no legs, but he had elastic for his legs.

Me: Oh yes, the Paralympics. Those people are amazing!

D: Why?

Me: It’s people without arms and legs and things who’re doing sports anyway. What was the man you saw doing – running? Cycling? Swimming?

D: He was running. So where were his legs?

Me: Gone to heaven – they didn’t work, so he didn’t need them.

D: Did their spirit go?

Me: No, their spirit stayed – that’s why the man was being so amazing at the running. He could have sat at home with no legs and done nothing. But instead of saying “I can’t run”, he said “I CAN run” – he put the elastic things on and he ran. Really fast. He’s proving that you can do anything if you want to do it enough. The most important part of you is your head – with your brain in it.

D: Yeah, and you shouldn’t ever take your brain out.

Me: No, you should avoid taking your brain out.

D: Unless you’re a baddie – then you can be chased and have your brain taken out.

Me: Well, people who behave badly need to be taught to think differently with their brain.

D: Oh, yes…

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