I have a child who possesses an altered perception of reality. Scratch that statement. All children have altered perceptions of reality, but the child that I'm referencing specifically has an altered understanding of time.
On a regular basis, she'll drop cryptic statements like, "When I was an adult, I had three kids, too, and their names were Reese, Brooke, and Kerrington." Or, "When I was in preschool, I made a ceramic nest and wrote my name at the bottom."
These statements represent a distinct category of fallacy because they all stem from her speaking about a fabricated future as if it were the past. They're not to be confused with regular statements of inaccuracy, such as the time that she claimed, "When I was a baby, I once was sucked up in the vacuum."
I attempt to speak truth into her young life. But you're not an adult. In fact, you're not even four. Or, But you're not in preschool yet.
Each time I utter these corrective statements, she regards me with pity as if I'm delusional. She seems so sure of herself at these moments. It's unnerving.
I add evidence to support my claims. "Honey, you didn't make a ceramic nest in preschool. Your sister made one when she was in preschool." I hold out the nest in my palm, turn it upside down, and point out the letters carved into the bottom that spell her sister's name. "Look. It spells Reese. R-e-e-s-e."
She shakes her head. "Well, that R looks like a B, so it spells my name: Brooke." She returns to her coloring, unaffected, "I did make a nest in preschool, you know."
It's like she has a time machine. Perhaps she's stopping back to share stories about a time yet to come, and if only I'd listen I'd realize that my eventual invention of a flux capacitor will make time travel in a Delorean possible.
Or, she has a very loose understanding of grammar rules surrounding the future tense.
One of the two.