In several ways, our brats Eric (age 4) and Stuart (age 2) are matched. The little one has learned enough to find sport in systematic contradiction of his big brother. Whether that’s arguing over the same toy, saying “yes” whenever the other says “no”, or a slew of others.

Today, during an exploratory drive of our area, Stuart fell asleep about an hour into it, so Eric and Juimiin stepped out to visit a local museum awhile. When they returned, Stuart wriggled from his slumber as the doors slammed shut. Leaving the parking lot, I asked my passengers about which way we should turn now.

Eric: “left”.
Stuart: “right”.

A few seconds before, Stuart was asleep. Only a few seconds later, Stuart was asleep again. This suggests that his contradiction skill is substantially reflexive. He doesn’t even need to be fully awake. A brainstem thing perhaps.