Though he may be a whole 5 years old now, my son D- is more importantly a man in training, and following that storied tradition, he constantly asserts his superiority in every way over almost everything he looks at, hears of, or thinks of, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
So I walk a fine line every time I'm challenged on strength, speed, intelligence, agility, or proficiency in many of the world's most inane activities.
I don't think it's healthy to completely disillusion and demoralize him, but I think it's equally unhealthy for me to set him up for any harder of a fall than he's already due when released into the wilds of full-time school next year.
I mean, a kid needs all the confidence, whether completely off base or not, that he can get in this world. So if he starts out thinking HE'S the strongest man in the world, instead of me, then that just gives him a leg up over all the other boys, right?
Here's a conversation snippet, issued out of the blue while walking through the library, from the kid who's told me (verbatim) more than once, "I know Everything. Not everything-everything, but I know Everything," just minutes before and after asking me entries in that day's long list of questions about how the world works at the most fundamental of levels:
D-: I'm even stronger than you.
D-: I'm so strong, that if there was a robot, up in space, and I was up in space? One punch, and he'd be dead. If I punched a big robot one time, he'd be dead.
...I'm thinking that "leg up" just may land him upside down in a cafeteria garbage can one day. Maybe I should grab his ankles and wrists with one hand and hoist him helplessly into the air like a safari prize more often while I still can.
We all know this world is nothing if not humbling, and I've always found a steady diet much easier to take than the sudden compulsory feast days that are one's only alternative. So I suppose I'll have to take it upon myself to begin a campaign of careful destruction and reconstruction of his ego, via the most fun, ridiculously lopsided competitions I can think of.
And once he turns 10? Then, my friend, we move on to a crash course in Trash Talk 101 delivered by the one true master greater than Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Jordan, and your mom combined.*
* I mean me.