A toddler from a middle class home has been found gazing into the abyss, it has emerged. Three year-old Jack Turner has displayed palpable symptoms of existential angst, despite not having started his primary school education. Alarm bells were raised at his nursery, when he drew a sad face with his crayon, and added the words: ‘I feel nothing inside’. Some staff members thought that this depicted the embodiment of a terrifying emptiness within. Others felt it was a covert plea for a second chocolate biscuit.
Popular parenting website Mumsnet makes the case that, among 2 to 3 year-olds, Jack is not alone in challenging the very foundations of his existence. According to the discussion platform, a ‘nihilistic’ preschooler questioned ‘the purpose of colouring between the lines’ by drawing his middle finger in a clearly marked No-Go zone: a flagrant breach of nursery school policy. The boy then threw a tantrum, screaming that he wanted everything to just stop, before wetting himself and asking when it was bathtime. A child psychologist diagnosed this ‘major psychological trauma’ as the toddler’s new-found grasp of his own mortality, culminating in a full-blown existential crisis before the age of 4.
‘I found Jack in our new open plan kitchen diner,” began his distressed mother Jane. “He was just staring through the French patio doors at the summer house in the garden. His cold blue eyes seemed to indicate a terrible foreboding. I enquired if he wanted to watch an episode of Peppa Pig, but he said ‘what’s the point?’ without even turning to face me. He then asked how I managed to sleep at night.’