Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm Really Not Ready For This Yet

Questions. Questions. More Questions. That is what is going on in our house right now. Endless questions. Questions which make we wish we could go back to the simple days of "Why?"

Michael has known the words "dead" and "killed" for a while. His dinosaur infatuation last year made those words unavoidable. But, it's one thing to apply those words to creatures that you don't ever actually see. Dinosaurs are extinct, so they are practically fiction for kids. Even the somewhat adult nature of Walking with Dinosaurs didn't seem to effect him. Until recently.

The other day Michael asked me to put Walking with Dinosaurs on for the first time in about 6 months. I could tell that he was getting more of it than he used to. I was tempted to turn it off, but Michael is so stubborn I decided to distract him at the parts I thought might be most distressing. Michael furrowed his brow a few times, but that was all.

But dinosaurs are not the only problem any more. Before Christmas I bought a few Step Into Reading books about volcanoes and weather. Michael loves them, so I picked up a few more to put under the tree. I included one of the Smithsonian books on volcanoes as well. Michael noticed that there were other books shown on the back of the Smithsonian book and has requested most of them as well. We have a big pile of sciency books that Michael wants us to read to him all of the time. Some of them are clearly beyond his age level, but even the ones that aren't are causing problems. Some of the questions he's asked lately are:

  • "If dust storms cover buildings and farms, what do they do to people?"
  • "What happens to people in floods?"
  • "What do tornado do to people?
  • "Is that man dead?"
  • "What will happen if the dust and ashes catch up to the car?"
To which I mostly answer, "Um...well...BS, BS, BS." My save on the dust storms was the best. I gave him a whole story about dust and grit and scarves. Phew.

I'm fine with the Step 4 books talking about death a little, but really, can we leave it out of the step 1 books. One of these days Michael is going to notice I skip certain sections of the book.

So, maybe I should go with something a little safer than cruel, cold science. How about Pixar? They are all about kids. Right?

Michael's movie at the moment is Up. It's not my favorite kid's movie. I've only watched the beginning once. If I want to cry that much, I'll watch Steel Magnolias, thank you very much. So, here are some of the questions I've gotten thanks to Up.

  • "What happened to the old man's sister (wife)?"
  • "Why is the old man so sad?"
  • "What happened to Mr. Muntz after he dropped through the clouds?"
To which I mostly answer, "Um...well...BS, BS, BS." Thank you Pixar for setting me up for an impossible to answer question. I'm not telling my 3.5 year old that he fell to his death.

I can assure you, the Lion King will not be entering my house any time soon. I can't even imagine the questions that would lead to.

All these questions about death almost make me wish for simple questions like, "Where do babies come from?"


MyWorld said...

My daughter wanted to know what happened to the mean lady in Sleeping Beauty who turned into a dragon and then got stabbed with a sword by Prince Phillip. Never mind the part where she tells him something about suffering the wrath of Hell.

And what happened to the lady when she got struck by lightning and fell off the mountain in Snow White.

Why do I not remember being traumatized by Disney as a kid?

Karla said...

Clearly Michael is very inquisitive and notices these little details in books and movies. That's fantastic, a very advanced skill for their age!

DesiDVM said...

You just brought up a kind of funny, kind of horrible memory for me. I was 16 and a full-time babysitter during the summer for 2 kids, ages 6 and 9. So this was the summer The Lion King came out, and their parents let me take the kids to the premiere at a local theater. It was chock full of kids. Well everyone's having a good time...until it gets to the part where Mufasa dies. Holy crap if you could have heard all the shrieking and crying and "Why did they kill Simba's daddy??". It was insane, some of the kids had to leave. So no Lion King at our house for a long while either LOL.

Stacey said...

We have a Step Into Reading shark book that I didn't properly preview before purchasing. I censored all the killing/death parts the first several times I read it and then read them quickly the next few time. I have not yet explained these concepts to him. Luckily, apart from his shark phase, Cole much prefers fiction to nonfiction unless the nonfiction is about baseball or trucks. I can handle baseball and truck questions.

I envy and sympathize with Michael's future teachers. Thankfully he has two pretty great ones right now.

Karen said...

I wouldn't be ready for that either! Luckily my Michael is content to watch Scooby Doo and only wants to read about trucks and trains.

Heidi O said...

We don't get as many questions from Maggie but then I think she just likes to use her imagination to make answers.
My 6 yo is more of the ask questions one.

Steph said...

We watched Up a few weeks ago and Cooper wanted us to turn it off at some points like the ones with the scary dogs, etc. He also asked about what happened to his wife. And, he thought the little boy's name was UP, so he kept saying "There's Up!" whenever he was on.

Cooper is getting into this detailed question stage a little bit. I am not ready for it either. Yesterday was an intense discussion of speed limits of all the roads on the way to preschool and why some are faster than others and why the police pull us over for going too fast and do we go to jail or not for that. At the same time, I had the radio on in the background, and when I realized it was a parody song about Tiger Woods I went to change to the "Elmo and the Orchestra" cd that Cooper loves, but too late, the song said "porn star" and immediately Cooper asks, what is a porn star? My only answer was that it is inappropriate for kids and changed the subject... Yikes.

LauraC said...

We talk a lot about death in the house recently. We also use it to explain why they should not run away from us in the airport and why they can't run in the parking lot. I feel like it's ME who has a hard time, like I'm taking away their innocence.

Julie said...

Sadly we have had a lot of chats about death with Lana. I initially worried that I would scare the crapola out of her, but oddly enough she seems okay with it. She is terrified of ghosts, gouls, skeletons and monsters of course, but our discussions about death have only made her talk to the sky to say hello to grandpa dennis. I try not to dumb it down to her too much, but I do keep things simple--its amazing how naturally intuitive she is.

Disney movies always have a death of a parent--WTH is up with that? I almost cried the first time I saw Finding Nemo!