I was leaving the childcare at the gym the other day, with just Tamsin in tow, and I noticed that there was a nature show on the tv.* A few cheetahs were oh, let’s say, playing a friendly game of tag with an ostrich, so I signalled to the person in charge that it was about to get messy for the ostrich. As I left, I started thinking about the reaction that Vaughn would probably have to watching something like that. And I knew it wouldn’t be good.
Possibly Definitely, hysterics would be involved.
THEN I started thinking that maybe we have been over-sheltering him. He saw a bit of Ratatouille last week during TV Night (one of two half-hour television sessions they get per week), which is cute and funny… except for one scene involving a crazed old lady with a shotgun. Despite his professed fascination for guns, he was off the couch in a flash, knocking over my glass of water while frantically trying to get to me, and sobbing, while shouting, “that naughty, mean, stupid lady!” Now, he knows that you never, never call someone stupid, so I could tell this was a big deal.** We talked him down, explaining that it was just a movie, and all pretend, and how funny it was when she shot her whole ceiling down. He calmed down, but I decided we need to start exposing him to “real life” a bit more.
(Disclaimer: the rest of this post is not exactly family-friendly, so you probably shouldn’t read it aloud to any children. Or let your children read it. In fact, you should probably stop reading now, too.)
So, this afternoon, while the kids were napping, I scrubbed the moss off our side deck (oh, the humidity), then came inside to fold laundry while watching “parent tv”. They woke up soon after I sat down, and I had just flipped to TVO, a program called, “Cheetah vs Lion” or something like that. Chris and I had talked about the nature show issue, and had agreed that we would start exposing the Hufflings, as long as we were there to discuss it with them as need be. Discussion points are in blue.
The first bit involved a female cheetah being chased into a thicket of trees by three male cheetahs (“Hey look! They’re playing!”), and then, for lack of any better term available, gang-raped by all three of them. (“Um, that’s just how they play… to…um… practice hunting…”) She’s fighting pretty hard, and they’re so occupied with their activity (bastards) that, without their noticing, a lion saunters up, takes everyone by surprise, and literally bites the female’s head open while the male cheetahs just take off. (Bastards.) (“Well, lions are wild animals and they need to hunt other animals to be able to eat.”)
I was actually rooting for the lion. And if I was the female cheetah, I think I would have been, too.
The next scene involved MORE jerky cheetahs being so busy forcing female cheetahs to mate with them (“Ha ha! look at them, still playing that game!”), that they also get attacked/killed by lions. I have figured out where the plot for every single horror movie comes from.
Then, they showed a sweet little pride of lion cubs: tiny, wee, adorable lion cubs. And a big lion, who must be the proud fa— OH MY GOD HE IS EATING ONE OF THE BABY LIONS!!!! (“You know how Daddy wrestles with you?” –I jump between Vaughn and the tv and go “rarr rarr rarr” on his tummy.) SWEET JESUS, HE IS NOW DISEMBOWELING A SECOND ONE!!! (“rarr rarr rarr — Chris, where is the remote??? Rarr… rarrr, oh thank goodness, it’s off.”)
So, that experiment ended, and the Hufflings are back where they should be: in the dark. And I am recovering with a glass of wine. Or thirty.
Any parenting suggestions, moving forward, are welcome.
* Why the heck GoodLife has televisions and videos in their childcare rooms is beyond me; after all, if I’m going there to lift weights, do plyometrics, sweat and strain it all out for an hour, I sure don’t want my kids sitting still, watching tv. Because it’s not fair.
** Oh, and the hysteria, too of course. I know my child. Kaff.