Sunday, February 04, 2007

Born That Way?

While A is my rough and tumble kid, my little B is a sensitive soul. In any media, when he sees a person somewhat different, say, a three-eyed alien, I’m talking the cartoonish friendly type, he wants to know if they were born that way. In trying to figure out why and past a couple layers of child reasoning, it finally became clear that he assumes if they were born that way, then he can’t become that way. He’s more comfortable with three-eyed aliens, as long as he can’t grow into a three-eyed alien.

Certainly it’s something we have to work on. They’ve cousins with certain differences that make B similarly uneasy, and it’s taken a couple instances to get them to understand how such is okay, and to think of their cousin’s feelings before showing their discomfort.

Now, typically, if it’s in any sort of media, right after the “Were they born that way?” comes “Are they just pretend?” (I know, should go the other way :-)). We’ve had the talk about the difference between dinosaurs, dragons, and lizards, and pretend or not subsequently matters much to him. If they’re not born that way and pretend, then he’s at his most comfortable with the character.

But if they are born that way and not pretend, he has one last recourse. He wants to know if they live in Utah.

That said, I was faced with an uncomfortable set of such question last night for a particularly unflattering image of Michael Jackson.


Loyalist (with defects) said...

I've always been wondering how to explain Michael Jackson myself. Let me know what you come up with.


Paul said...

Don't you just love kids! You don't want to live without them, if you could ONLY figure out what makes them tick.

One of my twins disliked anything big and in a costume. Of particular concern was the Easter bunny. I NEVER figured out what the issue was, but fortunately by about age five we were able to make a somewhat successful trip to Disney Land ... as long as we maintained a safe distance from Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and Donald.

Scot said...

"Let me know what you come up with."

Won’t help much, I’m afraid; I’d been up near all the night before with him and croup and not at my top game :-). Something like:

1. [laugh] Umm… I don't think so. He uh… he wanted… Parts of… Um, he wasn’t born that way, bub, but because people change to look a certain way doesn't mean you'll grow up to look like that.

2. No, he’s not pretend.

3. No, B; I don’t think he’s ever been in Utah.

And fortunately that was all that was needed to satisfy him. Certainly there are more complicated questions for older kids here that I’m glad to not yet have.


I'm with ya. It has to be my number one source of wonder, to gather their opinion and try to figure out how it formed. And we too have some rather uncomfortable looking pictures with Disney characters.

Mind if I ask how old your twins are? Just wondering if I can cheat off of your notes from years past :-).

Paul said...

My twin daughters just graduated from college. Overall, the toughest challenge was that, until they left for college, they didn't really like each other ... thus forming friendships with peers that wouldn't take sides was always difficult. Jealousy maybe?

Are yours identical or fraternal? Same biological parents?

I'm not sure that I've got a lot of tips, but if you've got any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Scot said...

Congratulations on the graduation, Paul!

I'll email the rest later.