"No sweetie." I explain carefully, "We will meet people who are dressed up as Mickey Mouse." I figure the kid deserves the truth. But then...
"WHAT THE HELL KIM!??!" Colin screams at me with his eyebrows from across the table.
Later I get the lecture: Can't we just allow him this little mystery? This magic. It's part of the fun. Let's keep alive some of the wonderment of childhood while we can.
To which I say: What? Create magic? Isn't the whole world magic to a 4 year old? In the last week he's asked me: "Who makes the rain?" "How does milk make bones stronger?" and "Can we fly to January?"
And, we already ask him to believe in things he can't see, like God and germs. The whole world is shrouded in mystery, so I don't really see the point in weaving some fantastical tale about talking mice.
Listen, I spend a lot of my day trying to respond to his barrage of "whys" about the world. I
take great pains to make my answers plain, clear and truthful. It's a big charge - being the ambassador of another person's reality. So, why would I knowingly, and with no real practical pay-off, lie to him?
Anyway, I don't know what "real Mickey Mouse" he's picturing, but I can confidently predict that when he's face-to-face with this monstrous mute mouse who is exaggeratedly trying to hug him, Caleb will run terrified behind my back. Like all 4 year olds who have gone before him.
|In what world is this NOT terrifying|
Maybe I just find it strange that adults have collectively agreed that it's perfectly acceptable create an elaborate lie just "for fun" while the rest of the time we are admonishing our children in all seriousness to tell us the truth. If this whole ritual is confusing for me - a thinking adult - it's gotta be confusing for them.
I promise you I'm not normally this sick-in-the-muddy. I freely dispense tickles and rides and goof around with my kids probably more than is advisable if I'm to retain any authority. But I'm honestly baffled by this. Is it just me, people? Is there something I'm missing?