Over the years I’ve had friends tell me that the NEVER allow their kids to watch TV news. Their fear? Their kids might see or hear something that isn’t appropriate, something that they, as parents, don’t want to have to explain to their impressionable children.
I totally respect that. And I too try to shield my kids from the harsh realities of our wonderful, albeit fucked up world. But sometimes I mess up.
Case in point… this morning, while driving with my animals (my 2 and 3 year sons), I had one of those, “Oh shit, I’m a parent moments”.
As we were driving to our favorite book store, we had KNX news radio on (I had left it on the dial from the day before). The host was updating all the top stories one of which was about the death of Jerry Robinson— the man who created the comic book character “The Joker”.
The radio host said, ”And Jerry Robinson, the creator of one of the biggest comic book villains of all time “The Joker”, has died”.
My 3 year old immediately perked up, gasped.. and then screamed, “MOM… THE JOKER’S DEAD?”
Oh my Gawd… What do I tell him? Does he understand what “dead” means? What is an appropriate parental response in this situation?
“Yep, Batman finally got him. Good triumphed over evil,” I said quickly. “The Joker is gonzo!”
As we continued to drive, I watched his reaction through my rearview mirror. I was praying he wouldn’t ask me what “gonzo” meant, or for that matter, about death.
He was stunned and I could see that he was processing the news that the Joker was no more. About 30 seconds later a big grin spread across his little face.
“AWESOME! BATMAN IS AWESOME!”, he yelled from the back seat, pumping his fists in the air.
He then turned to his brother in the car seat next to him, ”Sammy… The Joker is bonzo!”
Then the two started clapping and cheering. And yes, I too joined the celebration. I got lucky on this one.
- Husband: (yelling in another room) I'm going to kill you Wiener!
- 3YO Son: (concerned) Why does Daddy want to kill Wiener?
- Me: Daddy doesn't want to kill Wiener Dog, he's just mad cause he went pee-pee on the floor.
- Husband: (yelling in another room). Get outside a#$hole! (door slams).
- 3YO Son: (running into the other room) Daddy! Wiener is NOT an apple!
- Me: (mumbling) you're right son, Wiener is not an apple, he's a prick.