March 13, 2010

I knew we should have stayed vegetarian!

I was putting Liam to bed tonight (which involves reading a book or two, then turning off the light and holding his hand until he's asleep or at least mellow enough not to mind my leaving, and sometimes singing Beatles songs), and he had a very unexpected response to a Dr. Seuss book.

He's funny about bedtime books: obsessively in love with whichever books are newest, and downright insulted if we try to read one that's not on the current favorites list. Surprisingly, though, he let C read "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" to him this afternoon, even though it is not new. He wanted to read it again at bedtime, and when I got to the page with
I do not like this one so well.
All he does is yell, yell, yell!
I will not have this one about.
When he comes in, I put him out!
he said, very matter-of-factly, "when he comes in my house, I will punch him." I demurred, and said that really, you just have to put him outside so you don't have to hear the yelling, and he upped the ante: "I will make him dead."
"What? No."
"With fire. I will cook him and eat him."
"What? Okay, time to turn the page."

And he was happy and attentive for the rest of the book, and didn't seem to want to cook or eat any of the rest of the characters, but wow, I wasn't expecting that. He's been talking about superheroes and punching for months now (thanks, big kids at school!), and about punching ghosts and monsters, and hey, if it makes him feel better at bedtime, I can go along with it.

He started with the subject of death a few weeks ago, and we're completely improvising: it's something that happens to everyone, but nobody he knows will be dying anytime soon; it's sad to have someone you love be gone, but that's why it's important to love them and have fun with them now while they're alive; hey, look at that bird over there! I hadn't expected him to put food into that context, and it's pressing all my guilty quasi-vegetarian buttons.

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