Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I don't want to go to jail

"I don't want to go to jail."

I suppose whether those are good words to hear out of your child's mouth depends heavily on the circumstances. Spoken by your twenty year old over the phone at one in the morning ... not so good. Spoken by your three year old daughter during a break in 'doll house' play ... pretty good. Spoken flatly by a fourteen year old at dinner whilst eating Brussel sprouts ... now we are firmly mid-continuum.

This morning the middle scenario happened to me. Occasionally we speak about jail. For some reason I mentioned to her that people who don't wear their seat belts end up in jail (I don't always have the best judgement when it comes to the sharing of information ... I showed Seren clips of the World Trade Center attacks on YouTube, and was fielding questions about planes attacking our car for several days, not to mention my wife's quite justified anger and bewilderment).

Since jail entered our world, a whole series of imaginary characters, include strawberry and snoozy the invisible elephants, have had to be bailed out of jail. Strawberry has a convertible of some sort, and is a repeat offender. Our doll house people often end up in jail, usually at the hands of some sinister stuffed animal, like Curious George or Swiss Dog.

Today, completely out of the blue, came the jail comment, followed, as such comments almost always are, by an explanation. It turns out there aren't many toys in jail, and it's not like home. I liked her reasoning. It works for everybody at any point in there lives. We all have toys and we all have a 'home', whether or not we are always or ever there. I am sure if scenarios one or three ever arise she will have equally astute wisdom to share ... whether or not it will be as easy to appreciate is another question altogether.

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