RG’s Day at the Zoo With Cherry Vile Prep (Part 13)

December 5, 2008

Which leads us to what I once called The Fuzzy Bunny Problem. The fuzzy bunny problem from the point of view of adults is: how do you introduce an innocent child to the Existential Dilemma?

If your child is not kidnapped and forced to become a child soldier, or raised in a concentration camp; if you don’t abuse your child or allow your child to watch television or nasty movies or read nasty books, what do you do about the bubble of innocence?

Do you, as a parent, puncture it on purpose? “Hi, kid, now that you’re six years old…POP! Sorry about that kid; we just thought it was time.”

Or do you let your child go to school wearing her bubble of innocence and let the other children poke holes in it?

“Welcome home from kindergarten, kid. Oh, I see the other children wiped out your bubble of innocence. Sorry about that. We were meaning to get around to puncturing it ourselves, but Mom and I are very busy, you know, so we never got around to it. I’m sure the other children were very kind about it….”

Oh, dear blog reader, no one wiped out your bubble of innocence yet? Oh, dear. Please close the blog and read no further. This is a disillusioned-adults-only blog. I guess I should have put a warning label on it.

No, don’t have your attorney call me in the morning. I know a very good attorney; he won a big lawsuit for us; you don’t really want to have him wipe out your attorney’s bubble of innocence.

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9 Responses to “RG’s Day at the Zoo With Cherry Vile Prep (Part 13)”


  1. Despite your satirical bent, this is a very valid question. A lovingly raised child should be innocent. Now, my theory is that a lovingly raised child, exposed to the real world, develops wisdom, rather than becoming disillusioned, because they have a resilient love-cushion to land on that helps them to bounce back up.

  2. spectrum2 Says:

    Who is that man above? David? Huh? Just kidding, sweetie. I hope my kids have a “love cushion.” I guess that is what I had as a kid. I face reality, but every once in awhile, I do see something that I’ve never seen before. I guess the human race just keeps trying to out-do itself. I’ve never seen anyone murdered, or killed anyone in war, or any other way for that matter, but I’ve seen TV. That strips some things, but I suppose being a part of it can make it worse on a person. I hope, though, that some “bubbles of innocence” will still remain. There are some things I just don’t want to see.
    Mr. R., on a seperate note, how much longer with the prep?

  3. modestypress Says:

    David,

    I find your question a very perceptive and pertinent one. I described what my wife and I did as parents (who had both grown up in unhappy homes) as “mad scientist parenting.”

    I perceive Mommy’s and Mama’s parenting as graduate level mad scientist parenting, with support and kitizing from a horde of grandparents.

    We may not be a “village,” but we are quite a “clan.”

    Random Granddaughter is not a passive participant by any means. For example, Mommy and Mama are big fans of John Gottman, as am I. One of Gottman’s points is that people in relationship cannot communicate and solve problems if their emotions get out of control. To be successful, couples must work out techniques to calm themselves during an argument.

    RG doesn’t have “time outs.” She has been told to “sit on the thinking step” when she is too upset to talk sensibly. It strikes me as a sensible way for a child to learn to calm their emotions. (RG has very strong emotions, incidentally.)

    One day when I was taking care of her and not letting her do something she wanted to do (for some sensible reason), she sternly told me, “Grandpa, go sit on the thinking step until you can calm down.”

    RG will be a handful. She may turn out to be an intelligent and positive handful, but she will be a handful. We all watch with excitement and a little anxiety the emerging human being.

  4. modestypress Says:

    Spectrum,

    The future is a wild roller-coaster ride. So far, I think RG has had a good love cushion.

    I have one more long post of the awful prep, then a brief transition post, and then we will be off to the zoo with RG! Thanks for your patience. I agree it was awful. I just had to get it out of my system.


  5. Yes indeed, who was that masked man who left the first comment? Someone who knows more about children than usual-David would admit to, I believe.

    Mr. Random, as far as I can tell, your and your family’s mad scientist parenting is turning out very well. I think it unlikely that the inevitable confrontations with reality will disillusion RG, for the simple reason that she is not dwelling in an illusion to begin with. The love surrounding her, and the care of the adults with whom she interacts, is as real as the more unpleasant aspects of reality.


  6. I might be a good example of this kind of thing — I’ve been told from time to time that my upbringing, yea, verily, my day to day life, are “astoundingly wholesome”. But I have gone, from time to time, to the edge of the void and peeped in. “Yep, it’s still there,” I say, and go back to my life.

    We weren’t kept from television, growing up, and we were allowed/encouraged to read newspapers. My mother taught all of us to read well before we went to school. So we knew stuff. And my kids know stuff.

    But they also know that the stuff that’s not “normal” can happen, too. Parents can stay together and be crazy about each other. Church can be somewhere you look forward to going and support positive choices, instead of being a source of terror and judgement.

    The existence of the void, the anti-bubble, doesn’t seem to invalidate the bubble. Maybe it’s possible to use the bubble to get past the void. 🙂

  7. truce Says:

    “I think it unlikely that the inevitable confrontations with reality will disillusion RG, for the simple reason that she is not dwelling in an illusion to begin with.”

    Oh my god, David just took the words right out of my mouth. Again.

    ;0


  8. “Yes, Random Granddaughter, there IS a Santa Claus!”

    I am enamored of the current Palm Centro ads, which have him trimming up and accessing his rooftop DJ gig by chimney, among other things. And handing out pocket-sized dogs.


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