Thursday, October 06, 2005


I meant to post this morning, but days when I don't teach often get away from me, and this was one of those. So instead I give you a very old "he really said this." Nick was three. Mariah was ten. We were visiting friends who have three girls, who were (then) ages 10, maybe 6, and maybe 2? The two little ones were on either side of Nick, in any event.

Their house was awash with pink, Disney, princesses, telephones, Barbies, you name it. Girlie stuff. Stuff Mariah had played with, too, but with three girls there was more than three times as much, somehow.

Nick fit in right away. He had a great time playing. The two older girls knew each other from before and got along great, and the three little ones played and played. Nick turned one of the phones into a gun, I remember--our friends were a little appalled, never having seen such behavior, but it made sense to him (and, I guess, us). He just turned the thing sideways and pointed the antenna (it was an old, retired, cordless phone handset) as if it were the barrel of the gun. Great.

The grownups were outside on the patio, finishing up dinner, sipping on margaritas or some such. It was a warm, pleasant evening and the kids seemed to be taking care of themselves. Then Nick and one of the little girls rushed out. She was clearly upset, though he was having a great time. He slammed a baby doll down on the picnic table and shouted "She's dead! She's dead! The bad guys shooted her and she's dead!"

I know girls' play can get violent and aggressive, but those words had never been said in that house before. And perhaps not since, if they're lucky.

We have not been so lucky, though Nick (who is going to be Darth Vader for Hallowe'en, did I mention that?) is a sweet kid. Somehow this is in him, too, and it's got to come out.

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