Saturday, November 10, 2012

A history of violence


'This dvd is lovely. It's so sweet. There's no violence.' Boy one said this a few days ago about the Winnie the Pooh movie that he got out of the library. (It is actually very sweet - great soundtrack.) I was happy to hear that in his own way he had figured out why we have been saying no to spiderman cartoons despite his undying love for all things superhero. It is my non-expert opinion that *kapow* style fighting on screen makes my already energetic boy unusually aggressive and hard to manage.

Violence. Death. Hurt. Loss. Not really ideal topics for discussion with a three and a half year old. But they do come up. On Friday we went to the Imperial War Museum and tomorrow after church we are going to the National Army Museum for a soft play session - timely visits as tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday.
We actually go to the War Museum fairly often as it's a short walk from our flat. Boy one especially enjoys the old airplanes suspended from the high ceilings. Up until now we have not actually talked about what war is. He thinks the missiles in the museum are 'rockets' and doesn't know what the 'cool' big tanks are for. He sometimes makes up adventures for his little 'army men' plastic figurines that he knows from Toy Story. But this week as we stood looking at a field of paper poppies we had a short conversation about remembering soldiers that have died. At one point he interjected with concern, 'But no soldiers were in London.' I didn't tell him about my grandmother's younger brother Steele who was killed in a collision with a bus while riding his motorcycle during a blackout in London in 1941. And I didn't tell him about fighting in Afghanistan that continues to claim lives on all sides daily. Our talk ended with boy one thoughtfully asking, 'But everybody's happy now though right?'

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