Thursday, May 5, 2011


A few nights ago, tucking Miss C in, she made an announcement: "There are three people that I don't like."

She paused until she had our attention, and held up three fingers.

"The Wicked Witch of the West, the Wicked Witch of the East, and....Hosanna.  Bim.  Lobbem."

She said the last one with a question mark, either because she knows that's not quite the name, or because she's not sure about if she should not like him.

"Osama bin Laden?" I ask, just to be sure there's not a new student in her class.

"Yes, that one."

Earlier that day, we'd been having breakfast when my mom called, and it was a brief conversation, but when I got off the phone, Miss C had questions:

Why does Nana want us to listen to the news?
Who is...that man?
What happened to him?
What did he do?

I don't know how other parents have discussed this with their kids, especially when their kid wants to know everything.  How do you explain this and this and the past 10 years in between to a four year old?

In that moment, I told Miss C that this was a person who had hurt other people, and he'd just been captured.

What did he do to hurt other people?
Why did he do that?
Who captured him?
Where is he now?
Was he bad?
Did he have some goodness?
Will he become good?
Can I see a picture of him?

I pulled up a photograph of him on the computer.  She looked at the bearded face and said, "But!  He doesn't look bad at all!"

And then more questions:

Do you think he will become kind?
Do you think he had some kindness?
Was he kind to some people, or did he hurt everyone?

This news comes on the heels of many weeks spent listening to the soundtrack of The Wizard of Oz, and us reading her her favorite sections of the book over and over again.
Her initial questions about the Wicked Witches were along the same lines.  She seemed certain that given enough time and a good sequel, the Wicked Witches would shape up and be UnWicked.

Thus, Dave told her about prequels, specifically Wicked, which he has read, but I have not.
He told her that  perhaps we only knew one part of their story.
And that Glinda was a biatch in high school.

So some actual news trickles into her world and how she fits it all together looks like this:

People who aren't green are generally nice.
People who are green might be prone to being unkind, but had a hard time in high school.
Classifying situations without green people makes much less sense.

1 comment:

  1. I have this same problem with my six year old. He always wants to ask religious questions. "Mommy, what's a Muslim?" Next thing I know, I'm on Google images looking for a woman in a burqa.

    This wouldn't be so bad if he was merely curious. But he must share his new-found wisdom, which he always seems to get wrong. Like the day I overheard him at the park, telling a little girl, "No, Mormons are real. My Mom says so. They are nice people, but they don't listen to God." For the record, I never said that.