In conversation with Mason, age five
The other day, my five-year-old son came home from school and was telling my husband and I about a show his kindergarten class had watched during indoor recess. This is that conversation.
Mason: Today we watched a show about a big grey bunny. And there was a guy who wanted to kill the bunny.
Me: I’m sorry, what?
Mason: So the guy wanted to kill the bunny, and there was a big naked monster. He was red, and the little man wants to kill the bunny in lava.
Me: Back up. What man wanted to kill a bunny? Why?
Mason: And there was a red guy, he was naked. Like, a monster.
Ryan: . . .
Mason: There was this little man, and the lava monster who bathes in lava. And the little man wanted to kill the bunny in the lava so he would boil and die. So they put the little guy in lava and they kill him instead. And then the bunny gets to live.
Me: That sounds like a very child-appropriate show . . .
Mason: Oh, no.
Me: Wait a second. Did the big grey bunny talk?
Mason: Of course he talked.
Me: Is his name Bugs? Were you watching Bugs Bunny at school?
Mason: YES! That is his name.
Me: Oh, that’s totally appropriate, then.
It’s pretty amazing how absolutely horrible the shows I watched as a kid sound when regurgitated by a kid who’s never watched them before. It’s the same weird experience when my kids watched commercials for the first time, after never being exposed to them (because we don’t have cable tv). The things we find so normal are so . . . not.