Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sometimes, penguins steal chicks.

I was in bed, reading, after having put the children to bed.

But instead of being in bed, Owen strolls in and says, "Mom?  Did you know that sometimes penguins steal the chicks of other penguins?"

I did know this, as I have watched that horrifying movie, March of the Penguins, which mostly taught me how fucking glad I am that I'm not a penguin.

"Yeah, I've heard that.  I guess some penguins really want to have a baby."

"So, like, that's why there are kidnappers?"

That escalated quickly.

"No no no.  You can't really compare penguins and humans.  We have different rules.  Also, go to bed."

He trots off.

And then, ten minutes later, trots back in.

"Mom?  Sometimes penguins steal the chicks of other penguins."

"Yes, I guess that happens sometimes.  Penguins, man.  What are you gonna do?"

"Mom?  I don't wike that.  It does not make me feew good."

Oh.  OH.  I get it.  I thought we were having a casual conversation.  I was distracted by my book, only half-listening.  But, instead, we are having a serious conversation.  He's really upset.

This is going to take a while.

For the next three hours:

"Mom?  Sometimes penguins steal the chicks of other penguins.  And sometimes penguins get eat-ed by a sea lion."

"You don't have to worry about that Owen.  It is a sad thing, but penguins are different from people and they don't have rules or police or warm houses or all the things we have to keep us safe.:

"Mom?  Sometimes penguins steal the chicks of other penguins."

"I know.  And that is sad, but everybody is going to be okay."

"Mom?  Sometimes penguins steal the chicks of another penguin.  And also, a penguin got eat-ed by a sea lion.  Fortunately, it wasn't the one we were following."

"Yes, that is good.  Wait, what?  What do you mean following?"

"The one the camera was watching.  In March of the Penguins.  That we watched today at school."


Why would they do that to me?  Why would they show kindergartners that movie?  We've won the war on drugs and are now warning against the dangers of becoming a penguin?  Don't do it kids.  You think penguins are cute, but really they are miserable, miserable creatures who slog through a relentlessly hard and bitterly cold life, without any awareness that their lives are completely devoid of comfort and electric blankets and unstolen chicks.  Just say no.

I never did find the right words.  The words that would make stolen chicks okay.  Owen just eventually went to bed and stayed.

And then, first thing this morning:

"Mom?  Do you think Dad knows that sometimes penguins steal the chicks of other penguins?"

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