Monday, April 24, 2006

Four-year-old survival

Son No 3, who is 4 years old, has a strong instinct for survival, one that seems to allow for very little sentimentality. He tries to be very precise about which animal is the fastest or strongest, and which would win in a fight. Not so strange for a little boy. More unusual, however, is his identification with characters in films.

His first question after, or even during a film, is "Who are you? I'm so-and-so." And he rarely picks the goodies. There seem to be two reasons for this. 1. The baddies are usually obviously stronger (the grasshoppers in A Bug's Life; General Wormwort in Watership Down; the Daleks). 2. He doesn't realise that they've been killed at the end. In the Doctor Who I found him watching this evening with his brother, there is a cut from the Daleks to a space station blowing up. He hadn't connected the two. The last sight we have of General Wormwort is his ferocious leap towards the camera and the dog. He took it for granted that Wormwort won. When we told him that he most certainly hadn't, he swiftly decided he was one of the rabbits (Bigwig).

He knows there is a 'moral' difference between the two: he uses the words 'goody' and 'baddy' normally in other contexts. It's just that Strongest and Fastest hold greater sway.

It does seem to underline the good sense of the idea of Original Sin. He hasn't been baptised.

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