Thursday, October 7, 2010

Politically UNcorrect Fable Characters

Soooo, I had my first experience with our eldest saying "the wrong thing at the wrong time." It was embarrassing, flabbergasting, disarming, I'm sure extremely uncomfortable with the man in the bike shop, and yet I haven't been able to stop my shameful laughter when I think about it.

O and I walked in shop together and enjoyed the "hundreds" of bikes around us, while another man - who was rather obese - entered the shop behind us. O didn't see him then, but was enjoying the tire pumps while I kept an eye on him and labored over tire decisions. After this gentlemen made his transactions he walked through the area of the shop where O and I were when my firstborn finally noticed him. He smiled with a touch of wonder on his cheerful toddler face, stopped inflating imaginary tires, looked up at the man, pointed, and said

"Look dada, it's Humpty Dumpty."

I could've been in space in the two seconds that followed. I struggled to breathe in the vacuum, and to know how to respond. This man heard: no doubt. Our proximity allowed for nothing else with O's little voice and volume. O wanted me to know I was seeing a celebrity, so he repeated

"It's Humpty Dumpty Dada."

I quietly affirmed his sighting, and redirected him to the counter at the bike shop to check out. (The owner didn't hear; we were too far. Thank GOD.) Although I felt extremely embarrassed, for I'm sure the man felt TERRIBLE/ashamed/embarrassed, I also had trouble not laughing. (And still do. Having trouble containing it as I type this. I know, I'm probably going to hell.) It wasn't like O isn't familiar with any other childhood characters: he didn't pick the Farmer in the Dell or Old MacDonald, he picked Humpty.

For the record, I'm not angry with our starstruck little one, nor did I reprimand him. He was a pre-schooler identifying what he experienced in his life. It wasn't his fault, nor do I hold him to that.

But what do I do in this place? Any parents have any feedback from their own experiences?