25 November 2011
There's not enough cotton wool in the world to protect my children from the world.
I know this.
I also know that I should be preparing them for the world. I need to create a safe and loving environment that allows them the freedom to explore. One day, in the blinking of an eye, they will be grown ups. They will see or experience sex, bullying, love, death, hate, poverty, war, beauty, famine, rock music and alcohol. They will have their hearts broken and mine will break for them.
This is all way in the future, of course. Right now they are still my gentle little boys, aged 3 and 4. Their world is full of cuddles and toys. They play with crayons, cars, jigsaw puzzles, Orchard Toys games, hobby horses, Duplo, toy food and teddy bears in trolleys, train sets, Happyland figures and books. They watch an hour of CBeebies every day. They have never seen an advert (unless we're at Grandma and Grandad's and Sky Sports is on, then Grandma usually turns over and checks the cricket score), they have never seen the news. I won't even let them watch Cars2 as one of the characters is called 'McMissile'. They've never seen a gun.
They go to the nursery at a primary school every afternoon. I chat to the other mums about Christmas. They mention Ben 10 (not on CBeebies, no idea), Batman (er, Kapow! Thwak!) and Imaginext. I google Imaginext. There is a dinosaur, wearing armour, shooting missiles from its backpack. I don't like the look of it, but does it matter? I just don't know how to ease Presely and Cash into this world, with its hard edges and robot police.
When do I start to introduce the notion that some people aren't very nice? How do I burst their rosy, cosy bubble? Am I doing them a disservice by mollycoddling them?