I try to dissuade him of this, idea. Despite being three years old and constantly driving me nuts - he isn't naughty in any real way. I don't want him to think otherwise. But his comment gets me thinking about "normal." I realize "normal" is a moving target for a 3 year old. But is it truly normal for a child to associate with the naughty characters from every show we watch?
Pitch from the Guardians, The Green Witch from Oz, the Jester from Legends of Oz. Mega Mort and Power Pants Pete from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Heck, for a while he was fascinated with Jacob Marley from the Mickey Mouse version of A Christmas Carol, until he realized it scared the bejesus out of him and gave him nightmares. If we watch a movie or show with a bad guy in it, you can assume Liam will take to role playing the naughty character. We watched The Incredibles the other day, and with a roster of really cool "good" guy characters with awesome talents to choose from, he picks... Syndrome.
Is he going to be a master criminal or worse, some kind of serial killer?
|"Jimmy was the kind of guy |
that rooted for bad guys in the movies."
It no sooner fell out of my mouth when I realized what I had done.
Liam snaps his head around. I tried to back track. I tried reversing time. I tried hitting Control Z on the entire thing, but that never works. He looks me in the eye and says "I like Gargamel." Of course he likes the naughty character. A naughty character from a show he has never seen, mind you.
He came to this behavior honestly, as far as I can tell, because I remember rooting for Cobra to defeat G.I. Joe when I was younger. I always
had a soft spot in my heart for Skeletor over He-Man. Maybe it was the contrarian in me, maybe I can relate to the outsider/loner, or maybe the flawed, evil characters just seemed more real, I'm not sure.
But what does it all mean? Is my kid destined to be a bully? Is he destined to be an outsider? I mean, there is that line in Goodfellas where Henry says "Jimmy was the kind of guy that rooted for bad guys in the movies." Jimmy, of the "Do I amuse you" line; Jimmy, the guy who shoots the teenage bartender; Jimmy, who loses his mind and bar stomps the mafia guy and ends up getting killed as a result. Is that my kid?
Because, as my wife will tell you, I've never really had a good grasp on what is acceptable in social situations. Its not that I have some phobia, social situations just aren't a strong point or area where I shine. That makes life infinitely harder.
And while I've done OK and I'm fine with it, I don't want that for my kid.