"You might want to have a chat with your daughter about death," the weary-eyed daycare supervisor told a friend of mine.
We've had lots of these sorts of talks here in the Devereaux household during the past year and a half. The passing of a dear family friend was taken particularly hard by our kids. And their parents. Since then we've had lots of teary times, especially at bedtime, where we've hugged and talked. But there's also been some interesting stuff come out of those chats.
"I've heard when you die you become a ghost!" said Miss5 the other night after we'd settled her down. "I want to be a ghost. I want to walk through walls and scare Joshua!" Joshua is Master7. "He will poo in his pants!"
Ah, yes. Nothing like the promise of being able to get your brother to lose control of his bowels to brighten a kid up on the whole idea of dying.
My friend had a slightly different problem though. On the way home from picking up some school kids, her five year old daughter had upset all the other kids in the daycare van when she started talking about her grandmother.
"We burned our nanny," she told them matter-of-factly.
"Was she on fire?" the kids asked, horrified.
"Yeah, we burned her," she confirmed. "And then we stuffed her in a jar and put her in a cupboard."
"She wouldn't fit in a jar," someone said, smelling a porky.
"That's why we had to burn her first," she countered. "So she could fit. Of course, she's dead now."
This is why it's important kids get the key elements of a story in the right order: It helps to avoid the possibility of embarrassing interviews with police and social services.
Of course, her nanny had passed away and been cremated - but this wasn't coming across to the other kids in the van. They expressed their confusion by crying and wailing and screaming as they tried to scramble away from the delightful Miss Wednesday Addams in the back seat. As you might imagine, this was a lot of fun for the daycare supervisor who was driving. And by a lot of fun I mean she aged five years in the five minute drive.
"We'll sit down and chat about it tonight," my friend assured the daycare supervisor. And she did. Only thing is now her daughter wants to take Granny-In-A-Jar for show and tell.
"I'm not sure that's going to fix things," she told me. "But it will make for one hell of a story at her 21st, so I've said yes."
Anyone looking for a daycare spot? I think I may know of an upcoming vacancy.
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