One time when we were driving home from Ohio, we stopped at
McDonalds. We ate our food, and I took
off for the restroom while the kids ran into the play place. When I returned, there is Elena playing alone
while Brandt is standing at the door to the play area. He was too scared to play.
It turns out that
there is a Ronald McDonald statue standing there and Brandt is too scared to
play because of it. I had this little
flash in my brain about kids responding with empathy in certain situations, so
I gave it a shot. “Oh he is such a nice
clown” and “Sometimes children get sick and their mommies can’t stay with them
in the hospital, so Ronald McDonald builds them houses beside the hospital so
they can stay close by”. On and on I
ramble about the philanthropic practices of the good clown Ronald McDonald.
When I finally shut up, Gene said “Thanks. I just got done telling him that the clown’s
not real and that he is just plastic like this chair.”
Brandt, who was thoroughly confused, kept saying things like: “Is Ronald McDonald a chair?” “He was dead but now he’s alive?”
It seems we often do stuff like this. We cancel out each other’s teachable moments. Instead of explaining it, we bought some
coffee and went home.