Cooper has a highly developed appreciation for all things slapstick. Bob noted about a year ago, maybe longer, that Cooper bust out laughing while they were watching some show on Noggin or Nickelodeon in which someone fell down. Since then he has consistently found people falling down, being chased, knocked down, slapped, kicked in the behind, poked in the eye, having things fall on top of them, you name it, extremely funny. Seriously, this is a guy thing, right?
The problem here is that right now his little 2 year old brain doesn’t quite get the difference between reality and pretend on TV or in the movies. Thus we have encountered a small problem with him imitating some of the things he has seen in some of the movies he has been watching. Lovely, benign movies like Madagascar for instance.
See, there are these penguins. The penguins are hilarious. The lead penguin does a great William Shatner impression. But the penguins are bit, physical. With each other, with other characters. There is one scene where they have hijacked a ship, and they have tied up and gagged the captain. The captain is trying to say something, and head penguin says to another penguin “Shut him up” and the other penguin slaps the captain across the face.
Fast forward to yesterday morning. Bob was keeping Cooper entertained, and for some reason was pretending to cry. Cooper walked up to him, said “Shut up” and slapped him. I was all “Ohhhhhhhh noooooooooooooo” and immediately realized what he had just done. As clear as could be in my minds eye I saw that scene with the penguins. And then I realized what he was doing at school. The day before I was told he had, totally out of character, slapped one of his friends. For no apparent reason. It all began making sense.
I told his teacher what happened when I dropped him off at school. She thought it was hilarious. And it is, as long as it isn’t your child slapping other kids or his parents.
So that movie is officially out of rotation for awhile, until we get to a point where cognitively I know he will understand the difference between what is on TV and what is okay in real life. We talked about it, but I still think delivering mixed messages is probably not a good idea. This is why I am not in favor of spanking. There are other reasons, but mostly it is about how hard it is to justify hitting my child as a disciplinary measure, yet teach him it is not okay for him to hit us or others. That distinction is really hard to get at this age, and quite frankly it is a bit hypocritical if you ask me. So we don’t spank. There is still discipline, but not spanking.
What will he do next…that is the question.