My mom and dad were fast forward parents. Anything they didn't want us to watch, or really, what they didn't want to have to discuss with us, they would fast forward. And so I became a rewind kid. When my parents weren't home, I'd pop in the video tape, and rewind to all the good parts that I had missed.
Hi. Top Gun sex scene.
My daughter is not yet at the point where she can comprehend all that I desire to fast forward. It's never really sex scenes since other than some passionate lip locking done by Belle and Beast and there's not much sex happening on Little Einsteins and Dora (although I've often wondered why Boots is so damn cheerful). But death is a topic I feel compelled to pretend like it never happened.
How exactly do you explain that to a 2-year-old?
Initially, I would just change the words in her stories - where Cinderella's mother died and then her father died - and make up something else. Hell. I do that with the "happily ever after" stuff (damn those princesses), so why not just say that her father had plastic surgery and needed some respite and TLC at one of those weekend bed and breakfasts?
I'm not sure I've ever felt so awkward as to see the words "die" or "death" in front of me and the big eyes of my toddler drilling holes into my head. She hasn't yet asked me what they are, nor does she discuss why Gaston was on a mission to kill "the Beast." But I think about it. And I'm compelled to do something... except what I'm compelled to do is what my parents did. And I know that the only thing being a fast forward parent did for me was make me even more curious.
Perhaps it's because I'm not comfortable with death myself, or that I am not comfortable with what I believe about what happens after death. If I had a cookie cutter answer or one that I trusted, maybe I'd be able to share it with her. But I still fear death (or really, leaving my children), and I don't really know where I'm going to go (although here would be nice), so what do I say to her?
I haven't yet hit fast forward and I've started saying the words. I suppose it's one of those parenting rites of passage that will just happen. She's going to ask me -- hell, she's already asked me about the fuzz so Lord knows what will be next. Except unlike my parents, I plan on being prepared and open to the discussion. And if she wants to fast forward, she can.
But I'll be there with her when she's ready to rewind.