I am dazed. Today, Mihigna and Turtle went to town to run some errands. I stayed home and worked on a sculpture. They returned and she was carrying a movie. She was all excited about it and she showed me. It was PowerPuff girls. I immediately wondered what possessed my husband to let her get that movie.
I asked him if he had seen it, and he said…”Well, yes, kind of. Years ago.”
“Okay, so you know it’s safe, good and doesn’t have violence in it right?”
“Well, nothing majorly violent.”
I walked into the house with them, still a bit concerned. I had not seen much of PowerPuff girls, but vaguely remembered them being wards of good and fighting the baddies. My concern was how much fighting was there, what kind was it, meaning, was there hitting? What was the language like?
She was very excited about it — like over the moon excited. So I let it go, I let them put it in and watch it together. I went back out to work on my sculpture.
A while later, I came back in the house and checked on Turtle. Mihigna was in the kitchen, he said she was completely engrossed in the film. I went to check my email, with one ear tuned to the t.v. on the other side of the wall. And I was immediately disturbed. I could hear a woman, I’m guessing the mother of these PowerPuff girls, yelling at them. I jumped up from my chair and went into the other room. “Turtle, dear, Ina doesn’t like this movie, I’m not liking the way people are talking on here, I’d like to find a different movie please.”
She didn’t even look at me. “No, Ina, I like Puff girls.”
“Well, Ina doesn’t. I don’t like the way that mother is speaking to her children.”
Then I heard the mother use the word stupid. “Turtle, we’re changing this movie. You know I don’t like that word. That is a mean word and parents should never say it to their children.”
Without too much of a struggle we got up and moved on with other things. Later that night, at dinner, Turtle decided she didn’t want to eat her vegetables, and I wanted her to sit there until she had three bites. She was crying and having a meltdown; I knew she was tired, I could hear it in her voice.
Her Ate’ (dad) was trying to talk to her and she looked at him and said; “Go away, you’re a moron.”
Without meaning to, I gasped, and everyone got dead quiet. I swallowed and took breath. “Turtle, where did you hear that word?”
“From the movie.”
I walked over to her, gently took her out of her chair and picked her up and walked with her to the bathroom and started to brush her teeth. As I brushed I told her: “Turtle we cannot use that word. Moron is like Stupid, only meaner. If you say Moron to someone, it can hurt their heart. Words have power and some words hurt. I know you are learning about words, but you are also learning how much power some words have. We can’t use the words that hurt people’s hearts.”
I wanted her to understand that she was not at fault for using that word, but also show her how much power words hold. I was thinking that everyone, children and adults need to remember that. I know I do.
I told her that we would have to take the movie back and exchange it for a better movie and that from now on, all movies had to be Ina-approved. Mihigna apologized to her because he had made a bad choice, and now she had to take her movie back. She was crying about how much she loved that movie and a million things were running through my head.
As much of an equal partnership that Mihigna and I have, the bare bones of it is, I am the primary parent, I know what movies/shows are appropriate for a three year old. Appropriate by my standards, NOT the standards movies are rated on, many of the “G” rated movies do not surpass what I feel is appropriate for my three year old.
It made me think about how parents have got to be on the ball, aware of everything that is going on in and around their child’s lives. They are so vulnerable and impressionable at this age, and they are so innocent. They mirror what is around them, good AND bad. I feel bad that she really loved this movie and now we had to return it, but it wasn’t enough for me to blow it off. It was too important. I needed her to know that we don’t use those words in this house and we don’t treat people like that.
And while she may be exposed to that kind of thing outside of our humble abode, it is not “our normal” and it is not okay. As an Ina, I would rather her have some tears and a understanding than just blow if off because I don’t want to make her “upset.” I often tell her when she is upset with a choice that I have to make FOR her, that it is because I’m the Ina and it is my job to keep her safe, happy and healthy.
People have laughed in my face, snickered, snorted and said to my face, and talked behind my back about the way we parent. And quite honestly, I don’t care. Turtle was not born to them, she was born to us. And she is a direct gift from Tunkasila and she is sacred. It is my/our job to raise Turtle through this maze of a world and have her come out of her journey with her sacredness and her soul intact. Parenting is hard business. It is tiring and exhausting and some days its hard to keep at it. But keep at it I must.
This is the greatest, most important job I have ever, and WILL ever be given. I can’t just blow it off, because I’m too tired, or not in the mood. This is a 24/7 365 with no days off. And my boss, is the big cheese, Creator, Tunkasila. It is him I will ultimately have to answer to.
And when that time comes, I’d better be able to face my creator and say, ”Yes, creator, I did everything in my power to maintain the sacredness of the most precious gift you have given me.” Despite the stones that were thrown. Because remember what they say about those who throw stones.