Saturday, October 17, 2009

Balloon Boy, Spork Boy And The Secret About Policemen

We rarely catch the news these days.  But we caught the highlights on the Fox News Channel Thursday night and they captivated my five-year-old.  He watched the dramatic footage of the big balloon sailing through the sky and listened to them talking about the six-year-old boy everyone thought was inside.

My son was playing with his toys the whole time, and I really didn’t think about the effect it would have on him.

Then, the newsman recounted the story of the other little six-year-old boy who was suspended from school for bringing a spork.  [For those of you (like me) who had never heard of a spork before, it’s a knife-fork-spoon combination.]

I didn’t realize how fully engaged my little guy was in the stories until I was bombarded with questions just before bed. 

“Why did that little boy fly away in the balloon?”  he asked.

“He didn’t.  They just thought he did.  He was actually hiding in the attic.”

“Because he had a knife?”

“No, that was another six-year-old little boy.”

“Another little boy had a knife?  But why did that little boy have a knife?  Was he going to cut people at school?”

“No, I think he just wanted to show his friends and teachers.  But the rules say you may not bring knives to school, and so he got in trouble.”

“And the police arrested him and put him in jail?”

“No, police don’t arrest little six-year-old boys and girls.”

“Then why was he hiding?”

“Remember, that was the other little six-year-old boy who was hiding.  And I think he was just hiding for fun.”

“And then he got in the balloon and flied away?”

Flew away, and no, everyone only thought he flew away.  He was really hiding in the attic.”

“But why did he hide?   Doesn’t he know that little boys need a Mommy and a Daddy to take care of them?  To cook for them and keep them safe?” 

(Bless his little heart!)

“Yes, I think he knew that.  Like I said, he was just playing a game, and didn’t know how worried it would make his mom and dad.” 

“And so they called the police on him?”

“Yes, they called the police.  But not on him to get him in trouble.  They called them to come help them look for him.  Neighbors and helicopters came to look for him too.” 

“But he wasn’t in that balloon?”


Were the police angry with him for hiding and tricking them?”

“No, they were just happy he was safe.”

“And they didn’t arrest him and take him to jail?”

“No, honey, police don’t arrest little six-year-old boys.”

At this point, he looked at me very seriously and said, “But, yes they do!”

“No, honey, they don’t.”

“Can I tell you a secret?”

“Yes.”  I leaned down.

Whispering in my ear, he said, “First the policeman helps you, then he puts you in jail.  That’s what they do!”

Eye-yie-yie!  That’s what I get for watching news in front of him!  We’re skipping that for a while, at least until we can get all this ironed out in his head.

However, I did learn several things.

  • Kids catch more than we give them credit for while we’re watching the news.
  • They may not catch it in clarity, but they can gather enough to scare them silly.
  • I’ll need to need to keep a watchful eye on my five-year-old to ensure we don’t become a headline next year!
  • And pray a LOT!  (Of Course!) 

…I wonder if we could just skip “year six” and move straight to number seven instead?  LOL!


Amy said...

You handled that better than I would have. By question #4, my eyes are usually bulging.

Just Breathe said...

Wow, just when you think they are playing and not paying any attention to the TV. From what I saw yesterday that boy said that he was told to hide so they could get this on TV. They (parents) may even get sued because it cost 2 million dollars to try to find him!

Penny said...

LOVE his wisdom on policemen! :o) Just make sure your gadget loving hubby doesn't bring home any giant helium baloons!