Thursday, October 20, 2005

Video Games, Museums and Other Bad Influences

I finally let Ethan play some games on the computer. He was addicted for a little while, until school started. You don't need to worry that they won't pick up computer skills because they seem to come fast at any age.

He also plays video games at grandma's house with his uncles. They play all day long. Ethan really enjoys Ninja Gaiden and is begging for it for Christmas. He's being Ryu Hayabusa for Halloween. I'm sure you'll hear about that later. He takes swords, bows, arrows and "sherukins" very seriously. You may think it's a risk to give him an actual bow and arrow, but is that greater than the risk that he'll meet a cop, alone, in a dark alley, without any defense at all? Now you're seeing things my way.

Ethan has taken me out a few times, thrusting at me with a drum stick, claiming that I was a sabre tooth cat. I think he picks that up from the museum at Thanksgiving Point. They have a display where a bunch of Homo Sapien skeletons are bringing down a skeletal mammoth with spears. One skeleton is on his knees, reaching out to his comrades as the mammoth's knee is bearing down on him. Very dramatic. I always think it's funny they position skeletons like they're alive.

Ethan also has an obsession with running across logs to span rivers and chasms. I took the kids up Little Cottonwood Canyon and we were hanging out in a flat, willowy area. Ethan spotted a log laid across the stream:

"I need to run across that, dad."
"You want to walk across that little log?"(it was about six inches in diameter)
"I need to RUN across it."
"Let's wait till we can find a bigger log somewhere else." (It's already snowed up there, you know. Don't want him falling in.)

Ethan is also into "fire on sticks," better known as torches. He runs around with a drum stick over his head yelling, "I've got the fire, I've got the fire." To set you at ease he and his sister, Olivia, also enjoy acting out the "Stop, drop and roll" technique used in fire safety. He also almost started crying when I talked to him about the house catching fire and his plan for escape, should that occur. "I don't want the house to catch on fire," he sobbed. The school told us to do it. It was his homework.

Ethan has a five day weekend from school due to something they call "UEA," which must expand somehow into "beginning of hunting season." When I woke up this morning I asked Ethan if he wanted to go blast a deer. Eleanor suggested snail hunting in the backyard and Ethan seemed to like that idea better.

We went to an accountant to get our taxes done last year. He was one hell of an American. The accountant had a picture of "professional" wrestlers doctored so his own face was on the dominant figure and Bill Clinton's face was on the guy being pinned. He also had a wall covered in pictures of himself kneeling next to a lot of animals he had killed; deer, moose, a boar. Ethan was surprised the bodies were all warm but dead and turned to me for an explanation. Since my tax return depended on the man I waited till he left to tell Ethan that some people like to kill everything they see. But that it wasn't the right way to use a gun, knife or bow and arrow (I should have included drum stick). Turning off the TV is no solution to violence. It's better to tell your kids what kind of world we live in and how to get along.

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