Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Death Becomes Him


Declan is obsessed with death. This is not, as Amy might suggest, because of his love of swordplay (or his parents' leniency regarding said swordplay).

It's because of Gaston.

Ever since Declan saw Beauty and the Beast last year, he's been obsessed with the final scene involving Gaston and the Beast fighting on the castle. It seems that his toddler mind can't quite wrap itself around the fact that the Beast transforms into the Prince, so Declan assumes that since the Beast is stabbed by Gaston and disappears, he in fact has been killed by Gaston.

So whenever the topic of the Beast comes up (frankly, you'd be surprised at how often that is, with 7 kids in the house), Declan gets into an argument with whomever will argue with him.

"The Beast dies," Declan will say matter-of-factly.

"No, he doesn't," comes the reply from Hilary/Erika/probably Gretchen any day now.

"Yes, he does."

"No, he doesn't."

"Mo-mmy! The Beast dies, right?"

At which point I explain to him, for the 100th time, that the Beast doesn't die, that he was about to die but Belle's kiss saves him and transforms him back into a Prince.

This was only the beginning of Declan's fascination with death. If we're watching a movie or TV show and someone is asleep, or falls, or blows into a million pieces yet miraculously comes back together (as in the Tom and Jerry videos all the kids have taken a shine to), Declan will ask, "Is he dead?"

Yesterday Declan and Ronan were playing together in the family room, when they both started whacking the toy trains with their swords.

"Let's kill the trains!" Declan shouted, and Ronan eagerly followed suit. They spent the next 10 minutes happily beating the s**t out of poor Thomas and Percy.

Declan doesn't seem particularly disturbed by the idea of death, though of course I haven't really drilled into him how permanent it is. Still, he likes to talk about it a lot, so I try to be as truthful as possible.

"Declan, do you know what it means to die?"

"Yes."

"What does it mean?"

"I don't know."

Okay, let's try another tack. "Why do people die?"

"Because someone kills them. The black man dies because he tries to save his son. But no one kills him. He just dies."

Pardon? Lately Declan has been describing any man dressed in black as "the black man."

"What are you talking about?"

"The movie with the light savers." We showed Declan a clip of the duels of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker on You Tube, along with Erroll Flynn, The Princess Bride, and Zorro so he could see some real swordplay. You can guess what stuck with him.

"That's right, Darth Vader dies."

"But he comes back."

"No, Declan, once you die that's it. You don't come back."

"Except the Beast, right?"

Sigh. I give up.

3 comments:

Doesn't love a wall said...

Poor Percy.... "Because I could not stop (at the train station) for death, it kindly stopped for me."

Keri said...

Alas, poor Thomas, I knew him!

Laundry & Children said...

Your son would get along great with my kids. They are a little obsessed with death as well. Lately I've been hearing, "You better stop or you will get Time Out until you DIIIIIEEEEE!"