11.23.2008

The Great Debate




Sunday mornings are great.  Everyone is quite lazy, we make a big breakfast, read the paper and the kids hunker down with blankets and watch cartoons.  This morning was no exception.  The feature of the day was a Tom and Jerry marathon.  The kids love Tom and Jerry, as did I as a child.  When you become a parent you realize how much violence is portrayed.  When you get down to it the whole cartoon is really just fighting.  As a parent you begin to wonder if this is such a good thing to expose young minds to.  We watched it and no one wondered if that violence contributed to the violence elsewhere.  This morning I was surprised to wander back downstairs and be drawn into the debate between my two youngest.  

"Mom, who do  you like best, Tom or Jerry?"  Jack asked.
"I always liked Jerry."  I answered in truth.  Although I do have a certain fondness for Spike.
"Emma and I were just thinking we like Jerry best too!" Jack continues, "Tom can be so mean."
Emma chimes in, "Yeah Tom does all kinds of things to Jerry.  Like try to eat him!"
"But, Emma" Jack argues, "Sometimes Jerry does stuff to Tom for no reason. And that is mean.  I mean Tom is just doing nothing and them Jerry ties his tail to something and tries to get Tom to chase him and them BAM Tom is hit on the head."  
Didn't Jack just say he liked Jerry best?  Now he is defending Tom?
"Well, you might do that do if some big cat tried to eat you."  Emma adds.
" No Emma, he wasn't trying to eat him.'  Jack defends
"Well,  maybe the day before he did." Emma adds to her defense.
"Emma, No, Tom can be mean but you cant do something to someone unless they do it first." Jack rambles on.  Ah, the logic of a 9 year old.
"J-A-C-K!" Emma whines, "I wasn't saying that."
At this point Jack turns to me, rolls his eyes,  and says, "Mom!  Emma wont believe me!"  As if somehow I am supposed to resolve this.  And I realize that he is defending Tom, for no other reason than to argue with Emma!  
"Jack, this is called a debate.  You cannot always get people to agree with you.   Sometimes you just have to present your facts and let them present theirs."  I return.


To which he promptly ignores me and says.  "See that right there Emma," as he points to the TV  "Jerry just did that to be mean."


"I know."  says Emma, "but, it's funny."
And isn't that the point? Or is it?
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