June 03, 2010
Q. You greet your joyous child as he steps off the school bus. He is joyous, and full of joy. Joyous joy that he would like to share with the you, for lo, after three whole days of a substitute bus driver, his regular driver has returned. Joy! To the world! He loudly proclaims for one and all to hear: LOOK MOMMY, IT'S THE BROWN BUS DRIVER!
a) Treat this like the innocent observation that it really was and make a mental note to order a book or two about talking with a preschooler about skin color and race, thus equipping yourself to handle future outbursts or questions in an educated, non-reactionary or white-liberal-guilty manner.
b) Pretend that your child was talking about the bus driver's jacket or something, even though it's actually navy blue, but you know, your child was just MISTAKEN, like he was COLORBLIND, except...OH SHIT THERE COMES THE CRUSHING IRONY.
c) Take a sledgehammer to the sidewalk, crawl into hole, wait for death from the aforementioned crushing irony.
Q. You stop for a quick chat in the school hallway with a couple of your child's teachers. Another class, on their way to recess, walks by single-file. There's a little girl with a fairly obvious facial deformity among them. Your child notices and starts pointing after her. WHAT'S THAT, MOMMY? WHAT'S THAT?
a) Take your child aside, where you calmly have a nice chat about why pointing is rude, but since you recognize that his curiosity is natural, explain that everybody looks different because everybody is special, and some people look even more different because of things that happened to them in their lives or even before they were born. But that doesn't mean they aren't special, and they deserve to be treated like everybody else, because we don't judge anybody because of how they look on the outside, okay?
b) Pretend that your child was pointing at something else, start babbling about backpacks or hats or artwork taped up on a nearby wall or some shit like that.
c) Flee. The teachers have him now. He's probably better off.
Q. Your child approaches you, pretending to be a Stormtrooper from Star Wars. He brandishes an empty toilet paper tube like a laser gun and aims it at your head. He supplies some futuristic-type sound effects: JEW JEW JEW JEW!
a) Casually model the more socially-accepted laser-gun noise of PEW PEW PEW PEW!
b) But then laugh, because okay, THAT ONE IS KIND OF FUNNY.