Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Crocodiles in Africa

Beginning a few months ago, Drew has had a fascination with Africa. For a good two weeks, he asked questions incessantly about Africa. "Why don't we ever go to Africa?" "Can we go to Africa this summer?" "Is it scary in Africa?" "Do they have cities in Africa?" "What?! People live in Africa?"

I'm quite certain Drew's love of Africa comes from his deep love for monkeys.

Drew's obsession with Africa has lifted over the last few weeks. Well until last Sunday that is. Since then it's been rekindled, but with a depressing twist to it.

Crocodiles eating animals and people.

Megan was in charge of our weekly Family Home Evening this last week. She pulled out an old (LDS) church video, titled, "Spiritual Crocodiles." Mike remembered seeing it during his youth. I, on the other hand had never seen it before. (Or perhaps I would have questioned the appropriateness of it for a child that loves Africa!?)

With genuine apology for the spoiler alert, the video shows an antelope being eaten by a crocodile, and then without showing it, the viewer realizes a man is also eaten by a crocodile.

The analogy is very good. I loved it...

For my older children.

But for Drew?

He didn't get the lessons of "temptation" or "avoiding bad things." Drew didn't comprehend mud-waters and traps being likened to sin and wrong-doing. All he could think about was crocodiles in AFRICA eating animals and people. In the short six and a half minute segment we watched of the video, Drew's romanticized fascination with Africa was tainted with crocodiles not only living in its waters, but eating its animals and people!

When the video ended, Drew sat on the couch trying hard not to cry. We cajoled him along in participating with our "hunt for crocodiles" activity Megan had arranged, and before long it seemed the video was forgotten.

Or so I thought.

The next morning, Drew enjoyed a very full bath alone. As usual I was nearby, but not close enough for Drew's liking. He exclaimed aloud to me, "Mom! You might want to come watch me be a crocodile." So I moved closer and observed a crocodile-like-child making his way through the tub water. Quickly, Drew arose from the water, and with a serious and sullen face voiced, "I am so glad I was not that animal that got eaten by a crocodile."

And with his announcement, Drew was finished being a pseudo crocodile in the water. He immediately wanted to get out of the tub. I was irritated he didn't stay in there very long for how full the water was, but the look on his face, though completely irrational, was enough for me to give in and allow gallons of warm, soapy water to be wasted.

His obsessive questions have ceased from being about Africa, and he is now completely obsessed about crocodiles and the danger they impose. ("And are there alligators in Africa too?")

I've decided to institute a new rule. Family Home Evening lessons and church video viewing now has to be approved by me.

PS-It's unfortunate that a couple of Drew's favorite people at our office happen to be the son and grandson of the "Spiritual Crocodiles" author. Usually my children love recognizing and reminding each other "that's so and so's"dad/grandpa. Except now for Drew. Right now, Drew can't believe someone's grandpa and dad would tell such a horrible story. (Even though Drew is mightily impressed that Jeff's grandpa has been to Africa and seen a crocodile. Never mind the fact that Drew's grandparents have been there too. Ho hum. )

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