Pulling a Chucky
I pulled another Chucky recently. Wondering what I mean? Well, do you recall the film about a little redheaded doll that comes to life and stabs people? The doll's name was Chucky.
No, I haven't stabbed anyone. However, a few years ago I did allow my two young grandsons to watch that Chucky movie, get scared to death, and require me to lie with them until they fell asleep. Hey! How does a grandma know that a movie about a doll isn't OK for young boys to watch? Guess I could have read the container, but the boys convinced me that it was OK. They were both con artists.
That's what I call "Pulling a Chucky" when a grown-up miscalculates or misunderstands the impact something might have on a child.
I also pulled a Chucky when I bought the "Terminator Trilogy" for my grandson. He loved those Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, but his parents thought the violence was too over the top. So, the DVD's stayed in the container until he was deemed old enough to watch them.
Also, a shiny new gift toy became a Chucky event. The toy had little plastic balls inside and when you pushed the button, air blew the balls all around and made a clacking noise. My little grandson was petrified and thought the devil resided in the toy. Each time we tried to get him interested in it, he would run away as if being chased. I had bought the toy for entertainment and ended up watching it being relegated to the back of the closet so he wouldn't see it.
Recently, I read a book about a 12-year-old girl who was being raised on a dog farm by her father, after her mother deserted the family. My 12-year-old granddaughter loves dogs and I thought she would enjoy the book. Oops! Another Chucky incident. The book had some questionable episodes and my granddaughter was worried that the story was too "old" for her. She told her Dad, who told her Mom, who told me another "Chucky" event.
Heck! I mean well honestly. I would never want to cause any child nightmares because of movies, toys, or books. Children are very precious to me. Their growing minds deserve enough stimulation, but not to the point of disturbance.
I wondered if I was missing a gene that could readily recognize a possible "Chucky" event. An intelligent retired educator should be able to process facts in a sensible way to avoid such occurrences.
After some serious thinking, I believe I know what the problem is. I come from a generation of trusting, naive souls who can't imagine that harm could come from fantasy. After all, books, movies, and toys aren't REAL. They are there to entertain.
But, when you look at what passes for entertainment nowadays, it makes sense that parents and grandparents are more vigilant in their efforts to protect beloved children.
All I know is that this particular grandma will be super-extra careful from now on! I plan to cultivate my non-Chucky gene.
(Dr. Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of this newspaper.)