R was asking me this morning something-or-other specific about some type of person who lived a “really, really long time ago. Like 100 or 20 hundred fourteen years. More than Grandmabear.” Something about swords and strange hats. I think he may have been talking about knights.
He was trying to grasp where they fit in with everything else that he knows about. In essence, a timeline. So I did a quick Google search (no luck), then decided to wing it and draw my own. So on a piece of paper, I drew a huge horizontal line. On the left side, I scribbled an explosion (the Big Bang) and told Raines that this was the start of the earth. Then on the very right side, I drew stick figures of him and I. (“And Dad driving to work in his car” Raines interjected.)
I decided to not worry about scale. So right next to the Big Bang, I drew a dinosaur. “What’s that?” Raines asked. “Ooooh. I guess I see it, Mom” he says. Next I tried drawing an ape, then a guy, and then we had a great discussion of how we evolved to the human species. Google was helpful on this front. Raines, looking at the Google picture of apes progressing into humans remarked, “those gorillas don’t look very fast”, which, you know, is kind of the point…and a pretty great observation for a four-year-old. (Yes, I’m bragging.)
Anyway, then I paused, trying to think of what came next…Ancient Greece? Close enough? …when Raines suddenly pushed me away. “Mom. I know the rest. I’ll do it.”
Uh, what? Ok then.
He hunched over the notepad, an intense look on his face. He would pause for a moment to think, then bend over the paper once again. After a few minutes, he pushed the notebook back to me, satisfied.
“Ok Mom. It goes like this: Long time ago, longer time ago, longest ever time ago” (pausing to point to my terribly drawn ape, dinosaur, then Big Bang respectively).
“Then war, WAR, WAR….tanks and army guys!!!!!” he shrieks gleefully. “And then us. ” (He’s back to a bored tone of voice.) “Write it down, Mom.”
So I did.
I’m not sure if I should be in awe or scared. “WAR WAR WAR” was never something I pictured coming out of my kid’s mouth. Never. But you know…he’s not that far off, actually. It’s a pretty concise summary of world history…but accurate.
My one consolation is that I know my big brother was obsessed with army guys for, like, ever. And his only remaining issues surround really nerdy answers to Trivial Pursuit questions, not any lingering violence or a crazy pro-war stance. He became Canadian, for crying-out-loud. Which, speaking of Adam, I have a whole package of plastic green army guys I need to pull out. A present from Uncle Adam when R was, uh, 6 weeks old. Awesome. I can now blame the Canadians for my son’s obsession with war.
Pax, not to be outdone, worked on his own timeline.
Then described it in a series of grunts and strange sounds, coupled with a few emphatic arm waves, insanely adorable smiles, and big blue eyes…”You get me, Mum?” Yes, baby. I do.
Raines is so ready for preschool next week. I just hope they’re ready for him.
“war, WAR, WAR!!”