A Nonviolent Strategy for Action Heroes

One day, when our son Nicholas was two-and-a-half years old, Daniel and I were talking about how we would do the Star Wars prequels better (a frequent topic of discussion) and I envisioned a scene in which someone is climbing a high, steep cliff by climbing the ivy growing on it, but as dusk falls the ivy wakes up and turns out to be a carnivorous plant, and there he is clinging to it high off the ground, and–

At this point Nicholas awakened from his nap.

Later, we were all eating dinner when Daniel brought up my idea again. Nicholas wanted to know what we were talking about. I said I had made up a story; I told it, “…and then I don’t know what would happen next.”

Nicholas immediately suggested, “He can say, [assertive tone] ‘Ivy, no! Don’t bite me! I don’t like that!'”

Ever noticed how the characters in these action movies never even try that approach? They just assume that carnivorous whatevers will not listen to reason and immediately resort to violence! Well, my son knows better than that!

Within days after this incident, I broke out in poison ivy rash. When I explained what it was, and every time he noticed it thereafter, Nicholas would ask, “Mama, why didn’t you say, ‘Ivy, no! Don’t bite me!’?” I told him that I did, but the ivy did not listen. >:-(

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About 'Becca
author of The Earthling's Handbook, about the environment, parenting, cooking, and more!

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