One day last week I heard Arthur talking to himself upstairs in Oliver’s room while we were all eating dinner. Catherine suggested that something had fallen on Arthur’s belly, thus forcing him into endless dialogue.
I sarcastically commented something along the lines of “well, I guess we’ll have to put up with this until Arthur’s batteries run down and Arthur dies.”
Those of you with more parenting experience (and innate compassion) than I will immediately recognize that this was a grave, grave error: one should never suggest that a lovable star of children’s television may be on his deathbed. Especially a lovable star of children’s television that your child has visited the house of.
Oliver, who is only 5 and, I thought, had only the vaguest sense of “life” and “death,” immediately broke down in tears of grief. It took several hours to get the episode out of his system. I think he is still suspicious that Arthur has some chronic disease that we’re not telling him about.
Let this be a lesson to me.