My four year old likes to watch the news. He spent more time watching coverage of the last election than I did. Unfortunately, the news is laden with things that he's not quite ready for, so I try to curtail his exposure to CNN.
Last night, however, I forgot to switch the tv from NBC to OPB before I went to bed, so this morning when Jack woke up to watch cartoons, he got a brain full of something a little to intense for a preschooler. Snuggled soundly in my bed, I heard Jackson run in to the room he shares with his brother and scream at a still-sleeping James, "Bro, guess what?? Bad news! Bad News! There was a Haiti Quake and people are trapped!!!"
My eyes popped open. Instantly, I knew what had happened. My baby was being bombarded by the same images that I had seen last night. Things far too frightening for his sensitive heart. I went and got him, brought him back out into the living room and switched the tv to cartoons, then, I asked him to talk to me about the Haiti Quake.
"What did you see?" I asked.
'There was a Haiti Quake and people are trapped." He responded.
"What does that mean?"
"It means there was an earthquake in Haiti and people are trapped in the quake."
It was true. He seemed to have a pretty firm grasp of what he had seen, so the best I could do was damage control. I told him that we had sent some troops over to help and that he didn't have to worry about it, because it would be okay. I chose my words carefully and yes, I know that it won't be okay for everyone in Haiti, but it will be okay for Jackson and that's all he needs to know right now.
Later, on our way to school, Jack brought up the quake again. I asked him, this time, what he understood was going to happen now. This is what he said:
"GI Joe is going to go to Haiti and throw the earthquake to the North Pole. Then, Santa Claus is going to take the quake to Hawaii where the Hawaiians are going to toss it into the ocean."
It was then that I realized it was time to drop it. Nothing I could say could *possibly* be better than that!