Monday, February 11, 2019

A Season of Ugh and Yuck

That's either the title of my upcoming YA novel, or it's an apt description of the family this weekend: a lot of stuffy sinuses, lack of energy, and general inability to focus, but nothing pronounced enough for me to say, "Aha! We're sick!" (Plus the weather has turned dreary, gray, and cold - at least, Texas cold.)

Secondborn, meanwhile, has been watching these family-produced shows on YouTube in which the kids engage in Nerf battles with their parents, each other, and occasionally secretive masked villains who are very definitely not just their parents wearing costumes. This has been a lot more of a problem than I would have expected. For one thing, it had him weirdly out of sorts last week (admittedly, some of that may have been this weird quasi-illness thing, too). For another, well, apparently the shows have introduced him to the concept of pranks, and now he wants to start pranking his brother.

It has not gotten off to a good start. His first attempt was to leave some lotion on his brother's bed, in the hopes that his brother would lie down on it and be... I don't know, smooth-skinned or something. Unfortunately, he couldn't find anything to hold the lotion so he finally settled on an old children's book from Beautiful Wife's childhood. Fortunately, the child's about as subtle as an elephant walking on airhorns, so his older brother immediately spotted the lotion-covered book. (Perhaps more fortunately, I was able to clean the lotion off the cover of the book.)

So this prompted some extensive discussion of how pranks work differently in real life than they do when you're essentially creating a TV show and everybody knows what's going on. It also prompted some discussion of how we treat books.

I don't much hold with pranks myself. I think that in far too many cases it's just a barely-disguised form of bullying, and that it sets up situations where it's really easy for something to go unexpectedly wrong. So tonight we'll be having that conversation, too.

So that's pretty much where we're at.

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