Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Grim Reaper

Firstborn is obsessed with death.

It started with the odd comment, such as; "Mummy, what happens when you die?" OK, I thought, I was expecting this at some point, what a cute little curious brain she has. So I trotted out all the cosy Heaven stuff and left out all the things that could worry her, such as worms and bones and holes in the ground. This went down pretty well, although somehow Firstborn made the jump from my view of Heaven (filled with love, joy, always warm, never rains, has a huge discount designer shoe outlet and I never have to pay my Visa bill) to her own view of Heaven; a wonderous place where small girls don't have to eat their vegetables before they're allowed pudding, and where Barbie dolls grow on trees.

Anyway, I digress.

Last week Firstborn started shouting "Kill! Kill!" in a bloodthirsty tone while bashing her hithero-beloved teddy against the wall. This was topped by her purposely flushing her favourite My Little Pony down the loo.

That evening, while being put to bed, she said in a matter-of-fact manner, "Mummy, last year a dragon bashed you with his tail and you died, you know." Oh.

Yesterday Firstborn told me that another little girl at her nursery, "doesn't have a Mummy." "How come?" I asked. Firstborn looked at me with sad eyes. "She died." I checked with the nursery to verify the story - fortunately Susie's mother is very much alive and well.

I have to say that this new obsession, which is currently being played out with a passion that outstrips her adoration of the colour pink, is worrying me somewhat. Let's get something straight. Firstborn is not the kind of child who goes around biting and bashing other kids (unlike the Small(er) One, but that's another story). Firstborn is a gentle child, not bloodthirsty in any way, fearful of anything that could even be remotely considered to be scary and almost overly concerned about the feelings of others. Therefore, the shock of her being so violent is much greater than if she was known as the town thug. Nor do I allow the kids to hang out watching Tarantino movies or Manga.

What's it all about? Is Firstborn a future psychopath temporarily disguised by big blue eyes, freckles and a disarming grin? Or is this yet another stage?


Surfing Free said...

My four year old gentle and fairy obsessed daughter is also a little keen on death in play. She sometimes says her sister isn't awake yet because she's died, sending me into a reluctant panic. She doesn't want to die but she wants to talk about it all the time. But she thinks that with a little medical attention or a temptation in the form of a lollypop, people can come back from being dead. So, I think its all just a stage of curiosity and they don't REALLY know what dead means. Who does?!

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

I'd go with the stage theory, dull as it does become after a while!

My boy is much more likely to talk about death than my girls, eg:
"We're going to Ella's house and Ella and Nina and Chloe are going to dress up as fairies and I'm going to dress as a super hero and I will KILL them. Dat will be a dood idea, won't it Mummy!?"
My girls, if they talk about death, will tend to at least have a hint of sympathy for the dead thing!

Kristen said...

I fear questions about deep topics... Oldest children are just very very smart :)

The Mother Load said...

My firstborn son was obsessed with death after the death of his aunt. He actually discovered her, which was horrible. Anyway, she was taken away by an ambulance and he asked, "Where are they taking her, Mommy?" I responded with a simple, "to heaven." Bad idea! Now whenever we see an ambulance he immediately thinks they are going to heaven, I've had to reassure him often that not everyone is making that trip. He also used to creep me out with saying he saw her, I would then have flasbacks of The Sixth Sense. This went on for quite some time, I prayed it was a phase, thankfully it was.

By the way, just discovered your blog - love it!

Leah said...

This obsession with death and children disturbs me. Perhaps you could redirect her thoughts. When my oldest said he hated his brother for the first time, I explained to him that 'hating' meant he wanted Elijah to die and never come back. That he was saying that he would rather Elijah had never been his brother. I think that stopped the problem. He's never talked about death and hate since. Oldests name is Ethan, by the way.
Loved your blog, found it in BabyTalk.

Kris said...

My son is almost six and has been in the "death phase" for a few months. "Mom, I don't want you to die." "Mama, I don't wanna die." "I'm so sad that great grandpa died" (last summer). I say I won't die (and he won't) for a long long time, but of course the truth is no one knows when they will die. So I really don't know what to say to him!

Anyway, yeah. I think it is yet another stage. :)

She said...

I saw your blog mentioned in the BabyTalk magazine that I received today. The article was about Blogging Mamas. Since I'm a blogging mama as well I thought I'd come over and see yours.

Sara said...

I hope its a phase, at least the creepy talk part of it, because my young daughter does it, too. BTW, I also saw your blog listed in the BabyTalk mag, even though I don't read the mag. I found it on the ground.

blackbeltmama said...

I'm hoping its a phase. My daughter, 5, is there too. It's creepy.

~+~Gabriel's Slave~+~ said...

I would be creeped out, too. Maybe it's just a phase. I thought I would stop by and leave a random comment. Well, I suppose it's not that random, seeing as I meant to comment.


Kim T. Hamer said...


Love your blog! I too blog about motherhood. Sane Madness, Motherhood Tales from the Trenches
www.kimthamer.blogspot.com. Can you add my link to your list? It seems we are having similary experiences. If only motherhood were as easy as all the books made us believe it was!

Thanks. Looking forward to reading more!

Kim Hamer

Lian said...

This is interesting. Scary but interesting. Wishing you all the best.

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Anonymous said...

I have always been very open with my children (6 & 4 boys) about death and dying and they have done quite well until now. My 6 year old just told me that he would like to kill himself so that he could go to see Heaven. When I asked why he explained that there would be no rules no set bedtime, eat whatever he wants, etc. This made me very sad and we discussed the reality that you don't get to come back once you die. This made him cry and me too. I am still upset about it but it is probably because of my own unresolved death issues and for him I am hoping it is just another phase.