Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In the News...

As a student of human behavior, I find myself curious about the top news story today, the dentist in Bloomington who hunted and killed a lion in Zimbabwe for sport. So many people are outraged at his cold, inhumane behavior and it's one of the top news stories today. His business is ruined and his and his family's lives are in peril, society is so up in arms about his deplorable behavior. (Relax, I'm not defending him in the least. Please don't freak out and think I'm on his side. Read on.)

This very similar story, about an eight year old girl lured up to an apartment by a young boy she knew, killed, and thrown into a dumpster, is a harder story to find. It's the same theme, though - humans luring trusting innocents away from safety so they can torture and murder. Wouldn't one think that the story about the human child should be the one that outrages and inflames the public? Why aren't we knocking down barriers and demanding to know who that killer kid is?

Is it because we are used to seeing news stories about dead children, but we are used to seeing lions safe, secure, and idolized in zoos? (Don't even suggest I am unfeeling toward animals. I think it's horrible that anyone would hunt wild, beautiful animals for sport, I don't understand it at all, but there's a lot of things about people I don't understand. This is why I'm studying them.)

The dentist who killed this lion is, for sure, lacking some sort of empathy gene. But so is this teenager who lured away the little girl.. If I were that girl's mother I'd be beside myself with fury at the whole world right now, being so angry about the death of a beloved lion and totally ignoring the fact that people get hunted and brutally murdered like that right here in our own towns, and no one seems to be outraged about that.

I think we are desensitized by the media. We are so used to shootings, kidnappings, abuse, and killing of each other that we don't get upset anymore. It's the overspread of news that is doing it - we can only take so much awfulness. We just can't handle being horrified at human abuse anymore, our psyches can't take it. For our own emotional protection, we have had to put up a wall to avoid being shocked and aghast at what the news reporters tell us happens every day in our cities and neighborhoods. We've reached our shock limit.

Okay that's all I have to say about that, have to go - homework to do.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Mr. Mischief

AJ has been making me think back to these cute book characters from childhood. Well, specifically
this one.

Here's some of the naughtiness he's been up to:

1. Whenever no one is looking and I forget to bolt the front door, he runs out, goes two or three houses down the street, and knocks on the door. I don't know those people, and they are never home. Twice now, other neighbors of ours who know AJ have seen him before I did, and went over there to keep an eye on him and try and talk him into going home. Thank goodness we have some great, watchful neighbors who know him.

2. Not long ago I made the mistake of letting AJ throw a bunch of dirty clothes down the laundry chute, "what kinds of things can I find that will fit down the laundry chute" has become his latest fun game. Toilet paper rolls, flashlights, combs, DVD cases, books, and his iPad have all taken trips down the chute. Sometimes he just shoves clothes down there in such jumbled heaps that they get stuck in the middle. We have fashioned a long pole for poking down there and clearing the chute. One evening we got a wooden pole stuck in there and it couldn't make the slight bend to come out the bottom. It had to go back up, somehow, and come out the way it went in. We let a rope down the chute, tied the end of the rope to the board, and then went back up to the top floor to pull the rope and get the board out. While we were busy doing that in the basement, he stripped all the beds upstairs, Which leads me to #3.

Every. single. day.
3. Awhile back the boys started this cute game where they both climb under the fitted sheet on their beds and hang out there. When I'd go in and ask "what are you doing?" AJ would holler "we're making a fort!" It was sweet, they'd bring the iPads and some blankets and pillows under there with them. But somehow, this game has progressed into just yanking all the blankets, sheets, and pillows off all the beds, right down to the mattress pad, of every bed in the house, every day. Aliza tries to keep them from getting to her bed, but sometimes she's not fast enough, or she's at a friend's house. So every night we have to make all the beds up. If you do it too early and AJ's not tired yet, he'll just strip them again, so you've got to time it carefully. It's just AJ, Zack doesn't partake in this tomfoolery. Zack was happy to play "we're making a fort!" but he's not interested in ripping sheets off all the beds just for the sport of it.

Those are the only repetitive, naughty things he's been doing. There are other, random acts of naughtiness. Today at my parents house he let himself into the garage and into the driver's seat of grandma's car. He put the seatbelt on and reached up to pull on the gearshift. He didn't have the keys, but he clearly had a plan to go somewhere.

Otherwise he's just a typical little boy, splashing everyone else in the pool, and leaving his games out all over the house.
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