I hope I can ease the extreme fear that you and Bristol are experiencing over the ‘Family Guy’ episode. Often, when people stop to really think a situation through they realize it wasn’t as devastating as their first reaction might have led them to believe. In retrospect, they come to know that the most painful experiences are the ones from which they grow them most. Considering the pain in Bristol’s voice and the confusion in yours, I trust you will grow immensely from this situation and hope I can expedite the process by explaining how my ordinary family might deal with a similar experience.
If I stayed home one night to enjoy an episode of ‘Family Guy’ with my toddler, and the episode featured a bratty yet extremely brilliant white child, I would explain to her that not everyone has had an opportunity to experience the precocious way a child like her over-emotes. Some might never have seen a white child at all, and this would be an opportunity for their parents to explain that the initial fear of seeing a ghostly human would ease quickly - even feel natural the more they were exposed. While the episode might seem like a negative experience to us, it has given us an opportunity to discuss something that might not have come up in everyday conversation.
I would also use this opportunity (granted I wouldn’t expect the toddler to understand until I stayed in the same state and out of the spotlight often enough to engage her in the discussion of many programs and experiences) to explain that people learn in different ways and humor might be the most comfortable way for some people to deal with tough topics. Instead of screaming for others to do things “our” way, or calling them names (you might want to inject a little lesson about duplicity and double standards here), we should leave them to do what works for them and move on to watch/experience what works for us.
Lastly, I would tell my child that when I say, “If I ruled the world . . .” I am only kidding. I don’t expect or want to rule the world and I hope she would never interpret my humor to mean that I believe I can tell others not to laugh at what I am. What would conservatives do if I went on television and whined about how they call me “librul” and “socialist” instead of laughing at – I mean with – them? Even worse, what if I called them names for calling me things that I am NOT, like “baby killer” and “terrorist”? They might never have fun again.
I hope I’ve given you a little food for thought. Thought is a good thing.
(Note to Mitch McConnell: I haven’t deserted you.)