punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Studies in childhood social dynamics

Sister helping brother
Originally uploaded by punkwalrus.
Every time I get to sit the Heare kids, I learn more about the human race. While I fully understand they are individuals and all individuals are different, I have always felt my best lessons about humanity (which, for reasons I have never been able to describe, I feel like an outsider) come from watching children.

Anyway, it was calm and peaceful. There was some playing out of doors with the strange kid in their court (strangely effeminate military youth I have mentally nicknamed Algy from the W. E. Johns "Biggles" series) who is the first kid I have ever seen with a honest-to-goodness six-shooter cap gun since I was a kid. I didn't even know they made those anymore. Anyway, he was wearing a beret and full camouflage clothing. Again, I feel this kind of surreal encounter that only I seem to notice. But he seemed like a nice chap, fair and sporting. Just a little off the kilt.

Later, there was some TV watching. Again, rather uneventful, but the eldest is rather brutal with the remote channel flipping (she seems to really hate commercials). Kid's TV is rather bad. For a while, it seemed like there was a revolution among animated kids programs that started in the early 1990s, and it's still better than the 1970s (gah, what SHIT we watched), but now it's starting to have that strange corporate mill effect generating predictable plots, senseless dialog, and less interesting storyline. The live TV is the WORST. I mean, some of the shows are okay, but they are all the same. Most seem to be the same premise; centered around one individual (Hanna Montana, That's So Raven, Zoe 101, etc), and still force stereotypes like girls are all pretty, pink, and gossipy, and boys are insane, daring, and gross.

You never see many characters where a boy, say, likes to take care of younger kids, or an overweight girl who likes to play video games. I know several of these types of people in real life. I do think the whole "school is bad, homework is evil" that was disturbingly stereotyped had been eased somewhat, and still manages not to be preachy (kids can sniff preachy from a mile away, a skill I wished they all kept as adults). Maybe we could make one with a character like Algy. He'd be, "The Little Saucy Green Beret" or something. His catch phrases would be, "My goodness!" and "How dreadfully awful!" and "Well, isn't this pleasant?"

After that, my family and the Heares hung out along with mysticpaws. We all got amazing haircuts. That sounds like a non-sequiter, but it's true. There's some before-and-after pictures of the middle child, who used to have very long hair that tangled, but now has a short hair that, when she wore a cap, looked a lot like a stylish 1930's girl. I got a lecture about how bad my former haircutters were, but then again, I did go to the Hair Cuttery, which is pretty utilitarian and cheap. Most of them don't even speak English. This was the first stylist I had in... maybe 10-15 years, that spoke fluent English.
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