We’re in the car, and the radio’s on. Rihanna’s playing, because Rihanna’s always playing.
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts…
“So…she’s going to set herself on fire,” asks Isaac, 6, “and he’s going to stand there and watch her…and she likes the way it hurts?!”
His face is big and round and utterly confused, his eyes bulging and flitting in his head as his child-brain struggles to comprehend just why Rihanna would consider self-immolation and the thought processes behind someone just watching her do it without intervening. And, of course, why she is actually a big fan of the subsequent pain.
Isaac is the most intelligent of my three children by far (perhaps an unfair comparison, considering the other two are just 3 years old and 18 months), but he has a tendency to take everything literally. Just tonight I came downstairs and walked into the lounge to find him sitting on the armchair, his brow furrowed with worry, his lips slightly open and hinting of fear. You’d think, from his expression, that he’s reading The Shining, but he’s not. He’s reading The Big Fat Father Christmas Joke Book.
“Daddy…” he says, and turns the open pages towards me, pointing out a sentence with a quivering finger.
“…it says here that if I read this book it will damage my brain cells.”
And, with that, he snaps the book closed and goes back on his iPod; which, ironically, probably will end up damaging his brain cells. Like, literally.