Recently my son started watching Kung Fu Panda the TV series on Amazon. I've never bothered to watch an episode with him because I genuinely hate Kung Fu Panda. I know, mom fail. I typically don't allow my kids to watch something unless I've seen it first but, we'll blame Aunt BeBe for this one.
Now, lately I've noticed that my son has started playfully punching people like he was boxing--though in a very uncoordinated, two-year-old style--so it took me a while to figure out what he was doing. I guess the Kung Fu Panda has pretty poor technique? Whatever the case, my husband and I could not figure out where he'd picked it up since neither of us have ever play-fought with him beyond tickling and simple wrestling. Maybe he learned it from his cousin or in Sunday school? At first I wasn't too worried about it. It’s a stage, right? Every little boy play fights.
At lunch one Sunday, after church with friends, I'm trying to discretely (though probably unsuccessfully) tell my child to get himself together and behave at lunch. He starts play-punching me and giggling, which ended up with his bowl of fruit in my face. The bowl then crashed down onto the table and the play punching continued. I kept whispering into my sons ear to listen and obey, and that's when I realized that my son was Kung Fu-ing me!
I lost my patience with my little boy who was just innocently Kung Fu-ing his friends. I am not sure what Kung Fu Panda is teaching my child other than to throw a poor punch, but for now Liam has been told that Kung Fu Panda went bye-bye and I'm not sure when he will return. It's entirely possible that Mr. Panda lost the big fight and decided to take a vacation and re-think his life decisions. Maybe Panda decided he'd rather be a lawyer or a doctor... or a noodle chef?
While boys will be boys, for now I want to keep my little boy innocent and out of trouble. I know boys wrestle, play cowboys and indians or army, eat worms, and occasionally throw punches (real and fake) but, I think I'd like to hold off on that stage for just a little longer. I hope he will be happy to just eat worms and finger paint. I'm not ready for him to get kicked out of Sunday school for Kung Fu-ing his teachers or the other kids.
I'm still learning as a new mother. What do I need to protect them from? What should I allow them to be exposed to? Truthfully, I don’t always know the right choice so I simply make one and see how it goes. Sometimes it's the right one and sometimes you wonder, but either way you just have to learn as you go and grow through experience. I have learned to watch shows with my child and be more aware of what he is learning from what he sees. When he's older I can explain the difference between Kung Fu and hitting. But for now we don't hit. Period.