Thursday, February 03, 2005

Five year-olds ask weird questions. One day it's, "Daddy, can I have a bra?" and the next day it's, "Daddy, what's it like in jail?" I don't know which one spooks me more, the fact that she wants to wear a bra already, or the fact that she's really REALLY curious about jail.

My daughter asked me a barrage of questions last night about jail. How big are the cells? How much do you get to eat? What EXACTLY is a cell furnished with?

The number and detail of her questions was a bit disconcerting. Was she worried that she'll be in jail soon? Or did she fear that I was destined for the slammer? (little chance of that, it's mostly unproveable stuff). Things became slightly clearer when I explained that kids don't usually get sent to jail, even when they break the law. Typically kids get sent to Juvenile Hall. Now THIS intrigued her even more. Sadly/thankfully I know even less about Juvenile Hall than I do about real jail. I think that's because there are fewer flicks about chained women in Juvie heat.

Keep in my mind that my daughter cries and howls with regret when she breaks the smallest of rules. I didn't really want her thinking that she'd be put in the hoosegow the next time she forgot to flush the toilet. So, I walked a careful line, mindful of scaring her too much, yet trying to impress her that some offenses require bigger punishments than losing TV privileges.

I managed to end the conversation by promising to take her on a tour of Alcatraz. You know how kids are. They love the prisons

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