Shatter Duty: noun. The responsibility of having to tell your child something hurtful for their own good.
Sound harsh? It is. And it sucks. Big time.
Viking Toddler asked for a Superman cape for his birthday last July. Being crafty and using any sort of excuse to add to my craftiness, I whipped one up. He's been playing with it on and off since. Lately, it's mostly been on.
When I first made him his cape, I was careful to remind him about the rules of reality, as in, a cape won't make him fly and Superman is just a movie and not real.
Today, a lady I knew was telling me about a child years ago in the Philippines (her home country) that *supposedly* tried to fly down the stairs and didn't survive. True story or not, I decided I ought to give our little guy a refresher in gravity.
"You know you can't fly, right? It's just a story. Some kids have tried it, and gotten very hurt."
See the bold part? That's the only part he heard. The next thing I knew, he said, "Can I try flying off the roof?"
All stop! Hold everything! What did my child just ask me???
So, while making breakfast, I had a conversation with my little guy in which I had to explain to him in no uncertain terms that people can't fly. I told him Superman and Batman aren't real, they're just stories, and those were just actors in the movies that were made to look super with camera tricks. I reiterated that people, including himself, can't fly.
"Oh," he said. "Not today?"
No, not just not today. Not at all. Not ever. Superheros aren't real, no one flies, and if he tried it he would get hurt.
I literally saw his heart shatter. His lip stuck out and he got all teary.
This wasn't in the manual.