20 April 2008

The war of the torches

They erected the fencing along a major Canberra road in preparation for the Olympic torch relay in Canberra this Thursday.

I automatically made a comment about it when we drove past and of course Ella wanted to know what I said and why. So I spent a good 15 minutes trying to explain her:
the Olympics:
Me - It's a big contest in which people from all the countries in the world jump and run and swim and whoever wins gets a medal.
Ella - What does a medal do?
Me - Nothing. It just looks pretty and you can hang it round your neck, like a necklace.

and the torch:
Me - It's a stick with fire at the end. And some men and women will run through the streets with it. It's been all around the world, through different countries. And when it gets to China, they will light a big fire with it and that will be the start of the Olympic games.
Ella - Can we touch the torch?
Me - No we can't touch it. It would burn us! That's why we'll have to stay behind the fences.

I gave myself a pat on the back for resisting when I found myself about to start explaining to her about the pro-Tibet and pro-China protesters that will be present.

That night we were watching tv and happened to see an ad for the army. Ella asked me what they were doing, so I launched into an explanation of what the army is.

Me - When there's a storm and there's water in the street, the army will come and help. But they also fight. When people from another country try to hurt us, they'll fight with them so they cannot hurt us. (It felt wrong to say this, but what else could I say?)
Ella - Do they use fire?
Me - Yes, they use guns. It's called war and it's a really bad thing, but it happens.

About an hour later she told me this really confusing tale that featured torches, thunder and fire and I eventually concluded that she seemed to think that the torch relay would be about men and women fighting in the streets with fire. Which would be a whole lot more exciting than the event will be in reality. (Well, I hope a repeat of the chaos some other countries experienced won't prove her right!!!)

I think I got the message through to her that the torch relay and war are two completely separate things (fingers crossed anyway, haha), but I won't be surprised if daycare asks me what I have been teaching my child. And if I do end up taking her to the torch relay, she is bound to be very dissapointed!

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