The fact is, children see death and horror differently from us.
I was profoundly saddened by Lis Sladen’s death – she was an icon of my childhood and brought me and dudelet together in our first common enthusiasm. I think Dudelet was also upset but he dealt with it in his own inimitable way.
“Will they get someone else to play Sarah-Jane?”
“No, I shouldn’t think so. I hope not.”
It evidently continued to prey on his mind as the following day, he showed up at 7am at the foot of our bed and announced,
“I know why they can’t get another Sarah-Jane!”
“Why?” we asked, dozily.
“Because they’d have to go back and edit all the old episodes. And then they’d have to go into all the shops and change all the DVDs. And they’d have to go round everyone’s homes and take all the old DVDs and replace them with the ones with the new Sarah-Jane and people wouldn’t like that.”
I lay there imagining hordes of BBC meninblack swarming across the country re-writing television history in such an apocalyptic, Stalinist way and had to agree. People really wouldn’t like it. It sounded like something Michael Gove would come up with.
He also shared his notions about Anne Frank after catching glimpse of a book cover in a shop window.
“Oh look! Anne Frank!”
“Yes – do you know who she was?”
“What do you know?”
“Well, she hid from the Germans in Holland and they marched up and down outside her window in their big helmets with wings on.”
“What happened then?”
“Then she had to hide from them.”
I mentally begin to review the explanation of the Holocaust I’ve been saving for a moment like this.
“And then they caught her.”
“They caught her?”
“Yes. Someone betrayed her and the Germans, well, the Nazis, the German Nazis that is, took her away.”
I wondered if this was a good moment to explain concentration camps and the Nazis but dudelet interrupted.
“There’s another theory – I think she was standing by the window and they saw her.”
I think I’ll try and tackle it later. Is seven too young to explain genocide?