My brother and his girlfriend got engaged last week, so we had them over for Sunday lunch to celebrate. We had a good day together, and 5 year old C. enjoyed playing with all our trains. He had insisted on bringing a few of his Thomas the Tank toys for Duncan to play with, which was nice of him.
The children were watching a film now and then; something about real people and Warner Bros. cartoon characters playing basketball. Duncan was glued to the telly at one stage, watching as a man was squashed flat by a heavy character, after which a few cartoon animals put a pipe in his mouth and pumped him so full of air that he turned into a massive balloon and floated off. I commented on the funny man pretending to be a balloon, and promptly forgot about it.
When I was trying to get Duncan settled that night, he kept talking about getting 'blown up'; 'Duncan not blown up, Duncan will be fine, be small boy.' At first, I associated those words with bombs, and wondered what on earth he had seen! It took me a while to realise he was still thinking about the film. I reassured him that he was fine, he would not be blown up like a balloon, he would stay small, that Mummy would look after him. I talked again about the man in the film, and how he pretended to puff up, he was a funny man, playing and pretending.
We have gone over these facts a few times since then, and have explicitly explained how each individual in the family was safe from the threat of being pumped full of air.
It's surprised me before, what the children have been worried by or frightened of in their videos. Lady used to be terrified of the opening scenes of 'Brum.' The kindly old engineer freaked her out for some reason. She used to go and sit quietly on the stairs when something she wasn't comfortable with was onscreen. It's harder to remember what Thomas was scared off, since he never was as sensitive as the other two. He didn't like the lion and the bear on the Teletubbies much though, and who'd blame him, the bear was voiced by the intimidating Penelope Keith!