Paavo, cigarettes, and The Rolling Stones

For at least a year, my 4-year-old son Paavo has been fascinated and curious about cigarettes. Whenever he sees someone smoking, he gets very serious, points the person out to me, and then asks me questions about smoking for at least an hour. When he sees cigarette butts discarded on the sidewalk, he gets very disturbed. He cannot fathom why anyone would choose to smoke if they know that smoking is bad for them. And he can't understand addiction...he doesn't get that for some people, it's almost impossible to quit.

When I fold laundry in our basement playroom (sometimes for hours a day!), I like to put music/concert videos on TV to have something to watch as I fold. Paavo enjoys concert videos, and always learns the names of each musician, and what instrument they play. We've watched a bunch of music DVDs...Tom Petty, Crowded House, Genesis, Telluride Folk Festival, and many more .

A couple weeks ago I found a quadruple DVD of the Rolling Stones 2002 "Forty Licks" tour, so I've been slowly going through the nearly seven hours of footage as I match up dozens and dozens of pairs of tiny pink socks. Paavo is interested in the Stones, I think because they're so old, and their songs are good. Paavo's favorite Stones song is "It's Only Rock and Roll (but I like it)."

As we've watched the videos, Paavo is very concerned when Ron Wood and Keith Richards smoke cigarettes while on stage. We've also seen tour documentary footage of Mick Jagger's health and workout and nutrition you can imagine, Mick has to keep himself in ridiculously high levels of physical health, so he doesn't smoke. Charlie Watts (drums) doesn't smoke either. But Ronnie and Keith puff away unapologetically. Here are some questions I've been fielding for the past couple weeks, many many times a day.

+ Dad, why do Keith and Ronnie smoke?
+ Do they know that it's bad for them?
+ Why did Charlie and Mick quit smoking?
+ How come Keith and Ronnie can't quit?
+ How can Ronnie hold his cigarette and play his guitar at the same time?
+ What does Keith do with his cigarette when he's not holding it?

I could go on for days.

I guess it's either this topic, or Star Wars related stuff, like:

+ When Han and Luke took the Stormtrooper costumes, what were the Stormtrooper actors left wearing?
+ How can Yoda be so powerful, and be so small?


Lisa Miles said…
My 4-year old daughter does the same thing. When she sees someone smoking she says, in her loudest possible voice, (and accompanied by a look of total horror), "Mama, that person is smoking. They're going to DIE!" Don't you love how the 4-year olds embarrass you like that? :)
Joe Lindell said…
Erik has started doing this a bit, but not with smoking. More like latching on to something we said. For example, tonight, he was dissecting "Take me out to the ballgame," one of his favorite bedtime songs. "What are cracker jacks?" "Who is the batter?" Follow up questions, "Who is the pitcher?" "Who is the runner?" "What is 'you're out'?" etc. At this age, it's interesting (and sometimes annoying at the same time)to really see learning in progress.
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