15 October 2005

merry-go-round psychoanalysis

it's the most gorgeous day ever today. literally. high 60s, clear, blue sky, slight breeze...Sam and I went down to the city centre to get Sam a haircut and have some lunch, wander around. it's our new-found Saturday thing, sometimes called a "weekend." very exciting.

and there's a French fair downtown--that's right, haricots verts, fromage, pain au chocolat, the whole thing. so we had a toulouse sausage (avec moutarde, s'il vous plait, natch) and sat by the merry-go-round watching kids go in circles. it was a small little thing, probably 8 vehicles on it--a double-decker bus, a fire truck, a mermaid ship, a motorcycle (from Australia with Florida plates--very confusing). and we mused on the reasons for its attractiveness to kids of a certain age. it's fascinating.

They all drive or pretend to drive, so there's something about independence there, and control, heightened by the fact that it's a bit confusing so there's a danger (not a real one, but nonetheless the scent of danger) of losing one's parent who's paid a quid to watch you go around in circles for 3 minutes.
And because of the spinning perhaps, they get to be alone, in charge of their lives and bodies, for that 3 minute span. and mom's approved of it. some kids would look for their mom each time around, others wouldn't respond when she'd yell at them to smile for the camera. they were in their own little world--truly on the motorbike or the top of the double-decker.
and then there were the ones who recognized that they were the object of jealousy. they would sit up straight, big smiles, knowingly lording it over the kids waiting for the next go-round.

once you're old enough to have more independence in your daily life, say once you start going to school at 5, I imagine these things become less exciting. less of a novelty. but it was fun to watch the ones for whom this was the best part of their day. sometimes I wish I could be as easily entertained. instead I demand well-written dialogue driving intelligent narrative and accompanied by brilliant directing. perhaps if I just tried the mermaid ship, everything would change....


Number Three said...

I don't know if it really takes that much to entertain, R. Watching kids on the merry-go-round sounds pretty entertaining, even blog-hand.

Ruth said...

OK, so maybe I'm not normal: I still love roundabouts -- although I prefer the ones that go at a slightly higher speed. And anything but horses -- horses are old hat. A giant rabbit, say. Or that double-decker bus.