Since Annie is only three there are some things that are too complicated to explain to her, so I give her the “sorta, kinda, not really” version. For example, when she asked me where James came from I told her that “Mommy and I made him.” That’s true in a vague sort of way, or at least it was until she said, “You mean like with paper and tape?” and I replied “Exactly like that.”
Another thing I gave Annie the “sorta, kinda, not really” answer about is The Beatles. I’m a huge Beatles fan, as you probably know, and play a lot of Beatles’ music and videos around the house. Annie has become a fan too (her favorite songs are “Yellow Submarine” and “Your Mother Should Know”), and she especially likes Ringo because he plays the drums. One day Annie told me she wants to see them in concert, and since I didn’t want to be a total downer and explain that they haven’t been a band for forty-three years (and two of the members have passed on), I told her, “Me too!”
That wasn’t the biggest fib, but I dug myself in even deeper when Annie was looking through our wedding album and saw photos of the Beatles tribute band that performed at our reception.
“Dad!” Annie said all excited. “The Beatles were at your wedding!”
Instead of correcting her – and explaining the depressing truth about John and George and the break-up, and then explaining that there are bands that pretend to be other bands – I just said, “Uh, yeah! Isn’t that cool?”
The tribute act at our wedding.
I was pretty sure this Beatles’ house of cards I’d created was soon to tumble in on itself, though, now that Paul McCartney is out promoting his new album. He’s been on TV a lot (I even just went to see him in concert!), and though he’s very spry for his age, he looks a whole lot different than he did in his “Yeah, yeah, yeah” days.
Annie, however, didn’t seem to notice. Paul and his current band were performing on TV last night, and Annie said, “It’s The Beatles!”
I nodded, then watched Annie’s face for any sign that she was confused by Paul being fifty years older than she was used to. Amazingly, she didn’t seem fazed at all. We watched Paul and his current band sing another song or two until – suddenly – Annie jumped off the couch and pointed at the TV screen, alarmed.
“WHAT HAPPENED TO RINGO?!?!?!?!”
This is Abe, Paul’s current drummer:
And this, of course, is Ringo:
There’s a slight difference, don’t you think?
Annie may have been able to accept The Beatles were at our wedding and that Paul aged fifty years over night, but this was too much.
“Actually, Ringo’s out sick today,” I covered. “He has a cold. This guy is just filling in.”
Annie accepted this and went back to watching the concert. Phew. I’ve bought myself a little time before I have to sit her down and explain about Santa, The Easter Bunny, and The Beatles.
OMG I almost fell out of my chair when I scrolled down to the picture of Paul’s drummer. I immediately knew that he wasn’t going to pass for Ringo. LOL!!
Aw…very cute. I loved Back to the Egg. Favorite song? Arrow Through Me…That velvety sound of “oooh baby, couldn’t a done a worse thing to me…” You should take her to see a Beatlemania…she’d probably love it. I did!!
I like your taste! Back to the Egg is an underrated gem! “Arrow Through Me” is probably my favorite off it, too, and we’re not alone. It’s been covered by a number of musicians!
I understand completely. I’m dreading the day I have to explain to my girl why we can’t go see Queen in concert even though we all love them.
I am still laughing! So what kind of disease is Ringo going to have when he ends up on perpetual sick leave?! This little fib is going to bite you hard ’cause the girl is going to remember Ringo. He was my fav, too, and he sorta stays with you!
Things you don’t expect to come out of a three year old’s mouth…”what happened to Ringo!” HA!!!! Love it.
Just curious, why won’t you tell her the truth about the Beatles being broken up?
I saw Paul in concert this summer and he is amazing. And his drummer is good too.
I could have tried to explain it all to her, and if she were a little older I would have, but at three it’s a bit complicated for a lot of reasons. Right now The Beatles are a fun, uncomplicated thing for her like The Fresh Beat Band and Imagination Movers, but if I tried to explain they’d become less simple and fun, I think. She’d probably want to know why they didn’t want to play together anymore (and stress about that), and she’d also not love the idea they’re not a real band anymore, but from the past. Right now I just like seeing her untarnished enthusiasm for my favorite band! I’ll explain in time, though.
Cool, thanks for taking the time to reply. I think it’s awesome that The Beatles are still so influential in 2013 and can charm three year olds.
I, too, am a Beatles (and Ringo) fan (that’s what happens with a name like Michelle) and laughed out loud at your description of Annie’s reaction to “Ringo”. Can’t get anything past her!
Just be prepared for the fall-out from when one of her preschool buddies (or parents) tells her the truth about the Beatles. I do think kids can handle age appropriate truth. In this case, regarding Paul’s new band mates, I’d say something like, they wanted to try something new, making music with some different friends and then play her some songs from Wings or the Traveling Wilburys. As for your wedding band, isn’t it cool there are people that like the Beatles so much that they “practice” being them? (And not to mention the truth is always easier to remember.)
That child is brilliant!
Tell her Ringo met a really bad plastic surgeon and, well, that’s what happens when you have really bad plastic surgery!