“Dada, The Monkey King is tied up!”
My son was updating me on the latest going-ons in the lives of his toys, and catastrophe was afoot. His beloved Monkey King had been captured and there was, he assured me, no escape. Even when I suggested that the other toys might come to the rescue, he shook his head. There was no way.
“They can’t save him,” he told me. “They’re too busy. They have to go to work.”
After work, he explained, his toys would have to clean the house and go shopping for groceries. They simply didn’t have the time in their busy schedules to rescue a suffering friend – and so they had no choice but to leave the Monkey King to die.
It was one of those moments in the life of a parent that are equal parts cute and soul-crushing. My son had been watching us and forming his idea of how the world worked – and he had accepted that people who work are so busy that they have to abandon their loved ones.