The Education Of Tiny-Small: Watching Scary Movies

We are watching the cartoon movie version of The Secret Of Nimh right now as I type this. Have I mentioned I loved this movie when I was a kid? Have I mentioned I had a friend named Jeremy in the fourth grade that reminded me of the big crow in the movie who is also named Jeremy? I mean, my friend wasn’t bird-like or clumsy or anything. He and the bird just shared the same name, which made them practically identical in my fourth grade brain.

I was also convinced I would grow up to marry Jonathon the rat. Of course, that was only if Han Solo was already married by the time I grew up (which I am pretty sure did happen). I mean, Harrison Ford was already an adult when I was just a small child. In full disclosure, Harrison Ford was my virtual boyfriend in the fourth grade, long before virtual even existed, or at least, back then, we just referred to it as “in my imagination.” I guess you could say I had a thing for older men…and possibly for rats.

Anyway, as I was saying, we are watching the movie for probably the 30th time. I am thinking maybe we should have commemorated this moment with a party or something. Watching a kids movie 30 times seems like it should be recognized and awarded in some way. Instead, Tiny-Small is drinking milk and screaming what I imagine are mispronounced swear words at the mean cat and the mean owl. She yells at the tractor when it comes to destroy sick Timothy’s home. She yells at the TV screen and fake cries when sick Timothy is so sick he can barely take his medicine. It’s like she’s watching football, only better.

The movies that teach my daughter life lessons about mean people, dragons, and dangerous cats…all of the important things.

It’s occurred to me that while other people are allowing their 2.5 year old children to watch pleasant things on TV like Barney and Sesame Street, I am introducing my daughter to violence and villains. Her favorite movies are pretty scary. She loves The Wizard Of Oz, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Shrek, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. There are witches and mean men and murderous foxes at every turn. It’s pretty horrific what I have subjected my daughter to. I think I am forcing her to relive my own childhood with me. I know there must be newer, more politically correct, age appropriate movies out there, but they just seem so boring. I don’t recognize the titles and they don’t seem to ever be in the $5 movie bin at Wal-Mart.

The other day when my mom and I went to Wal-Mart looking for some flannel, so she could finish a baby blanket, I was rummaging through the $5 movie bin and found The Dark Crystal. It was like hitting the “This is your life, Lillian Connelly” jackpot. I LOVED that movie as a child. I turned to display it with triumph, holding it in my hands like a trophy (like that monkey held up Simba in the The Lion King). My mother just scowled at me. Then this happened:

Mom: You aren’t going to get that, are you?

Me: I was thinking about it (Inside I was screaming: Yes! OF COURSE  I AM!)

Mom: You can’t let Tiny-Small watch that. It’s too scary. It still gives me the creeps and I am a grown up. Those puppets are really creepy and weird.

Me: Oh, I didn’t think about that. I guess the puppets are pretty creepy.

I put the movie back into the bin. I finally took the parental high road. There will be no more creepy puppets in my daughters future until she is old enough to not be scared, which, judging from my mother’s response, might mean not until after she is in her mid to late 50’s. Sure, I could have bought the movie for a discounted $5’s and owned it like I always wanted to as a child, but at what price? I’m already on the path to buying future mental health professionals a boat or possibly a yacht. I am sure Tiny-Small will be in therapy for years because I let her watch all of the scary movies at such a young age and I let her eat at McDonald’s. I think by leaving The Dark Crystal in that $5 bin I may have just gotten out of paying for that European vacation her imaginary, future therapist has probably been planning in his or her own mind for years and years now. Tiny-Small has gotten quite a cultural education through the TV, especially for a child who wasn’t supposed to watch any TV until after she turned three. It’s funny how things turn out sometimes, isn’t it?

20 thoughts on “The Education Of Tiny-Small: Watching Scary Movies”

  1. The Muppets Take Manhattan is my favorite Muppet movie. Probably because it was the only Muppet movie my parents pirated off TV using our betamax VCR. You gotta get Tiny-Small some Mary Poppins though. Jumping into a chalk painting and being waited on by animated penguins is the greatest thing ever. EVER.

    1. I do need to get Mary Poppins. She needs to learn some new songs! She has Annie and The Wizard of Oz down. Now we have to get her educated on Julie Andrews.

    1. This sounds like the perfect recipe for creating zombie children. Pretty soon I’ll be able to throw in some video games for good measure. I truly hoped to be the perfect parent, but have quickly given in to the “I’ll do anything to make it” parental hysteria movement.

    1. “It builds character” is my new catch phrase. I pull it out to explain all of my parenting decisions. Who can argue with that one, right?

  2. I love The Dark Crystal. I was hoping you had run back to snatch it up! TV is something I feel conflicted about. I had delusions of not allowing Jehryn to watch it for the first few years. I even feel guilty sometimes when we have Sesame Street on. But I am changing my perspective. Yes all things in moderation but—-this is art, too. Especially the creepy puppet stuff. 🙂

    1. I hid the Dark Crystal at the bottom of the bin just in case. I may go back and get it. Just because I buy it doesn’t mean she has to watch it right now…we can save it for later. I feel guilty that my daughter watches TV too. Sometimes I just have to get something done and it’s a distraction that gives me some time to do things. Sesame Street has helped my daughter learn to count (a little) and she knows some colors and sings the ABC’s too. She may have learned those things from us, but the repetition of Sesame Street seems to help too. I don’t think it’s all bad. I am big on moderation too.

  3. There is no way you were going to marry Hans Solo. He was mine. All mine. We watched The Sandlot (one of the best movies ever!) with the kids a few years ago and realized that many things were acceptable back then that are just plain no-nos these days. I can’t wait to watch Goonies and Grease and all the other movies I loved. For now, yes, you must get Mary Poppins.

    1. Goonies has some really bad subtitles in the beginning if I remember correctly…haha! I forgot about that movie. I can’t remember anything bad about Sandlot. It’s funny what you forget about. We watched The Little Rascals and I thought it was pretty bad too. I am a Grease fan. I loved that movie and still do. I even have the soundtrack.

    1. Sometimes I forget how old these movies are. It seems like they just came out, but then when I look at the year on the DVD cover I am shocked. I mean, I was a kid 30 years ago. Holy cow, right?

  4. My kid got scared watching the Lion King and it was then that I realized how many dark characters/concepts are in so many kid movies. But she loves Mary Poppins, and I’m down with that because I love it too. We’re a singing and dancing type of crew. In other words, you probably don’t ever want to watch a movie with us.

    1. We dance and sing too. Unfortunately none of us can carry a tune or a note and I am probably the worlds worst dancer. I can’t imagine your family being any worse than mine when it comes to movie watching!

  5. We bought one of the original superman tv cartoons for man-child, thinking PG in the 40s had to be like -G now right? Omg no, it was ridiculously not politically correct lol. On the back of the movie it said “not suitable for children”. Would have been nice to notice beforehand!

    1. Haha!I love that it actually said, “Not suitable for children.” That is crazy. Some of the things we grew up watching were really bad I guess. No wonder we’re all a little weird. Well, I can only speak for myself. I am totally blaming my weirdness on Superman.

  6. Kids need to toughen up! You know how great those movies were when you were a child…that’s why you want to buy them for your daughter now… There’s too much political-correctness out there which is destroying today’s youth… haha!! I’m sure when she’s your age she’ll be searching for those same titles for her kids because she had great memories of her childhood. 🙂

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