Tag Archives: movies

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?

How Twilight Almost Made Me Barf (I Give Away The Ending)

It’s confession time. I read the entire Twilight series. I read the first book many new moons ago and seriously, it almost made me barf. I literally skipped entire pages devoted to people staring into each others eyes. I couldn’t take the nauseating details exclaiming the beauty of a completely insincere romance.

I
Tiny Small As The Vampire Baby.

 

Real romance is when your husband washes the dishes, cleans up the dog poop (so you don’t have to) and lets you sleep in an hour later because you stayed up all night with the baby. All of the lustful, eye staring made me cringe and want to set the book on fire. I guess, if you are a vampire and live for infinity, 30 pages devoted to googly-eyed staring passes by in the blink of an eye. For me, a mere mortal, reading all of that felt like an eternity. I could literally hear the seconds of my life ticking by with every romantic gesture and glance. Minutes I would never be able to get back. It was a miracle that I finished it at all. I didn’t read anymore of the series until recently when, even though I had sworn on a grave or two that I would never ever read another Twilight book, I read the rest of the series all in one week. What broke down my resolve? I can only blame Jim because, as it turns out, I usually blame him for everything anyway. Seriously though, this time it really is his fault. I started reading the books again after Jim told me that people were having seizures in the movie theater when the vampire baby was born. Vampire baby? Wait…what?!

Rumples: Vampire Dog.

 

So, I trotted down to the library and checked out the rest of the books and to tell the truth each one got less sappy and more interesting than the previous one and by the end of the last book I was a little sorry it was all over. Only a little sorry though. I want that on the record! Having said something nice, now I have to scream, “Vampire BABY!!?? Come on!” Vampire’s can’t have babies. They are dead. Dead people don’t have babies. It’s like the author never read up on vampire lore or something. It’s like she never explored the not-so-secret manual to the undead. It’s like she got her super-human, mythical creature villans mixed up or something. Even though I would like to continue ranting with all of my vampire-nerd outrage, I have yet another confession to make.

Rosie. We Should Have Named Her Fangs.

 

When my daughter was born I called her my little “milk-vampire” because she sure acted like one. There were certainly days where I felt like a vampire victim. Even now, when she gets really frustrated, she will turn and bite something. She’s gnawed on her highchair, the table and a few stuffed animals more times than I count. I was bitten more than once myself, but I never turned into a milk-vampire or an ordinary vampire or a hybrid vampire.

 

In another weird coincidence I was attacked by our cat, Mik-Mok, vampire style, but I never turned into a werecat either. It seems I have some natural immunity to all creatures of the night time or daytime for that matter. The books did get me wondering about why so many people (and animal) in my family have vampire-esque tendencies though. It would certainly explain the desire to stay awake all night. The long naps during the day. My daughter’s aversion to vegetables and her love of the color red. It would explain why Mik-Mok is always killing mice instead of humans (she’s obviously a vegetarian type) and why my husband is always feeding me large quantities of garlic. I think he knows something that he’s not telling me.

Mik-Mok

He can keep his secrets. As long as he doesn’t force me to stare into his eyes for long periods each day I think we’ll be OK. We can make this work as long as Mik-Mok doesn’t lose control of herself…at least not again.

P.S. I’m totally Team Werewolf. How about you?

 

Dorothy, I Don’t Think We’re In Kansas Anymore: Or, How Toto Took Center Stage And Dorothy Became A Washed Up Has Been

For my daughter, “The Wizard of Oz” is not a movie about a little girl. It’s a movie about a little black dog that goes over the rainbow and encounters a couple of witches, a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion. Throughout the movie the little dog tries to have fun and enjoy himself, but a little girl in a blue dress keeps picking him up, putting him in mortal danger, and basically doing everything she can to ruin his little canine vacation.

Shortly after renting the movie from the library it was clear that my daughter was in love. She was enthralled by the magical land she observed on the TV screen. I was feeling a little nostalgic for my own childhood so this made me smile a bit. Actually, it made me ecstatically happy and turned me into a goofy, giggling mother with very definite plans. I imagined my family dressing up as character’s from the movie. My daughter could be the lion, I could be the scarecrow, and Jim could be Dorothy. I even started looking for the costume pattern’s online. It was going to be a GREAT Halloween this year. Who could resist an adorable little lion and a bearded Dorothy? Then, in a fit of unbridled enthusiasm I went out and purchased the movie AND little, ruby red slippers for my daughter to wear. I mistakenly thought she identified with Dorothy, but I should have known better. Soon it would be very clear which character had earned her loyalty and utter devotion.

At first we didn’t know what she wanted. She kept asking for “Arf-Arf” and we thought she wanted her little, red dog. We handed it to her repeatedly and watched her bow to the ground in frustration. With all the fits thrown over this miscommunication we started trying to put the clues together. She was pointing to the TV and saying, “T. Arf-Arf?” Finally the wizard gave me a brain and some courage so I got her three videos down from the TV cabinet: Elmo, Oz and Pooh and asked her, “Which one is Arf-Arf?” That’s when she pointed to “The Wizard of Oz” and began smiling and clapping with excitement. I told her the name of the movie and she nodded very seriously in approval and said, “Boz. Arf-Arf.” That’s when I realized the movie was, for her, all about the dog.
To each her own I guess. I am just praying I can find a Toto costume pattern before next Halloween. I can just picture Jim dressed up like Dorothy walking our dog-daughter down the road while I, dressed up as the scarecrow, fall all over myself and toss moldy hay into the wind.