You know that list of stuff you say you will never do when you become a parent?
And then totally do?
Yeah. That list just keeps getting longer and longer over here.
Moment of realization?
We were on vacation over Christmas in Hawaii and out shopping when my 3-year-old found some zombie finger puppets that we just had to buy.
Mine is the one of the right – which is clearly a woman. Because, well, boobs. My 6-year-old got the monster on the left because PINK!!!! My youngest? She owns the puppet in the middle that is now, in case you didn’t notice, missing its brain … because she, um, … ate it.
Combine this with my eldest daughter’s appreciation that Baby should never be put in the corner, and we’ve had a couple of months of interesting television together.
It started here, innocently enough, with Strange Magic.
It’s a fairy musical my eldest fell in love with on Netflix that features the fairies singing their tale to various popular songs.
So my girls now routinely hear songs on the radio and, with authority, inform me that they are songs from Strange Magic.
In the instance of Love is Strange, I simply couldn’t take it.
Because THAT song isn’t from Strange Magic.
It’s from Dirty Dancing. Dammit.
So I put the film in one night to show them the song as I forever see/hear it in my head….
… because somehow in my mind Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey crawling toward each other on the floor was … the, um, more TRUE art form.
Both girls like dance, so we quickly watched all the dance scenes and then, well, the movie.
It was a moment I’d looked forward to sharing with my girls.
I just sort of thought they’d be older when it happened.
For what it’s worth, the whole “we’re learning to dance because Penny needs an abortion and that’s why Robbie is a jerk” plot was totally missed.
Because …. DANCING! Like THIS:
But I bet you are wondering how we got to zombies, right?
That would be my 3-year-old’s insomnia.
She went through a stint this fall where she simply refused to sleep.
At the same time I’d (finally) discovered The Walking Dead and was busy binge watching once the kids were asleep.
Except my youngest wasn’t sleeping and had suddenly carved out the window post older-sis in bed until 10:00pm as SNUGGLE WITH MOM TIME!!!!
Considering I put them down for 8:00 banking on two hours to, well, in this case watch The Walking Dead, before crashing myself, I firmly considered the TV MY LAND post 8:00pm.
And so, despite early efforts to be the good mom here, it came to be that my 3-yr-old, refusing to sleep, snuggled up and now has a working knowledge of zombies.
I give you the Honest Trailer version in part because I couldn’t stop laughing and in part because beyond the required discussion about make-believe vs real life and that it’s okay to close your eyes/there is nothing real here that can hurt you, it’s on par with the sort of questions my 3-yr-old had about the show.
She dosed through much of it and doesn’t seem any the worse for wear but I get that this wasn’t a best parenting practice.
I’d love to call stop here, but by this stage? Really, why? I think it will be therapeutic for the judgemental among us to pull this post up in future from the weeds of the Internet when trying to determine exactly when it all went wrong.
So, we also recently went on vacation to Hawaii and the condo we rented offered a collection of action/adventure DVDs.
Many of which I loved! So we settled in every evening for action/adventure movie night.
They both greatly enjoyed Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom:
They loved the adventure of it all – but the kid side-kick was an added bonus that they certainly asked a lot of questions about.
After Temple of Doom and a perusal of what was available, our next choice was: The Mummy!
Both this and the awful sequel. I love the idea of discovery and curiosity and adventure that movies like this breed. And Egypt. Let my children dream of mysteries and discoveries.
But the movie that my 3-year-old adored and demanded to watch on repeat?
It’s the BATMAN! My 3-year-old was Batgirl for Halloween. She saw the case, she asked, I agreed:
And while I love Heath Ledger (RIP) in this role, I can’t help mainly remembering him like this:
But that’s beside the point (and another obvious future “educational” movie night!). This is about what they watch and when/if to say no. In all these cases, we had some good discussions about what’s real and pretend and why certain characters did what they did. I do know I probably should have held firm, sucked it up and turned off the zombies. Or marched my 3-year-old back to bed and dealt with the waterworks. But, I also think them understanding that there are some hours in the day that aren’t about them is good too.
Oh! And as far as Batman goes? Rather like the Strange Magic moment that started this whole thing, I also had her watch Batman as I remember it:
Tim Burton forever.
What about you? What are the big “rules” you had prior to parenting that you have since broken? Have you had some fun or somewhat cringe-worthy sharing moments with your kids and movies and television?