Because I have three children I regularly hang out with other mothers of children. As such, my friends often quote lines from this movie or that movie. Only they are not quoting movies—not real movies anyway—they are quoting silly Disney animated movies and TV shows from Nickelodeon or PBS. I don’t know why, but I can hardly stand to watch any of that garbage. I thought most adults couldn’t stomach kiddie entertainment that was on the TV and really only used the TV as a babysitter—like I do. But apparently there are adults out there who watch children’s programming because they like it.
The worst of the bunch on PBS, in order of obnoxiousness, is: “Caillou”—the Canadian 4-year old brat that whines for everything. And couldn’t they pick a child to do the voice of Caillou instead of a grown woman? Who are they fooling! I forbid my children to watch this show. I tell them that Caillou is a brat and he whines way too much for a 4-year old. The other obnoxious show is “Dragon Tales”, although I do permit my children to watch this show. Ord, the giant dragon on this show, has the dumbest sounding voice. He is an oversized dragon and always reminds me of Shaquille O’neal. Not that I think Shaq has a dumb sounding voice—so it must be the size of the dragon that makes me think of Shaq. The third worst show on PBS, actually, this should be ranked higher--is “Between the Lions”. A bunch of weird puppets singing famous songs while teaching the short A sound is criminal. Oh man, I can’t grab the remote fast enough when that one comes on.
In August my mother-in-law was in town and took my kids to see “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory”. Thank goodness she came to my rescue! I had been stalling on that one. The movie had been out for a couple of months by then. I knew that going to see that movie would be sheer torture for two hours. I promised my kids earlier that year when we read the novel together (see, I am a good mom) that when the movie came out this summer we would go see it. Ugh. Thank goodness I was relieved of that parental duty. Wait a minute?! Since when is taking your kids to see movies a parental duty? I mean, come on, my parents only took me to see Popeye, Empire Strikes Back, Annie, and Return of the Jedi (in that order I think) when I was a kid. That’s it. We were so deprived. We waited until the movies came out on Laser Disc and then my dad bought them. Oh yea, my Tia (aunt) Olivia did take me to see E.T. (Curious—why did she take me? Was that because my mother too couldn’t stand the thought of going to see a movie with a shrively alien as the main character?) And while I’m on the E.T. note—my brother Mike and I didn’t want our other siblings to be jealous that we got to go see E.T. so we lied and told them that Tia Olivia was taking us to get our shots. They believed it for a while.
When I was in the fifth grade our school class had a movie day and we all got to go to the multi-purpose room and eat popcorn while watching “The Never-Ending Story.” I remember half way through the movie quietly tip-toeing to my teacher and asking, “When will this movie be over?” That movie is what nightmares are made of—oversized dogs flying through clouds. Puh-lease. Torture, torture, torture.
Earlier this year my friend Liz lent me “The Incredibles” so my kids could watch this on a Friday night and have popcorn. She told me that it was really good. I was skeptical. She knows how much I hate that kind of stuff. I told her I would give it a shot. I sat down with my kids and Paul to watch it and fifteen minutes into it was hooked. This was a cute story, I thought. I no longer had to make up the excuse that I had to go make the popcorn and sugary drink-ade to escape watching the show. I paused the movie and went to make the treats. This is a huge step for me. So I guess there is hope.