When we arrived at day care today, I put Pringles in the Ergo carrier so my hands would be free to help Viva out of the car and into school. While I buckled up and tucked my back fat back in, Viva frowned and said, “Mommy, I’m sad.”
“Why are you sad, sweetie?”
“Because I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay home with you.”
Awww, isn’t that adorable? Only it isn’t me she wants to stay home with. It’s Nemo.
Since Viva outgrew the sleep-all-the-time newborn phase, I have been anxiously awaiting the day when she would start watching movies with me. Family Movie Night has been a dream of ours for almost two years. We had a few false starts. Many months ago, we sat down with our movie treats to watch “Tinkerbell.” I’d shown Viva the trailer on YouTube, and she had pronounced her decision: “I want that one.”
Five minutes in, two male characters appeared, and Viva tiptoed away from the couch to the side of the TV, pinching her belly button. Classic Viva fear body language. “I don’t like that one. I want ‘Pokoyo’.”
Another time, I got a copy of “Tangled.” The opening scene has a woman with scary eyes looking at a flower. No go.
“Madagascar 2.” Or maybe three. The opening scene had some kind of mammal scurrying around in fallen leaves. Oh. The. Horror.
Our trip to the aquarium last week paved the road for her first viewing of “Finding Nemo.” Every kid who approaches the tank full of clown fish at the aquarium cries out, “Nemo!” Viva is susceptible to peer influence now, for good and ill. She can be talked into things because her friends do it (like sitting on the toilet), but she also chews up her food and sticks her tongue out at us because her buddy Barb does it and she worships Barb. Why do they never worship the kid who sits and does math in a corner? Or who is inexhaustibly well-mannered.
“Meredith always says please AND thank you, Mommy.”
Nope, it’s always, “Look what Henrik showed me!” as she jumps off the roof of the house.
I fast-forwarded the pre-credits cold open where Nemo’s mother and all of her unborn babies are eaten by a barracuda. Jesus Christ, Disney. It’s always like this with you. I realize your intent is probably to explore childen’s greatest fear in order to effect a catharsis, but enough dead mothers already.
I haven’t watched this movie in years. This weekend, I think we watched it five times. The moment she got home from day care today, “I want Nemo” was on her lips.
Be careful what you wish for. “I can’t wait until she’s old enough to watch ‘Finding Nemo’ with me” has become. “Oh, for fuck’s sake. AGAIN?!”
Just keep watching. Just keep watching. Watching, watching, watching. Watching. Watching.
Ahhh, welcome to my world…Again and again.
This obsession with Nemo might not end soon. My daughters (16 and 10) still love that movie and quote from it regularly. It could be worse. When my oldest was two, we had to watch Barney over and over and OVER again. I cringe just thinking about it. I would gladly have watched his mother, friends and him get eaten by a barracuda.
Oh, it could be so much worse. If Viva and Pringles love Pixar and Dreamworks, we are in for a happy life.
Are you saying it didn’t seem to bother her? That movie is the best. My boys are teens and age 11 now but that is such a fave. So many animated movies I would have not seen if we had no kids. When mine were tiny they loved A Bug’s Life. Check it out.
My 4 yr old boy loves A Bug’s Life!
I just found your blog and love it! I was looking forward to watching movies with my daughter too, but now that she is old enough for that, I use the time when she watches TV to do household work. It’s sad, but at least it buys me an extra half an hour of sleep.
P.S. Sorry if I make any mistakes, I am not a native speaker of English. Off to subscribe to your blog!
I am so glad that you are watching movies with Viva instead of skipping through the woods and crafting and baking cookies and such. Kinship! I just finished writing about how cool it is that my two year old will watch a movie with me and actually shows signs of character empathy at just the right moments. And then I felt guilty momentarily, because, you know what the AAP says and all that jazz, and some mommies are out doing a variety of things to foster development (see aforementioned “appropriate activities to admit to”) and I am parked in front of the TV in my jammies. All. Day. Long. And I am not even bothering working on potty training today. The horrors!
I’m a teacher, too, but a midnight toddler vomiting episode has me hopelessly committed to watching Disney movies today, and I’ll be darned if S’s eyes didn’t fill with tears at the heartstring-pulling part of Bolt. I think it’s the music, but who knows? I am loving our family movie time way too much, but that is ok. Heck, I have two very bright teenagers to prove it (let’s not discuss how much screen time they had).
Not that it matters, but I am a long time reader. I won’t admit publicly how I found your blog, but let’s just say I was going though a horrid period of feeling really inferior and craptastic at parenting because I wasn’t capturing every picture-perfect moment and my birthday parties don’t look anything like they should be in a magazine. On one of those really bad days of postpartum self-loathing, I found your blog. And I find it eerily ironic that I came here specifically to subscribe, and your writing is once again making me feel like someone gets it.
So, on to subscribing. Enjoy Nemo for the 3,456th time. You deserve it. In a good way!
We are dealing with the same obsession in our house as well, only it’s known as “Demo.” We also seem to have a fear of dark places now and stupid me for not thinking of skipping that horrible beginning. We just focus on Nemo’s daddy and say “Nemo’s daddy is sad, but look, he’s saving Nemo!”
I discovered that on the DVD, if I go to “chapter selection” and pick “Main Titles” I miss the inevitable Disney mother death.
Try getting her to watch “Babe” -if you already haven’t. I never got sick of watching that movie when my son was little.
I love James Cromwell. He stole my heart completely with Babe, and even more so when he was on “Six Feet Under.” His speech at Nate’s funeral brought me to tears. He said all of the right things.