Saturday, February 2, 2013

Parent fail ... or not

Seeing all that Beatles merchandise in Vegas reminded me that "The Yellow Submarine" had been released on Blu-ray a few months back, all remastered and everything, and I still didn't own a copy. I quickly rectified that.

Kiddo was with me when I got it, since we were on our way back from Trader Joe's (not the most enjoyable trip; he wandered off just a bit too long for my comfort, to the point where I ditched the cart and started roaming the aisles looking for him, and whined about not seeing the lobster -- aka the giant stuffed lobster the employees hide in the store for kids to find -- until I told him I didn't want to hear the word "lobster" anymore). Also on display at the bookstore: giant plush Yellow Submarines and Blue Meanies. Where was this stuff when I was a kid?

Kiddo was also intrigued, to the point where I thought maybe he was actually ready to see the movie. He's already gone through "The Lion King" and "How to Train Your Dragon" without a problem, and characters either die or come close to dying in those. No one dies in "Yellow Submarine." They just turn gray and sad until the Beatles come and sing to everyone and bring all the colors back. Yes, that's really the plot.

Shortly after we started the movie, I realized I had made a mistake. I forgot how trippy the images are, and that some of the Blue Meanies have guns (in their shoes, no less), and others drop giant apples on people's heads. So when the Blue Meanie army came storming into Pepperland, kiddo was terrified. He was half-hiding under his blanket on the couch. I considered turning the movie off, but thought that might be worse than letting him see the happy ending. If all he saw was the scary beginning, isn't that a definite for nightmares?

Anyway he did like the ending, and he already knew some of the songs ("Yellow Submarine" and "All Together Now," specifically, which I sing to the kids regularly), so he liked hearing them. And then after the movie, when I was putting him to bed, he told me he didn't want to see the movie again, and that he was afraid he'd have nightmares. Argh. I said if he saw any Blue Meanies, he should sing to them, and he should dream that I was there singing with him. If he did have nightmares, he didn't remember them the next morning, so that's a plus.

I'd been beating myself up about the whole thing, pushing him to watch a movie he clearly wasn't ready for. And then he started requesting I sing "When I'm Sixty-Four" to him, because he liked the scene where the submarine sailed through the Sea of Time and everyone started growing beards. And then he launched into "All Together Now" all by himself, and I joined in. And then my parents brought a small music box that plays "Yellow Submarine" -- from the Morris Museum, of course we already had one -- and each kid claimed one and ran around the house playing "Yellow Submarine" in tiny stereo.

And then, kiddo put his gloves on yesterday and realized he could make his hand look like the evil flying pointing glove in the movie, and he was delighted. So delighted he showed his teacher, who was clearly puzzled, and I had to explain to kiddo that not everyone has seen the movie. Then I took a closer look at his hand and gently corrected him. "Not that finger, sweetie. The glove points with this finger."

If I got a note home on that, I don't even know how I would explain it to the school. "No, he wasn't being obscene! He was being the giant scary glove that tries to pound the Beatles!"

Anyway I guess showing him the movie wasn't a total mistake after all. The occasional scare probably won't scar him for life. And it's nice to be able to share the things I love with my kids.

Next up: "Star Wars"!

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