A movie with a chance of an attention span.

by statia on April 13, 2010

I always was envious of my friend’s whose children would sit down and stare agape at the TV, watching a movie from start to finish.  Not that we watch a whole lot of TV, anyway, but there are those days, like when your kid is sick, or you’re stuck in a blizzard with no satellite signal, and all you want to do is pop on a movie, because you’re sick of every god damned episode of Yo Gabba Gabba, and if you have to hear the song “baby teeth” one more fucking time, you’re going to blow your brains out, or possibly blog about it in one entire paragraph long, run on sentence.   Like any other normal person would do in the 21st century.

The Mini was never into movies.  He would watch two shows, the aforementioned Yo Gabba Gabba, or Wonder Pets, and I think Anthony Bourdain could not have said it better when describing his loathe for that show:

Because my loathing for guinea-pig Linnie and turtle Tuck is exceeded only by my fervent hope that one of these days, the disgustingly cute duckling, “Ming-Ming” will get sucked into a lawnmower or a fan, ending her reign of terror over my household.

That about sums it up.  And don’t even get me started on WHY they would have a character with a speech impediment on a children’s show.   The whole thing just smacks of a stupid writer with a bad idea.   Thankfully, I don’t have to watch it that much anymore, as he’s outgrown it.  Now and then, he’ll ask, but overall, it’s maybe 2-3 showings a week, of the same YGG episode for a month straight.   It might not be frequent, but that shit sticks with you like butter in your arteries.

So the other night, when the babysitter told me that he told her “oh, you’re going to love Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  It’s my favorite.” I thought she was either making it up, or he was just repeating something we had said at one point or another, as his usual mode of conversational speech, which is, digging into his archives of memorized conversations and spouting them out, hoping that it fits with the subject matter.    He

But this afternoon, after school, he asked to watch the movie, and given the crappy weather,  and my backup of laundry, I popped it on and proceeded to sit there in amazement as he sat down and watched this movie intently.   And I sat, and watched, and watched, waiting for him to lose interest at some point 15 minutes in, and go off and play with his cars.   15 minutes passed, then 30, then 45, and he sat there, quietly watching.  I was so proud of him, that I actually served him lunch.  In front of the TV.   Something that happens usually only when Halley’s Comet is flying over earth.    I suppose I shouldn’t be so proud of him watching a stupid movie, but this is just another step towards him doing something that other typical kids do.   It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes or so, that he got bored and at that point, he came over, climbed into my lap, gave me a hug, and told me he loved me.    I’m sure he was buttering me up, because he knew it was time for a nap, but at that moment, he could have dumped a body into the East River, and I would have turned the other cheek.

Yesterday, while they were both quietly playing, I took the opportunity to catch my breath for a minute and read a few pages of a book.   My attention was caught by him sitting there, playing quietly, reciting lines of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog:

“You.  Are not, my nemesis.   My nemesis is…Matteo.”    He looked up, and caught me watching him, with a big smile.   I was amused, because not only did he remember the words, but he inserted the name of a kid who pushed him last summer. How many three year olds to you know that have that sort of memory and can use the word nemesis in correct context?

That boy is going to do amazing things when he grows up.


Beth April 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I’m now really, really scared of the day when my kid discovers television. Luckily we don’t have cable, so he won’t find much but still. That description made me shudder.

Shelly April 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I, too, often wish my kid would sit through an entire movie slack jaw and entranced. Hasn’t happened yet, which I know I should be glad for, but dude, there are days I’d pay for her to sit through a 1.5 hour movie.

Also – totally agreed about The Wonder Pets. That shit is awful and thankfully my kid has never been into it.

Lastly, any kid that quotes Dr. Horrible is an awesome, amazing kid!!!!

cathleen April 13, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I have no doubt he will do amazing things!!

Shannon April 17, 2010 at 3:12 am

That film is the business. I love it. The kids, not so much.

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