When your children gain access to the Netflix password they sometimes discover the unrated version of Anchorman 2.
Your daughter helps demonstrateÂ what a hoot this is byÂ reciting lines from the movie about sexually assaulting starfish and then watches your face because she is dying for you to react.
So you put on your best poker face and tell her you haven’t the foggiest idea what she is talking about and late at night watch the movie so you know what she is referring to.
When she tries to bait you by suggesting you don’t know what it means to sexually assault a starfish you turn it around by telling her you are sure she doesn’t know.
The smart girl says you are right and tells you she’ll ‘Google’ the answer and you work hard to maintain your ‘poker face’ and tell her you will check her browser history to make sure she isn’t searching for things she shouldn’t know about.
Later on while you consider the best approach to trying to prevent this from becoming a recurring issue you come across that Tennyson quote and wonder if you passed it along to the Shmata Queen but that doesn’t answer the initial question so you table it for the night and go to sleep.
The Best Part About Watching Inappropriate Movies
It is Monday night and the family has just returned from five days in New Jersey.
WeÂ bravedÂ the cold to help celebrate my niece’s Bat Mitzvah and to help buildÂ a deep and lasting bond between the first cousins.
Since my siblings and I don’t have any first cousins this has always been of great importance to us and we have always been pleased to see that the cousins genuinely like each other.
Their love friendship is good, but it doesn’t overcome the distance between coasts so when we are able to get together we try to give them lots of opportunities to spend time together because that is how moments turn into memories.
Sunday morning the kids asked to see a movie and I said sure. Since we were short on time and I wanted to what I could to help provide more moments for memories I agreed to join them in seeing The Wedding Ringer.
I was under the impression it was PG-13 and didn’t know it was rated R.
Had I known that I would have insisted we change movies. The eldest cousins would have complained (high school and middle schoolers) but I would have said too bad and reminded them they have younger siblings/cousins who don’t need to watch R rated movies yet.
Instead I learned the best part of about watching inappropriate movies with my kids, niece and nephews is that the young ones get an education in colorful language.
Mind you, they might have known some of these expressions but the movie helped clarify the exact meaning.
Can Tennyson Help?
My darling daughter’s comments are a stark reminder about how tools can be used for good orÂ bad. Part of me is proud of her for understanding she can use the internet to gain answers to her questions.
I want her and her brother to be independent and to learn how to figure things out for themselves. I want them to continue to love to learn and to feast upon knowledge.
But I would rather they try to to stick with things that are appropriate for their age group.
I am not going to use software to try to manage things because I don’t think it will be effective. I’ll just push them to find other resources.
Instead I’ll ask for their word and continue to monitor things and try to do a better job of not adding fuel to the fire. The whole starfish commentary was bad enough, now I have another handful of phrases to deal with.
I’d show her the Tennyson quote but she’d probably tell me she heard men use poetry to woo women (Dead Poet’s Society clips from Robin Williams’ death) and then lead in to a whole conversation about dating.
Not that I can’t talk to her about that. but hell it would be nice to have a daughter who is turning 11 act like 11.
On the other hand the cousins had a great time at the movie and hanging out in general so from one aspect things were a real success.
I suppose the real lesson here is that life doesn’t always reflect our expectations and desires the way we wish it would now does it because if it did I wouldn’t have my daughter the comedian busting my balls about sexually assaulting starfish.
Gah, I don’t think she really understands what it means, she just knows it is something that will get a reaction from her parents, at least I hope that is it.
southmainmuse January 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm
It is so darn hard to be a parent these days. Just a few hours ago, I had to insist my daughter and her male friend come down from her bedroom to watch a movie on the main TV downstairs. She complained that the reason they had to watch it upstairs was because the internet is not strong enough in the main TV room to have a constant stream from Netflix. Well, after a few minutes trying to watch World War Z turns out she was right. So what to do? She asked if they could walk downtown. I just said you need to take the dog and let them go. Can I just say, it is so flippin hard to be a parent these days.
The JackB January 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm
@southmainmuse:disqus There certainly are more things going on now than when we were kids. My daughter is only 10.5 so I haven’t had to deal with the male friend yet but I can see it coming. And I wouldn’t be surprised to hear similar comments/complaints about our internet connection.
There really are a million things going on and they definitely have access to all sorts of stuff we never did and they potentially can do it in private. It is hard sometimes.
Janine Huldie January 22, 2015 at 7:51 am
My 4 year old will say things all the time to get that reaction out of us and thank god she didn’t watch Anchorman 2, because sadly I could so see her quoting that starfish line in front of someone who wouldn’t think it was so funny, like my in-laws! 😉
The JackB January 22, 2015 at 9:04 am
@JanineHuldie:disqus Yeah it is always ‘better’ when they recite their lines in front of people who don’t appreciate them. Mine has done that a few times.