I love movies. And not just Rom-Coms or something found on Lifetime...although last week...Wait! I digress. Everyone in our house loves movies, especially mystery, intrigue, action. A thriller on the edge of your seat, the who-dun-it? SIGN. ME. UP.
Now, don't get the wrong idea. Television is very limited in our house. We only watch it together as a family. I don't use it as a babysitter for my kids (though I'm not being all high-and-mighty, I use to Nick Jr. the heck out of the twins to score a shower). It's just I don't want them wasting away in front of the tv when we could be outside practing baseball or riding bikes. So only on movie nights or lazy pajama weeken days.
Yet, my kids are addicted to one show. NCIS. Gibbs. DiNozo, Ziva, Ducky, Abs, McGee, Palmer. Yep. It's true. Now, don't call DCHS. It's harmless. In fact, they like Bones, Castle, Body of Proof and a few others. Seriously, put the phone down. DCHS is closed at this hour anyway.
The thing is...my kids think this is fiction. It is. But to six year olds, this is a completely made up organization with no chance of being real. They like it because their step-daddy is a Marine, so they think the people on tv are dressing up like the military just like they do. No way these are real people doing real things. They think they are real marines about as much as they are marines themselves.
But here's the kicker....they think cartoons are REAL. Yes, nonfiction. Reality, even. Yep, it's a nail-biter everytime Mickey is faced with a challenge. Is Dora going to outsmart that Swipper once again? Will Snow White wake up from that apple? (side note: my daughter refused to eat apples for a couple of years because she thought the same thing would happen to her, no lie. I wish there was a picture of my face the day she explained why she hated apples.)
It's so serious that my kids don't want to go watch a new movie when it comes out. Hey, no skin off my back. I can save some serious dough by waiting to Redbox it for $1.21 instead of 4 people at the movies with snacks. So, I humor them.
Last week, we decided to watch Finding Nemo. Sweet Nemo with that crazy Dory. Oh, how I heart me some Dory. (I tend to hug and tickle the kids and call them my "Squishy"). She is just good fun. As the movie progressed, the kids freaked out at the sharks and the weird fish with the light and the crazy teeth. (Now that I think of it, this would be kick-ass in 3D, except for the piercing screams of my kids). My kids are hiding under the covers, covering their eyes with their hands, and asking "Is it over, Mom? Is it? Is it?" So, we reassured them that it was a cartoon, since fish don't talk or sing, etc. That seemed to help, but then Dory starting speaking Whale, and the kids were all, "Hey, Mom, maybe fish do talk and sing, but you just don't speak their language. Can you speak Whale?" (Oh, you know I did!) Then they asked if I spoke Clown Fish and Doryfish. Ugh, mental head slap. good job Dory, even my kids think I'm full of it now.
After the "fun" was over, Nemo was safe at home with his dad, and all was right in the cartoon world, I had to ask. How could they watch NCIS and not be scared, but Nemo freaked them out?
Bear answered: Mom, NCIS is just gross, not scary. But it's just pretend. But, Mom.....Nemo? That's terrible. Every time I watch it I just worry and panic that he isn't going to make it home.
EVERY. TIME. Lightbulb! They don't realize that a DVD doesn't change, that it isn't an episode with a different ending.
Oh my goodness....they are watching NCIS to see how gross and disgusting it can be (and Lola thinks Gibbs is cute. Don't we all Sweetbaby.) But when something like Nemo is on...The Shit Just Got Real!
After what felt like talking myself in circles, we decided to take a break from cartoons and stick only with comedies....Zookeeper, Mr. Popper's Penguins, etc. And until they are ready for something more, I guess we'll just keep swimming.