Wednesday, December 5, 2012


We have pretty strict screen regulations. There's no tv, and the children are supposed to be nine before they start watching movies. We were more relaxed in other people's houses, but even this has not been an issue since we moved to Vermont.

This worked fine for Ezra. He was delighted when he hit nine and got to watch a movie about once a month with me and Jason. Phaedra was just shy of nine and happy to get to join us. The problem is that that left Sylvie, the only one to not get to participate in what had become a family thing. This felt wrong, so when we took Ezra and Phaedra to see a movie in a theater last year (The Muppets), it seemed only right to take Sylvie with us. And when Jason was taking the older two to see The Sound of Music, Sylvie also got to go.

You see that the genie is now fully out of the bottle. While we've resisted somewhat, we have also made an occasional exception. We watched Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, one of our favorite oldies, and she fretted that Cary Grant and Mirna Loy would divorce. When the older two wanted to see Monsters, Inc. while Jason and I were going on a date, we let Sylvie watch it with them. She cried; apparently her wails drowned out the last few minutes of the movie. We were naturally reluctant when the older two were planning another movie when Jason and I would be away. However, Ezra said they would watch Up and they would comfort Sylvie if she got too sad and that it really was only fair to let her watch it and they would warn her about the sad parts and please couldn't she just watch it with them. We relented; while she tried to stifle her cries and she definitely said she enjoyed the movie, there was still an inordinate amount of tears. So, no more movies.

Advent started this week. One of our traditions is to watch particular movies during December. Jason and I always watch Hudsucker Proxy, and we're looking forward to showing it to Ezra and Phaedra for the first time. We also decided to show them Philadelphia Story. Sylvie heard these plans and got very sad to be excluded.

We talked about it and decided she might really enjoy Babe and Mary Poppins. Both are pretty happy movies, Babe in particular. As a matter of fact, once I thought about how much she would like Babe, we decided to show it to her right away. Remember that part at the beginning when they take all the mothers away in that confinement operation? Well, she started crying then, and pretty much cried for the rest of the movie. She just couldn't believe they fed the piglets with those metal feeders and she couldn't believe that Farmer Hoggett would think that Babe would kill Ma and ... You get the idea.

This past weekend, we watched Mary Poppins. It's a musical, so we knew she would enjoy that part. And she did. She also liked the children and the animation and the bit of magic. She only cried the last few minutes when Mary Poppins is leaving. I understand that; I even tear up a bit. However, she gets SOOO upset, that I think it's too much for her little heart. Still, she wants to be included in at least one more Advent movie. We've chosen to show her either What's Up Doc or Bringing Up Baby, but we are looking for the pitfalls in each. She gets so worried about what sad thing will happen that she doesn't really enjoy the funny parts.

I think we should have held off until nine.

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