Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mom Censor

I don't know precisely how it happened but my son became obsessed with the 1984 movie, Gremlins. Well, he became obsessed with the idea of the movie, not the movie itself, because I wouldn't let him watch it.

The other day, he decided this was so oppressive BS.

"Mom, it's totally NOT scary," he insists.

"I don't know about that," I reply, "I remember it being very scary."

"But that's only because you were a wimp."

Which is not untrue.

"It's campy!" he persists.

The thing about having a nine year-old is they said stuff like this, stuff that leaves you wondering, "When did you learn that?" And then you remember that they have a life now, a life which includes a lot more than just you, with all sorts of various sources of incoming information and that thought is paralyzing.

"Just let me watch it first," I say, "To make sure there's nothing inappropriate."

"Like what?"

I wanted to tell him I'm not going to recite a list of all the possible content areas that would be unsuitable for his eyes, as that would defeat my purpose, which is to shelter and protect him, forever, from everything.

"Like geysers of blood,?" I tell him, "Primarily, I want to make sure it's not a blood bath."

He perpends for a moment. That's unusual these days. Now that he's an almost-tween, he's got an immediate answer for everything. But I can see he's trying to decide if he's in accordance with this criteria.

"Will you be looking for human or gremlin blood?" he finally asks.

"Only human blood," I assure him, "Gremlin bloodbaths are totally permissible."

He sighs: "Thank God."

And the epilogue is: I pre-screened the thing and as he'd assured me, it really wasn't that scary (I WAS a wimp, truly) and also, there was no human blood, only copious amount of gremlin blood which was totally unconcerning to me. I mean, it was kind of gross when the mom stuck the gremlin in the blender and green gremlin fluid splattered everywhere but that grossness, I'm guessing, is exactly what viewers like my son are tuning in for.

So I let him watch it and he loved every second of it. He decided that Terza is our own personal gremlin and has taught my toddler how to say such useful phrases as "Bye, Billy!" and "Light bright! Light bright!"

Clearly, it was an enriching experience for us all.