Monday, December 22, 2014

The kids have my number all right

After many years living under my care. my kids can pretty well anticipate my answer to a request. They know me, they know my criteria for things like video game usage and move selection. And they've gotten really skilled at pitching their requests to me.

This morning, Seconda asked if she could watch a movie called How To Build a Better Boy on Netflix. I've really cracked down on the content she watches because she's recently become obsessed with teen TV shows, much of which is filled with hideous sarcasm, toxic amounts of boy-craziness, nasty 'tudes and  reprehensible stereotypes. Did you get how strongly I feel about these tweeny shows? 

So when I heard the word "Boy" in the title, already I was skeptical. 

Sounds boy-crazy, is what I was thinking, like a mom circa 1952. Sometimes i think that the older my kids get, the more old-fashioned I get in my thinking. 

Seconda could tell she was losing ground so she moved right into the hard sell.

 "Oh, it doesn't look like it has anything inappropriate in it!" she explained,"The girls in the picture look really nice. They're wearing glasses!"

I had to laugh and hug the shit out of her immediately. 

From looking at the Netflix movie poster, she'd synthesized the following info, without even being aware of it:

The glasses made the girls nerds
Being nerds made the girls nice and wholesome
The girls being nice and wholesome made them likable to Mom

I figured we'd address the flaws in these deductions later. 

"I'll look it up on Common Sense Media," I said. It's my go-to screening resource despite the fact that it is (can't believe I'm saying this) a bit liberal in its judgements. Don't even get me started on our difference in opinion about the show Jessie. Seriously, you don't want to hear it. 

An hour later, Primo came to me to ask if he could play Civilization on the iPod. 

"What's that?" I asked. I don't bother to mask my doubt anymore - it's a timesaver I adopted when I had the third child. 

"Oh, it's very historic! It has Ghandi in it and Napoleon and Cleopatra!" he gushed.

It cracks me up that they are already such good marketers, pitching their little hearts out, thinking about the needs of their audience. Mommy needs educational value and wholesomeness. Give Mom what she wants.  

I said yes to both. I'm a sucker that way.