As I’ve mentioned, Cameron’s imagination can lead to sudden fears: trains coming out of tunnels in the bubbles of his bath, lions in the forest, that sort of thing.
Monsters have started to creep into his vocabulary. Oh, they weren’t mentioned with fear, just play, though in play sometimes interchangeably with lions.
I figured Monsters, Inc would be a great movie. It shows monsters as being cute and funny, dancing and singing, kinda bumbling, and best of all … afraid of kids. So on the way home tonight I picked it up.
I built it up, talking about our fun new movie, we’d watch it after dinner and bath, that it was about monsters and was funny.
Supper time: NOW Mommy, can we watch it now?
Bath time: Now, I wanna watch it right now! Right now!
After bath I popped it in, and during the intro got him into his PJs, preparing to snuggle and watch.
The opening scene shows a little boy going to bed, tucked in, all is quiet. The closet door creaks open. I check – Cameron’s enthralled. He looks a little wary as the boy looks around. Then the action picks up – the monster rears up, the little boy screams, and just at that instant I realized I’d made an awful mistake. I reached out to Cameron just as he started screaming too. If it had stopped there, it would’ve been okay. But no. The monster screams, stumbles backwards, the screaming continues, the monster falls down … and that’s when I managed to shut off the TV.
Then came the questions and fears about “Great-big-giant-monster, has sharp teeth! Scared little boy!” I reminded him that the monster was screaming too, he was afraid of the little boy. I told him that no monsters were allowed in our house. We watched some of Happy Feet instead.
But of course, he’s not a baby any more, and that means that he doesn’t forget fears that easily. “Great big giant monster has big teeth, gonna bite me!”
Again, we talked about the monsters being afraid. We talked about no monsters in the house. I made a show of talking to the ‘dragon above his door who guards him and keeps him safe’, and setting the rules. No monsters in Cameron’s bed. No monsters in Cameron’s room. No monsters in the house. We talked about the TV being off, the DVD being out of the player, look-here, see, it’s in the box? He wanted the box out of the house. I obliged. It’s sitting on our veranda.
He seemed fixated on the teeth. So I pointed out to him that Nimoo-Kitty has sharp teeth, is he afraid of her? Noooooo. She has sharp claws too, but still no. Dolphins have sharp teeth. Whales have sharp teeth. Seals have sharp teeth. Sharks have sharp teeth. Mommy has sharp teeth. Mandy-doggie has sharp teeth. To each and every one he shook his head, nope, he isn’t afraid of them. Except for me – he giggled and nodded vigorously before saying noooooo and sticking his fingers in my mouth.
Finally, after two stories and a singing of the Fox song (foxes have sharp teeth too), he relaxed. Cameron fell asleep in my arms, while I sang to him, face-to-face so close I was singing against his cheek. He woke somewhat when I transferred him to his crib, but didn’t object – at the end of such a long day I would think it was a relief.
Anyone want a copy of Monsters, Inc? I think it’ll be a decade before I try that one again!