Clean, bathed kid: Check
Sleeping bags: Check
Stuffed Animals: Check
Last Saturday night, Mason was out of town so Charlie & I decided to have a movie night. We picked up Finding Nemo from the library and eagerly waited all day to watch it that night. We even read books about fish and ate goldfish crackers in anticipation for the big event.
I've only seen Finding Nemo once, and that was years ago when Mase and I rented it and watched it in our living room. My terrible memory fails me sometimes, and I only remember the movie being happy and cute. Like this:
And it starts off that way.....
Until the very first scene. Remember? Why Nemo's dad is a single father in the first place?
Well, I had forgotten this major part of the movie. So two seconds after I finished explaining to Charlie that fish lay many many eggs, I had to explain to him that the big fish ate them all up. I conveniently skipped the part about the fish eating the mommy. That detail was not missed by Charlie, however. He looked up at me with huge eyes and said, "Did the big fish eat the mommy too?"
.....Um...... I paused. What do I do? What are you supposed to do in these situations? Lie? Tell him the mommy is just missing? Try to shelter him forever? Or tell him that yes, the big fish ate the mommy. I took a gamble. I went with the second option.
"Yes, the big fish ate the mommy fish"
Cue full on lip quivering and tears. (Did you read the facebook post about the animal cruelty commercial? I should have known. I should have known.)
"But why!?" He sobbed. "Why the big fish have to eat the mommy fish?"
I tried to explain the aquatic food chain in it's most simple form, but all he heard was that the mommy fish got eaten, which continued to make him really sad. And then he launched into reasons why we should shoot the big fish. (Little boys' fascination with guns and shooting things is another blog post.)
Eventually, however, he recovered from the devastation of losing the mommy fish and started enjoying the adventures of Marlin and Nemo and Dori. Until scenes like this:
And let's not forget this:
So obviously, we didn't sit in our separate sleeping bags. We spent the majority of the movie cuddled up together, which really was fine with me. And I finally had the brilliant idea to fast forward through the scary parts, which saved both of us from some tears. C was a little worried when the two little fish were stung by jellyfish, but I assured him that they were just resting to feel better. When they awoke on the backs of giant sea turtles, C started to really enjoy the movie. We loved the turtle scenes and the fish tank scenes and the "bird with the big mouth" scenes. And when Nemo and his father were finally reunited, all was well. Until this:
The part where they happily swim away at fish school to explore the ocean. And the daddy is left pondering what life is without taking risks. I thought all was well, a successful movie night accomplished, when I felt a little hand in mine and looked down at a silently crying 2 year old.
"Honey, what's wrong?" I asked. "The fish are all happy! They are at fish school. Now the daddy is going to swim around the ocean and then go home to his sea anemone."
"But the daddy will be lonely. Because the mommy fish got eaten."
Sigh. I thought we had gotten past the fist scene. But maybe not. I decided it was time to lie. I told him that the mommy fish had probably not gotten eaten and that she was swimming around somewhere in the ocean and now the daddy was going on an adventure to find her too. Although he was a little hesitant to buy my story, I think he clung onto it just to feel better. And by the next day, our movie night (and the popcorn) was all he could talk about. I think it was a total success.