I’ve never been much of a cartoon fan. Even as a young child, I preferred real human acting to the countless cartoons my friends adored. I just never understood the joy of watching poor Tom and Jerry torture each other or an annoying dog solving mysteries. I happily chose Reading Rainbow or The Electric Company and was quite happy (with the exception of the truly outrageous Jem. She was transcendent.) I felt much the same way about movies– Disney never did it for me, but I could never get enough of Flight of the Navigator, Annie or The Parent Trap (the real one.)
Now, as a parent, I find myself in a difficult predicament. If I were a less selfish mother, I would allow my children to enjoy a little Max and Ruby, Dora or Scooby in my company. But, I’m just not and I just can’t. If I’m busy making dinner or trying to sound somewhat professional on the phone, they may watch a half hour of cringe-worthy animation, but if they want me to watch with them? I get to layout the choices. And, the choices you ask? Musicals, baby.
Currently, we are enjoying a rotation of Mama Mia, Hairspray and Little Shop of Horrors. Admittedly, not especially geared towards children, but highly preferable to Alvin and The Chipmunks. Last night, the kids watched a half hour of Glee, the best new show on television. And they loved it. So far, the sexual innuendos are seeming to go right over their little heads, and they watch solely for the singing and dancing.
At least that’s what I thought, until this evening. Tonight, not only did Ben sing almost every word of Little Shop’s “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space,” including the expletives, but Lily also began to question how exactly a child could have three possible fathers. Whoops.
So, I suppose I’ll retire the PG-13 movies in return for the G rated ones. You know, where mother deer are shot in front of their young, terrifying sea witches make deals with innocent mermaids and uncles blame sweet lion cubs for their father’s deaths. After all, those are acceptable for children.