Now that fall is here, life has gotten far busier, and it had been awhile since we’d done something “as a family”. You know- the kind of stuff that everyone on Facebook seems to do.
And they like it, too. Weirdos.
The Captain decided that we should have a Family Movie Night.
Have a Family Movie Night, they said.
It’ll be FUN!, they said.
This activity is more daunting than it may appear: with six kids ranging from ages 14-3, picking a movie that will interest everyone is challenging enough. But throw into the mix children that:
- want to narrate the entire movie.
- don’t listen to the movie, & then ask questions about the movie they’re not listening to.
- chew popcorn too loudly.
- spill the popcorn they’re NOT chewing too loudly all over everything.
- repeatedly ask for MORE popcorn. Then spill that, too.
- that complain about a sibling spilling popcorn onto them… while spilling their own popcorn.
- decide 3 minutes into the movie that they’re bored, & want to make fellow siblings feel their pain.
Nevertheless, like childbirth, we forget the pain of the experience & tell ourselves, “Hey, that’ll be FUN!” and do it again… and again…
So The Captain picked a movie- the fact that HE picked will become important later.
Usually, he’ll check out the newest kid-friendly releases, & if it’s a movie he/we’re not familiar with, he’ll read a few reviews.
He chose a movie called The Hunt For the Wilderpeople. He had read a few reviews.. but not a PARENT’S review.
(Again- the fact that he didn’t will become important later.)
So we pop some popcorn, & *called the kids* to the living room (*turned off the Wifi).
Already, #3 pleaded to opt out of Movie Night, preferring Minecraft. The Captain said that #3 had to hang with us for at last 20 minutes. So the kids settled themselves onto the floor with popcorn & pillows, * as we started the movie, the kids asked about it.
The Captain: “It’s not a cartoon, but a family movie about a boy, with a pet dog, that’s adopted into a new family.”
Fair enough. So the movie opens with a young orphaned boy, Ricky, arriving at an older married couple’s home.
I wish I could tell you what the next 10 minutes were about, but with six kids chomping popcorn, I couldn’t hear one. single. word.
The movie is set in bush of New Zealand, & I tell you that to give context to what happened next. We’d finally gotten all six kids engaged in the movie, and then–
The sweet aunt brings Ricky out into the bush to learn to hunt. Ok. We can handle this- we’ve seen Bambi. Cycle of life & all that.
But in a flash, the screen was filled by a massive knife. Then blood. Spurting. BUCKETS O’ BLOOD. Blood everywhere, boar shrieks, the aunt slashing the knife wildly about, the screen literally turning red with blood, and…
…shrieks in OUR living room. #6, at the tender age of 3, springs up from the floor, eyes wide with terror. #5 howled, “Ewwww!”, #4 covered her eyes with her blanket, & #2 spat out, “That was JUST WRONG!”
The Captain & I:
The next scene cuts to Ricky’s aunt -the sweet yet bloodthirsty boar-hunter- presenting Ricky with an adorable pet dog. Whew. Looks like we’ll be ok. But #2, with that animal-loving sense of hers, says, “Oh noooo… what’s gonna happen to the dog??”
Me: “No, I’m sure the dog will be fin- I think it’ll be fine.”
(I had to throw the “think” in there, because you just don’t know..)
It looks like all was well… until 30 seconds later….
(You thought the dog bit it, huh? Well, you’d be wrong. The dog was fine.)
The aunt bit it, though. The scene cuts to the uncle sobbing over the aunt’s collapsed, lifeless body, which then cuts to a coffin in a church.
Our living room: a moment of disbelieving silence, followed by:
#2: *waving at her little siblings* “Get them OUT OF HERE!!”
#5: “Is she dead? She’s DEAD. This is the worst movie ever!”
#3: “Dad! Please- NOW can I go?? I can’t take this!”
and The Captain:
Kids scrambled all over the room, The Captain paused the movie, & I, between gasps of choking laughter, checked IMDB.com for the parental guide of the movie.
Which read like this:
Death, mauling, car crashes, and YES- the dog DOES BITE IT AFTER ALL.
We attempted to recover by putting on Angry Birds, but I couldn’t hear that movie, either. Not because of the kids, who had by this point scattered to the far corners of the house, but because The Captain & I were laughing so. damn. hard over our latest parenting fail.
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