We are not a family that has Foxtel or similar.
We don’t have a massive DVD collection, not purchasing DVDs when they’re on sale because they are on sale.
We have no idea how to download movies or set up movie thingy watching stuff somehow.
We don’t do much screen time (well, I do, apparently – it’s all I do according to some, but it’s my work!), relatively speaking.
So when school holidays roll around, and particularly when they coincide with my having multiple brain farts and the intrinsic need for me to have some time and space to work, I do what I can to get it. Mostly so no one suffers as a result; not me, not the kids.
Towards the beginning of the holidays, assuming we have not much else planned for the duration, we visit the local video shop and stock up. They constantly run ridiculous offers and we walk out with our arms loaded with DVDs.
They are carefully selected, one or two for Grumpy Pants and I, a limited number of overnighters and selected so one can be watched during the day – usually Chippie suitable – and one at night. We have our days relatively sorted to enable some down time (for the kids) and work time for me, after an outing of some description or other.
Our first collection was due back after a week, which led us to the video shop to return them and select some more.
Unfortunately, the weather had turned from a delicious, sunshiney warmth to inclement literally overnight. In fact, it hit at 2.34a.m. with a thunder that could easily have been mistaken for a minor earthquake, such was the way the house shook at its rumbling. I know it was 2.34, because it woke me with a “What the fu …!?”
Two days of limited outdoorness, and the children were in dire need of a run around a paddock. Not able to do so, they chose to express their pent up boyness in the video shop.
Not running around, as they know the consequences of doing so would not be worth the effort.
Instead, they got giggly stupid.
Really, really annoyingly stupid.
They talked, loudly and in between raucous laughing, about “imagine a dead man, and he’s covered in a sheet and he has an erection and that’s Die Hard! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
Unfortunately, I find laughter contagious. When it is doubled over, snorty laughter, I can’t help but join in. I also laugh when I am nervous; and as my kids were in public and people were looking, it made me giggle a bit more.
I did check, and those looking at me were trying to suppress their own giggles, so I think we were good. We weren’t asked to leave ….
Monkey Boy walked up with a DVD, doubled over and unable to speak an unbroken sentence.
“Look,” he says, mirth exploding from every orifice. “Can we get it?”
I look at him, incredulous, shake my head and say “Really? It’s gonna be so dumb.”
“But I really to see it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”
“We already have an overnight, so no. Take it back.”
He implores me. “But its funny! Look!”
I think a bit and figure that, sometimes, they just have to learn from their own mistakes.
We leave the video shop … we have these in our possession …
I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I can honestly and unequivocally say “It was the kids!”
A bought of sock and underpant purchasing was required post the DVD selection, and the walk and complexity of underpant selection subdued Monkey Boy somewhat.
We are walking back to the car and he asks “Did you really get those two DVDs?”
“Yep,” I replied. “You insisted.”
“I don’t want to watch them now,” he says. “They’re gonna be really stupid. Can we take them back.”
I was conflicted.
Oh, how I soooo wanted to swap them for something else, yet I felt he really could learn something from this experience.
“Nope.” I tell him. “I tried to tell you, you didn’t listen, so now you have to deal with it. You will watch them, and you will enjoy them. If you don’t enjoy them, I will make you sit and watch them over and over and over until you do enjoy them!”
I do like having fun with him. It’s just, well … it’s just fun.
“But, Mum,” he says, verging on begging. “I really don’t want to watch them.”
Monkey Boy is a child of good language skills. He is also a bit of a catastrophist , and sometimes you need to use words that are perhaps more extreme than necessary. It’s just how he understands things.
“You were being stupid,” say. “You were getting carried away, being really, really silly and this is what you chose as a result. You can watch them.”
“I get that,” he sighs. “So because I get it, does that mean we can take them back?”
“NO! People die because of stupid!”
He looked slightly taken aback. I mean, they were just DVDs, they weren’t going to attack of slice someone’s head off or anything.
I look him in the eye and repeat myself, quietly and calmly.
“Yes,” I say, nodding knowingly. “People die because of stupid. I hope you have learnt your lesson.”
He gave me a look that indicated he understood that sometime getting carried away and not thinking about what you’re doing can be fatal.
It was either that, or he thinks I’m a complete nutter.