Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Things That Go Goosebumps In The Night

Hello there. How was your weekend? I hope it was fun, eventful, relaxing, memorable, romantic, sweet...whatever you wished for it. We had a nice one. Full of familial things. Mostly just the four of us though. Which is very good.

It was my mother-in-law's birthday, so even though I know it was all about her, I, personally, was very pleased to have cake. I'm just saying that cake is good. I love it. It's a treat. So happy birthday to her, and thanks for the cake.

So, being that we were at the birthday party, we were with all the fam. Cousins. Bliss for the kiddos. They get so excited when they see each other. And by "excited" I mean, "loud". Happy loud, but still loud. My in-law's are quiet people. Calm people. Even calming people. So any kind of extra noise is extremely exaggerated. Whereas, you can go over to my parent's house and the noise just kind of fits in with the t.v. (I have a 15-yr-old brother), the two beagle dogs who are constantly howling (which we love), some power tool my dad's playing with in the garage, and my mom's vacuum. I come from a big family, so in a way, the noise that I constantly hear in my own house is a little comforting. A very little. Of course, it gets to a point where I heatedly exclaim, "TURN THE VOLUME DOWN!" Which doesn't make much sense, because my volume is a tad loud too. Anyway...what was I saying?

Oh yes, the birthday party. So, with all the kiddo noise going on, we decide to put on a movie. That always works. Don't yell at me...it works. Do you know my kids at all? Well, as were discussing the movies, we find out that my 4-yr-old niece is really into R.L. Stine's, Goosebumps. I guess they read her the books and have recently starting Netflixing the movies. She loves them. Well, they brought a couple with them to grandma's.

This is where further evidence comes in that I am not the one to come to for advice on parenting. I decide my kids can watch the movie. They've never seen or read Goosebumps. I think I suggested one of the books for my oldest and she saw the cover and was like, "No way, Jose." But for some reason, tonight, they are both all excited to watch a "scary" movie. I'm thinking it's probably not a good idea. I mean my 7-yr-old greatest nightmare is about Oobie. See Love The Bear, Hate Shadow. She is just getting to the point where she can talk about Oobie in the daylight. She and her sister have been pretending that Oobie was chasing them. Making a game of it. Laughing. It's what I see as her working it out. Progress. And then I introduce Goosebumps! What am I thinking?!

The girls are sure they want to watch it. They have chosen, "The Haunted Mask." And yes, my radar is going off like crazy. But a little (pushy) part of me is thinking that my 4-yr-old niece can handle it and that these movies are made for kids (an argument I am normally very good about ignoring, cuz some things are just not made for kids when they say they are--I don't care if Micky Mouse ears are involved or not). I'm totally talking myself into this as the three girls get all cuddled up on the couch (look how cute they are...). I decide to sit with them and check it out, just to see if it's going to be okay. I know my girls. My oldest is highly sensitive. I totally know how this is going to end. I know what I'm in for if I let them do this. And yet, I do. I get called upstairs with the grown ups, so I leave them alone with their Scary Larry movie. Talking myself into it the whole way.

They watched the whole thing. My oldest came up once to proclaim how very scary it indeed was. We, the family, as a group, explained that it was all pretend, and advised her to stop watching it if she was scared...blabbity blah, blah...She went back to finish the movie. They made it through and afterwards everyone was good about recounting the (entire) movie and sharing how very scary it was. But then they all ran off to play and Goosebumps was quickly forgotten. Until we got into the car to go home.

I've not pulled out of the drive way yet, and my oldest has lost it. She is weeping. Crying. For real. Not that pretend cry (you know the one)--an honest to goodness, she is truly scared and completely upset tear fest. The whole way home, she cries her eyes out. Like crying so hard, she can hardly catch her breath. She is so scared of that mask. Her little sister is trying to talk her down. Trying to hold her hand, in the back seat. It continues at home. After the bath, after the pajamas. We all cuddle up on the bed and have big hugs and try to talk about it. For some reason, I decide to share a scary story from my childhood. I tell her about the time my sister and I snuck out of bed one night after our parent's had gone to sleep. Stephen King's, Christine was on and we snuck up to watch it. Major, major "no-no" for us. We didn't even celebrate Halloween when I was little, because it was evil. Same scenario as my oldest though. Except I couldn't tell my parents, because we had snuck out of bed to watch it. My sister and I had to get through it by ourselves. We couldn't handle seeing car headlight's at night for months. I remember that I was the biggest scare-dy cat of all, while my little sister comforted me.

I don't know how that story helped. I didn't even have a way out of it for her. A, "this is what I did to overcome my fear" answer for her. I just told her we have to be very careful what we watch. Even if someone (your mother, for instance) tells you it's okay, if you feel like it's maybe not okay at all...don't do it. Somehow telling her that story helped, And she went to sleep. No nightmares. I'm sure they are coming though. Payback for being a dumb parent. So whatever you do, don't ask me for parenting advice. I've not a clue.


Mummy said...

Oh no, I'm sorry she was scared.... My 5 year old is very sensitive too......if anything gets hurt/lost/thrown then he's in tears. He burst into tears once when the pink panther hit the fly.....also when bugs bunny threw a toy....and we can't watch Finding Nemo as he won't get past the part when the eggs are taken.....it's only about a minute into the film!

I hope the nightmares keep at bay - for you all!!!

Sunshine said...

Mummy-Oooooh...see that is *so* sweet that he gets upset when the panther hits the fly. I.love.that.

I just feel like bad mom. Bad mom. Very bad mom. I knew all along and I still let her be scared. Grrrr...at myself.

Jenny said...

Oh dear. That is a funny story.
Well, sort of funny.
It sounds like the kind of thing I would do. And then pay for it big time later.
My kids are very sensitive to 'scary stuff' too. And I think it is a good thing.

Jennifer P. said...

I'm sure telling your kids "don't listen to mommy" doesn't feel to great :)! But I bet they learned their lesson about what they feel good sticking in their brain and what they don't---that's a lesson worth learning :)!

Dee said...

Oh, I know how you feel. S won't watch the non animated George of the Jungle because of the big gorilla. She's pretty sensitive, and yes, E, little sister comforts her.
They know when I say its scary TV that they should not be watching it, E even walks past sideways averting her eyes, its so funny. Even some"normal" commercials on TV scare them, and they go into the other room before the scary bit come on.

A did well to hold it together while watching it though.
I cant offer advice, just sympathy, and a thanks for the warning, we wont be watching those movies.

Rena said...

Oh no -- poor baby! Not just your daughter, Sunshine, but you too. It's hard being a parent. Even when we think we're doing the right thing, we still make mistakes. I know just how you feel because both my boys are ultra sensitive too. Neil doesn't even want to go to Target this time of year because of the Halloween decorations. I had to literally drag him through one aisle recently because there was a candy bowl he didn't want to walk by. We weren't even close enough for the motion sensors to go off. So, I understand what you're dealing with. I hope your little ones don't have nightmares.

You're a GOOD MOM! My mom took me to see The Exorcist and The Omen at the movie theaters in the 70s. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING? I still freak out if I see even a clip or a photo from those movies.

Major ((((((HUGS))))))