“I should’ve sent it to the Marx Brothers!”: A guide to being a bad parent
The dirty, dark, smelly secret about parents is that we’re all super self-involved narcissistic jerks. Not unlike Dr. Evil, we long for company in this world and we prefer that company to be mildly amusing, subservient and altogether a lot like ourselves.
So we have kids.
I’ve had random in-law family come up to my daughter and swear that she has [Insert Dead Relative Here]’s eyes. That would work if they were talking about the same person. They have said that about relatives from different sides of the family.
We pine for a connection to our pasts and we sex each other up for a lifeline to the future. It’s an ugly game.
Along the way, we push our children in careers, interests and activities. We also serve as their diving board for pop culture. How many times have you heard that someone first got into music rifling through their parents’ LPs? No doubt that our style and taste are influenced by our earliest exposures to crap.
I take great pride in this and as The Kid’s gotten older, we’ve decided to expose her to more and more adult-oriented media.
You might read this and say, “Mad Dad, how can you let your daughter watch this?” Believe me, it’s easier to understand once you realize how easily I disregard your judgement.
Here’s a simple guide to showing your children violence, inappropriate jokes and more!
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom/The Last Crusade
After devouring Treasure Buddies we thought she might like Indiana Jones. We started her on Temple of Doom because “it has elephants and the Chinese kid.” She thoroughly enjoyed it. The Last Crusade has less elephants and Chinese kids (none, in fact), but she sat through the whole thing.
Kid’s Review: “It was alright.”
Beware: Nazis, drinking blood, Mola Ram taking out a guy’s heart, Sean Connery’s personality (it’s new to them!), Harrison Ford’s snark
The ultimate story of good versus evil. This was one of the first non-kid movies that we had her watch. If you promise small, cuddly teddy bear creatures in the third movie, they usually stick it out.
Kid’s Review: She didn’t recognize the title it until I said “Chewbacca.”
Beware: George Lucas’ stunted direction, Ewoks (!), Luke’s missing hand, C3PO’s whining, Harrison Ford’s snark (FYI, she hasn’t recognized that Indy and Han are the same person)
Hated this movie growing up because the dad being absent depressed me and it always seemed so hot and dry wherever they lived. ET should’ve gotten left behind in Jackson Hole or the French Riviera.
Kid’s Review: She was initially scared, and then the cuteness hit her.
Beware: ET getting plastered on Coors, the “connection” between Elliot and ET, which cannot be explained and I’m still waiting on Steven Spielberg to answer my letter.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
If I had to pick anything that I desperately wanted my kid to like, it’s this one.
Kid’s Review: Absolutely loved it.
Beware: “Cheer Up, Charlie” … forget the boat scene, this is the most horrifying two minutes in film history outside of Charlie Bucket’s singing.