Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oy, what a shande. I should never buy gribbenes from a mohel. It's so chewy.**



In perhaps not my best ever parenting move, I introduced my kids to the movie Mrs. Doubtfire. They love it, of course, and since most of its their-age-inappropriateness isn't presented visually but rather occurs within the dialogue, they haven't completely caught on to just how much I shouldn't have shown them this film.

Here's what happened: they love the movie Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl book, and the same actress who plays Matilda also plays one of the daughters in Mrs. Doubtfire and when my girls mentioned how much they like her, I said, "oh...you know what else she's in?" And here's what else happened: I really, really love Robin Williams. So I just remembered Mrs. Doubtfire as very funny, not as completely deserving of its PG-13 rating. Oops.

But as they watch the movie repeatedly over time, some of the double entendres do begin to capture their attention. We have an open-question policy, though, and a pause button. So whatever they want to ask is askable. We'll discuss. From this movie alone we've had conversations about pubic hair, divorce, fake teeth, peer pressure, plastic surgery, food allergies, drunkenness, and kindness.

I keep seeing this on Facebook:

and I like this, and I work hard to practice this.The best of them, though, their greatest earnestness, usually comes not out of what they say but what they ask. And I have to have the perfect combination of patience and courage to answer all their questions. It's not easy, but so far, so good. They're still willing to talk about anything. And so we go forward, with transparency and honesty and a little more mindfulness about movie ratings.

**May I translate the Yiddish words for you? "Oy, what a tragedy. I should never buy fried chicken skin from the man who performs babies' ritual circumcisions. It's so chewy." Spoken by Williams' character Daniel as his brother experiments with how old and ethnic to make him look in his nanny costume.

PS: The movie Mrs. Doubtfire is 20 years old. Thought you should know.


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This post was inspired by the novel Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton. After witnessing her children's school set ablaze, Grace attempts to find the arson as her teenage daughter lies in a coma in Lupton's suspense thriller. Join From Left to Write on April 11 as we discuss Afterwards. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. 

It happens to be a beautiful novel about how a mother communicates with her child, but you should know that the reason I wrote this post is that Afterwards is set in England and one of the characters uses the endearment "poppet," as does my beloved Mrs. Doubtfire.  Pin It