Saturday, February 26, 2011

on safening

screenshot the Muppets Gonzo 1080p
Gonzo Photo credit: svensonsan, flickr

Recently, we borrowed my sister-in-law's copy of Muppets Take Manhattan. The picture on the cover made me nostalgic, remembering happy hours with the characters of Fraggle Rock with my sister when we were small (she was particularly obsessed with Fraggles).

But Elan had a different take on the movie. After watching it, he proclaimed, "That's not a funny movie! That's a scary movie!"

I had never thought of Muppets as scary before, even if they are considered monsters of a type. Although, in Muppets Take Manhattan, Kermit does get hit by a car, develops amnesia, and wanders around Manhattan not recognizing anyone, even his friends, until Miss Piggy beats the crap out of him and his memory is restored. Now that I think about it, that is pretty frightening.

And yet Elan likes to watch it. Kind of. So long as he receives regular safening.

It goes like this:

Cue scary part of Finding Nemo, like the jellyfish part -- actually, that's too scary and always requires fast-forwarding (the part where the mother is killed defending her eggs, which are all eaten except for one I choose to fast-forward all on my own -- a girl can only get emotional over so many things daily). Okay, then, so the part when the ship is falling on top of Dory & Nemo.

From a nest of pillows on the couch a voice squeaks: "Mama, Dada, safen me!"

The response: "I'm safening you!"

We used to always run over and give him a little squeeze cause, let's face it, that is just too cute. But it turns out there are a lot of scary parts in classic children's movies -- Jungle Book (Shere Khan the tiger), Winnie the Pooh (those bees), and don't even get me started on how truly terrifying Cruella deVille is in 101 Dalmations. And I've got a baby to nurse, and laundry to do, and dinner to make...

Luckily for us, we discovered that safening can be done remotely.

I'm upstairs, changing the baby's diaper, when I hear the voice call from downstairs: "Mama, I'm scared!"

And I shout back down the stairs: "Don't worry - I'm safening you!"

And then he's fine. (Although some might point out the potential link between scary movies and Elan's tendency toward nightmares, and his new habit of charging hysterically out of his room if he gets up in the night.)

Remote safening is convenient, but we make sure to still get in there & do a little hands-on safening frequently. Having one super-snuggly baby in the house has made me realize how little my big boy lets me snuggle him these days, so I grab every opportunity I can.

And besides, who doesn't need a little safening now and then?

1 comment:

  1. Sophie doesn't even know that there's a mother involved in Finding Nemo--we always, always skip that part! And she met Cruella at Disneyland this took quit a bit of "safening" to get her to stand next to her! It really is quite surprising how many kids' movies have truly terrifying parts to them.