My kids are 4 and 5...almost 5 and 6.
My wife and I try to protect them from the crazy, dark, terrible world as much as possible.
Truth be told, I would like to think that we're a bit on the conservative side when it comes to taking care of our kids.
Like all normal parents, we make them say 'please' and 'thank you', we curtail their pop and sugar drink intake, we keep the candy and treats to a minimum and, believe it or not, we send them off to bed around 8 p.m. every night.
Yeah, yeah, I know. What fantastically awesome parents don't do this? Right?
Anyhow, when it comes to movies, I think both of us tend to fall on the liberal side. They've already seen Labyrinth, The Goonies, Short Circuit, Something Wicked this Way Comes, Wizard of Oz, The Dark Crystal, All three Spiderman films, all six Star Wars films, Planet Earth (uncut!) and even a couple mild horror movies. You get the idea.
Come to think of it, I think members from both sides of our family are very liberal when it comes to movie watching.
Case in point.
About six months ago, my kids stayed overnight at their grandmother's house (I'm not going to tell you which one). The next day, when we walked into the house to pick up our kids, JAWS was playing on the television. Not the watered-down, syndicated CBS version, but the real JAWS. The bloody JAWS.
It was the final scene where Quint was being eaten by the big fish. I remember this distinctly because I thought, "Wow, I guess they watched the whole film."
The kids sat there dumbfounded and creepily enthralled. Their mouths were agape. Their unblinking eyes glued to the TV set in a horror-movie stupor.
My wife casually glanced over at the 'grandmother-who-would-not-be-named'. And, taking note of the looks of disbelief on both of our faces she immediately went on the defensive.
"What? You guys watched it when you were their age!" she barked.
Expecting the worst nighmares that night from our children, we drove home and proceeded to get our kids ready for bed.
Guess what happened that night? Nothing. Not a peep.
They had just witnessed bloody arms floating in the water, a shark being eviscerated with a license plate falling out of its gut and Quint getting gnawed by a Great White - like a dog chewing on a discarded Turkey bone.
And they slept like, well, babies.
Enough of the backstory.
So, last night, I decided to use my Time Warner Kids 'On Demand' to select a cartoon for the kids to watch before they went to bed (Membership has it's privileges).
I came across The Berenstein Bears. In particular, an episode titled 'Get The Gimmies and The Green-Eyed Monster' caught my eye.
"What the hell? Looks interesting enough" I thought to myself and clicked play.
The first 15-minute episode was about Brother and Sister Bear learning a lesson that they can't always get what they want (as the Stones so prophetically stated in their song of yore).
However, the second episode "The Green-Eyed Monster' was a bit different. It told the tale of brewing sibling rivalry and jealousy from Sister Bear, when she receives Brother Bear's hand-me down bike due to the fact that Brother outgrew his smaller bike and the Bears had to buy him a new one.
Well, Sister Bear is pissed. In fact, she so perturbed that she creates a doppelgänger of herself which the Bears refer to as the little green monster. Well, you can watch half of the episode here to get an idea of what the hell I'm talking about (if you're antsy forward along to the :24 spot):
After the show was over, I stood up, clicked off the TV and said, "Okay guys, time for bed."
That's when I looked over at my two offspring. Their eyes were wide open. They had petrified looks on their faces like they just witnessed a dead shark being eviscerated by a knife and a license plate falling out. My son's lips were quivering in terror.
My daughter, in all sincerity, asked, "Is the Little Green Monster going to kill us tonight?"
Really? I mean, really?
After about an hour of explaining that we just watched a cartoon, that there is no such thing as a little-green monster and that it's all made up - they finally went to sleep.
However, my daughter had two nightmares about the The Little Green Monster, which were both apparently disturbing enough for her to pull herself out of bed in the darkness of night to wake my wife and I.
And my son? Well, he woke up in the morning and talked about the many graphic dreams he had concerning the little green monster.
WTF Berenstein Bears? Thanks a lot for scaring the living shit out of my kids!
I guess there goes my viewing plans for the kids this week...Nightmare at 20,000 Feet from Twilight Zone: The Movie...