In an effort to expand The Film Reel beyond the daily reviews and to stretch my creativity in other directions, I’ve decided to start up a few new features. Already I find myself behind a day for that schedule but that fits right into the concept of this new series of posts. I welcome you all to Keep It Down Kids! – Dad at the Movies.
I am many things to many people. Annoying nuisance, funny comedian, scary looking guy dropping kids off at school, good friend and bank account draining son to name a few. There are three roles that are the most important though. First up is film lover. I couldn’t write this blog without that! Next up is loving boyfriend, just don’t ask my better half because she may have another opinion. Finally, I’m a stay at home dad. It’s those three very important roles that I will be blending together for Keep It Down Kids! I’d call it Keep It Down Everybody! but I’m pretty sure my girlfriend would only respond back to me with a playful ‘No, you shut your facehole’ if I told her to keep it down.
Lots of people write blogs and there’s quite a list of stay at home dads writing as well. In my search through some of them I’ve found that most seem to offer up tips and advice for dads or relate tales of their offsprings cute or humourous adventures in life. Let me assure you that Keep It Down Kids! won’t be anything like that. Sure my kids, who will be known as Girl and Boy, do funny things and have moments of cuteness but I’m an honest guy. Staying at home with kids is the worst job out there. The pay is crappy, the health benefits are non-existent and those moments of cuteness are usually overshadowed by demands for food, water and clean clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. I just happen to have a different idea of parenting than many others seem to. I won’t get into it right now but over the coming weeks I think you’ll start to see what I think is okay and not okay around my house. Lets get to what these posts are mainly about. Trying to write a movie blog while still performing as a stay at home dad!
There are some important aspects to writing at least a semi-successful movie blog. I assume that an interesting writing style would probably apply but I can’t decide if I offer that at all. If you’re still reading then I’ll go with yes. You also can’t be successful at it if you don’t actually watch movies and that’s where being a stay at home dad can be a problem. It’s not all bon-bons on the couch in my house coat all day. Kids must be fed, some sort of law there or something, lunches must be made, rides to school are given and that’s just the first hour of the morning. There’s chores to do (usually), groceries to buy, emails to check and the school day only lasts until 3 pm, despite my numerous attempts to convince my kid’s school to keep them there all week. I can usually get at least one movie in during the day while everyone is busy doing their own thing but I also have to get my posts written for the blog, a task that can sometimes take hours depending on how involved I get.
Alright, so my day can be pretty busy even though most people would assume I get to sit around all day on my ever-increasing butt. There’s always the evenings right? Anyone reading have kids? If you do then I’m sure you can understand what kind of challenge it can be to actually hear anything while they’re around. Typically a movie is only getting watched when they finally go to bed at 9:30, although it’s more realistically 10 by the time I get their straps tied down so they can’t get out of the bed.
The ever-changing tastes of a child also wreak havoc on the movie viewing experience. While the Girl used to carry a stuffed Spider-man with her everywhere as a small child, she’s old enough to be more concerned with cute animals, nail polish and whatever wretched crap it is they play on the radio now. That eliminates the 6th viewing of Spider-man 2. The Boy spends most of his time talking, directing and playing some form of Friday the 13th or Nightmare On Elm Street. Getting him to watch them is another story. This was never more evident than when we tried to watch Aliens. As the opening credits rolled across the screen he asked ‘When are the aliens coming?’. When he found out it was going to take longer than 5 minutes he stood up, announced he was going to play on the computer and left the room. As one may expect, the Girl runs screaming from the room at the mere mention of a horror movie. Well, that’s starting to limit my viewing possibilities.
That doesn’t leave me much. The Boy won’t watch anything for more than 15 minutes and the Girl would rather watch Marmaduke for the fourth time although she has managed to sit through The Wolfman, The Creature From The Black Lagoon and one Charlie Chaplin movie. I’ll give her some credit for that. That just leaves my girlfriend. Her typical response to watching a movie is a grunted ‘Enh’ as I try to explain what kind of joy can be had from watching Killer Klowns From Outer Space. Movies just aren’t her thing but she at least doesn’t stand in my way. I’ve probably seen quite a few movies that I really wish she had stopped me from watching though.
As you can see, the options for what to watch and what time to do it at can be seriously limited. Some days the kids are at their mother’s house and my girlfriend has homework to do or is deeply involved in a conversation with her friends. That’s my moment to bust out the latest gorefest or severely inappropriate movie. I’ve gotta hurry before the kids get back and demand to see Family Guy for the 254th time. There are times when those kids are the reason that I get to see some great movies though. I do get to see just about every family oriented or 3D animated film in the theatre which has led to some great ones like Toy Story, Despicable Me and How To Train Your Dragon. Unfortunately it’s also led to Furry Vengeance, Yogi Bear and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Hey, sometimes my choices at home can be just as bad, believe me.
This post simply serves as an introduction to the world of Dad at the Movies. I’ve given everyone a brief glimpse into the process involved with watching movies at home with two kids and a girlfriend. As the weeks go on I’ll be relating my adventures, probably every Sunday but I make no promises. Sometimes it’s a Sunday that involves that fourth viewing of Marmaduke, thus rendering my brain completely useless for at least a 24 hour period. I can promise you that there’s never a dull moment around here and I’ll leave you with a joke from the Boy that he related to us last night. I can see where he gets his humour from already.
- Dad – Girls are icky.
- Girl – No they’re not!
- Boy – Yeah, all girls are icky except the Girl. (obviously he can’t include his sister)
- Dad – What about Grandma?
- Boy – Okay, the Girl and Grandma.
- Dad – What about the Girlfriend?
- Boy – Okay, all girls are icky except the Girl, Grandma and the Girlfriend.
- Dad – What about mommy?
- Boy – Okay, nobody in the world is icky including girls. Unless they’re hobos.
HAHA! How can you argue with that! Well, unless you’re a hobo. Now keep it down, dad’s at the movies!