As I was saying, we've somehow managed to reclaim some time after the kids go to bed, and with the garbage they put on cable, we've resorted to Netflix. So far, so good. So good, in fact, we've had a ton of opportunities to teach the kids some history (tons of National Geographic stories offered) as well as some really cool science. We just watched March of the Penguins, which, while it was an awesome program, did have some emotional highs throughout. You can probably guess here...Nature, predators, cute little penguin chicks....Kevin actually said, as he watched the penguins dive back into the ice "like bullets going super fast" that he wanted to BE a penguin. Until the momma penguin was eaten by a leopard seal. That changed his mind fast. He and Ryan went to bed, whimpering, and I had to remind them "I am not a penguin Momma and there is no seal that wants to eat me". They seemed content enough once they remembered, indeed, I am not a penguin.
Strike one for the brainstorm we parents have to expose our kids to educational documentaries.
We started to watch a really cool program last night, Man on Wire. It's about a (nutty) Frenchman who is a wire walker (like the tightrope dudes in the circus). Back in 1974 (the 1900's, according to my kids....hmmmm, they are accurate, I guess, in saying that, but really? Does it have to sound so ancient?) this particular nutty Frenchman Philippe Petit decided, after crossing various other too high buildings,
he MUST cross a wire between the twin towers. (Yes, he actually said he MUST.)
Now, I will digress a moment. In order to fully appreciate this story you must understand a few things about Chris and me.
- First, we are adamantly against cable TV. Just ask our families. They've grumbled through years of us only having rabbit ears and then basic cable, which we HAD to get for internet service.
- Two, we aren't that well versed in entertainment media; this simply means we have no idea which teen singer is dating who, which reality show just sent someone with a rose to live on a deserted island, or what movie was up for whatever is the newest, grandest award.
- Three, we are,in fact, kinda dull and nerdy book types. (He's MUCH more of a nerd that me....he IS a science geek, you know! The title sterility assurance manager/microbiologist just kind implies "science nerd"!)
- Four: We do love a good movie. One of our favorite date/family time things to do is watching a movie together. We thought we hit the jackpot with our newest delve in documentaries.
And now, back to "Man on Wire" and the "wait for it" moment I promised you.
So, today, at dinner, Chris and I were talking about this program, and Steph pipes in, "Hey, we learned about this guy at my old school. He walked across the two tallest buildings on a wire." She was intrigued, and wanted to know what the show was like. We told her (and the others, who were now listening intently, the idea of getting to watch TV on school night seeming to be pretty appealing) that we only watched 1/2 of it, and were planning to watch the rest tonight. She (and the rest of them) were excited, so we said, sure, why not!
When it comes to movies, we are always checking out whether things are OK for our kids to watch (http://www.pluggedin.com/ is one of our fave sights, but also use http://www.imdb.com/ ). However, we had already started watching this true life story, and hadn't seen/heard anything we would shy from. We did consider our sanity in allowing Kevin to watch anything that could encourage his Evel Knievel spirit, but we pushed those thoughts aside. (I'm sure this will come back to bite us later...look for it in a later post, no doubt!)
The nutty Frenchman and his crew were entertaining at times, as they plotted how they would actually accomplish this task. There was some dialogue in French which = BORED kids. But there was some cool wire walking scenes on top of buildings and bridges=FASCINATED kids. Success, right? They was a lot of talk of the science (at least from their dad) about how this wire walking event would have to take into account wind, humidity , blah blah, blah.....(I never really cared much for the science behind the man!).
And then, one of his crew mentioned pot. As in, the kind one smokes before he assists his friend in walking across a wire suspended between the Twin Towers. Not something any of the kids picked up on, but still something that made Chris and I less than comfortable. We cruised by this one, but we are now at strike two for the brainstorm thing.
Wait for it. There's a tad bit more.
So, we get to the climactic scene of the wire walking event. The kids are amazed. Thrilled. Flabbergasted. So are we. This guy takes 45 minutes, makes 8 back and forth walks, lies down, kneels down. CRAZY! AND our kids get to see the twin towers. Not images of towers marred by airplanes sticking in their side, with flumes of smoke pouring forth. Those tower images are all they really seem to know. Especially since Steph was born two months after 9/11. Lots of memorabilia from her birth year include those photos. Instead, they are seeing these gleaming newly built towers, they saw the construction process outlines in the film, the saw the final building, they saw the nutty Frenchman walk atop those most amazing buildings. We were all talking at once as we saw the Frenchman finish his task and be arrested for his nuttiness (see, there is even a lesson here. Kevin, don't break the rules!)
That "wait for it " moment enters right now.
The nutty Frenchman is next seen talking to reporters and then, a split second later, as he describes a young woman who was so intrigued by his feat, the black and white scene cuts to a young man and young woman in fast forward motion, like an old time silent film.....TAKING OFF THEIR CLOTHES!!!!! HOLY CROW!!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED HERE?!?!?!?
Strike three.....and the "worst parent of the year award goes to...."
Our girls are cracking up as "those two people are getting naked and having a pillow fight" Chris hurdles a kid or two and pole vaults the recliner to turn off the TV. But not before the initial image of two figures disrobing are burnt onto the blasted 52 inches of LCD screen in our living room!!!!!!!
Do we react or try NOT to react, so as to defuse the situation. Folks, we were watching a documentary, full of facts and nutty french people performing dangerous daredevil stunts, never expecting this little blip on the scene. OF COURSE WE REACTED!!! Shock and awe, people. Shock and awe. I was laughing and crying at the same time. In disbelief. They took a good thing, and had to add that? FOR WHAT PURPOSE? Just to make other parents out there become Olympian gymnasts before their kids see that 5 seconds of unnecessary skin???
The kids are now in bed, and we are both still shaking our heads. Really? They HAD to go that route? It was an hour and a half program, and at 1hour and 24 minutes we had a grenade thrown at us. Tune in tomorrow for the cleanup. I'm sure there's bound to be some repercussions from this one. UGH.
Unfortunately, after the fact, I see that there was a rating on this....apparently it wasn't just a standard old documentary type thing...it was actually a movie. Rated PG 13. Sigh. .
Still in shock,