My nine-year-old son is the center of my universe. This is the story of his childhood as it unfolds. Please read the first post, "Why I started this blog," to know more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Finding Nemo! Every night....?

Finding Nemo was the first full-length animated feature in English that my son sat through. He was around 5 years old then and we watched it on TV. The movie was then shown on the kiddie channels dozens of times and the little fellow loved to watch it over and over again! After a while, it stopped being shown so often. A few months later, in some crazy my-son-likes-this-story-moment, I bought him the full comic book. (Um, apparently, they call it a 'junior graphic novel' these days. Thank God for the 'junior' or else I'd have felt like a perv!)

He wasn't overly enthusiastic about the book and for a couple of months, it joined a pile from where he randomly pulled out books each night for me to read to him. Then one day, he fished out Finding Nemo but took his to his father to read to him. Hmm...good enough, at least he's shown some interest.

A couple of days later, he came to me with the book and I told him "the story," complete with explanations that would make sense to him. The next night, he wanted me to read him Finding Nemo again! So I changed my narration a bit and kept the little rascal happy. I also hid the book the next morning. But Nemo was duly found and waved in front of my nose that night. Sigh! I was too sleepy to tell him a story so I thought of a way out. I just read out the whole book - if he'd understood the movie, he could follow the book. I did all the different voices - which he loved - and this gave me the opportunity to skip through certain portions. (As a working mom, I do not have the energy to read every printed dialog.) Big mistake. He absolutely loved the voices. Declared that his favorite part was where the starfish in the dentist's aquarium announces: "Good morning everyone. The sun is shining. The tank is clean....The tank is clean!!"

He made me do that part over at least 5 times, doubling up with laughter every time I said it. That was a sight for sore eyes...but my eyes were very sore indeed and I desperately needed some shuteye!

The next night, I told him to get his father to tell the story instead. I mean, how many times in a row can you do the voices or tell the same story without wanting to throw the book out the window? His unsuspecting father cuddled him up and started to tell him the story in a we've-never-heard-this-one-before manner. Complete with explanations. They were still on the first page when the little fellow announced to his dear Dad that his narration was BORING! You can imagine what happened next. The brat got a minor scolding and was more or less kicked out of the bedroom for saying that "Mommy does it better, with all the voices."

So I put him back on his bed and started on the voices. Somewhere between the trench that Marlin and Dory were supposed to swim through and not "over," and the sea turtle ride to the EAC, I fell asleep mid-sentence. "Mamma, wake up! Do the sea turtle's 'dude' voice," commanded the offspring. I felt older than the sea turtle but I managed to finish the book, falling asleep once in Sydney Harbor and once when Darla was shaking the bag. I reckon I got a minute each time because he woke me up saying, "The commercial breaks don't last longer than this!" Talk about media influence!

The next morning, I wanted to burn the book. But that's just not done so I wearily went through the whole routine again. This time, I had to do only three re-runs of "the tank is clean!" because he fell asleep right after that, halfway through a peal of laughter, with a grin on his face. He looks like an angel when he's sleeping, especially when he's just dozed off. I kissed him goodnight and turned off the lights. Sweet dreams, munchkin.

Finding Nemo Image © Pixar Animation Studios

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