So there I am, in Wal-Mart with the kids the other day, noodling around the Audio/Video area. I know that doing so just taunts the children, but it's pretty much the only department where we can all amuse ourselves for more than 2 minutes. H went straight for the Playstation, Yordi spent some time pressed in front of the iPod display, and eventually they both converged on the phones. As it's Halloween, the store had all the scary movies discounted and on display out front. We had walked right past them to get to the shiny things on the way in, but as he is so good at doing, on the way out Habtamu grabbed a random movie off the rack and asked if we could get it.
"No." I said in my hurried, irritated father voice, seeing only that he was carrying some black DVD.
"Why not?" He asked.
"Because it's scary," I said instinctively.
"Scary?" He said incredulously.
"Yeah. Scary. Like every other movie in this rack. Put it back. Let's go."
"If it's scary, why is there a little girl on it?"
I finally glanced back and actually looked at the DVD in his hand.
"Uh, yeah. Put it back."
"But she's just watching TV."
"Uh-huh. Trust me. Put it back."
Part of me really, really wants my kids to go through the certain rights of passage, and to have the same reflex to punch clowns in the face, as my generation does. If I do nothing else for my children, shouldn't I leave them with a healthy fear of possessed clown dolls? Everyone I know has some movie that they later confess they were too young to watch. I kind of think that when the time comes for my children, I'd rather it happen in my presence with a movie I'm familiar with, than having them come home sleepless and whimpering after some slumber party.
If Yordi wasn't already hearing things in her closet, I'd probably seriously consider it, but as it is, the last thing we need is for her to be afraid of her closet, the hall closet, the tree outside her window, and clowns under her bed. There's just no good that could come of that.
So this Halloween, you get a pass my little ones. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go punch a clown and then run and long jump into bed.
*Although not directly stated, the movie was Poltergiest. For us children of the 80's, it goes without saying.