Some nights when Emerald doesn’t have a lot of homework and we’re all exhausted, we have a picnic dinner in front of the TV and watch a movie as a family. The trick is to find a movie we all agree on. The other night we had such an evening on the spur of the moment. Emerald suggested several movies, which were all vetoed by Sapphire. I mentioned several, which were all vetoed by one or the other of the rest of them. Ditto with Sapphire’s and Jim’s suggestions. So Jim and I set off for the drawer of DVDs upstairs (purchased over the last 15 years) in search of a PG-13- or G-rated movie that the kids have never seen but might enjoy.
My eyes landed on “Little Women” and we both quickly agreed that this was the one to try. It’s a classic. What young girls would not love this movie? Convincing Emerald was a little harder than we expected. She fired questions at us regarding the plot of the movie and she did not like our rather vague answers (it had been years since either of us had read the book or seen the movie). She insisted she did not want to see that movie.
Not being one to force my child to watch any movie, I told her I thought she would really enjoy it, but she didn’t have to watch it if she didn’t want to. She could go to her room; she could study for her History test, which is Friday. She didn’t like those options, so she settled on the couch rather grumpily, ready to dislike the movie and still hoping we’d give in (at least I think she was).
Since nothing else I’d tried had worked, I decided to add a little humor into the situation. I offered her a deal. If she could honestly tell me at the end of the movie that she didn’t like it, I would spin around 10 times. As Em began to smile, Jim asked me which way. I couldn’t imagine how that mattered, but he then asked her which way she wanted to see Mom fall, forward or backward. Gee, thanks, hon. 🙂 Emerald was now all over watching the movie, if only to see me fall down.
A few minutes into the movie, I glanced in her direction and she was entranced, with a smile on her face. Sapphire was more verbal, with the occasional “Mom, I love this movie”. Halfway into the movie, Emerald admitted she liked it.
Except for the scene when Beth dies (which we had warned them about, but still sent Sapphire into tears :(), it was a complete success. So much so that we ended up watching the whole thing even though we intended to stop it partway through and finish it another night.
When the credits rolled, Em turned to me and said, “OK, start spinning”.
What??? “I’m not spinning. You can’t honestly tell me you didn’t like it.”
“Mom, I didn’t like it.”
“Yes you did.”
“No, I didn’t like it. I loved it. You have to spin around 10 times.”
No, no, no.
But I did learn that kid should be a lawyer. And yes, my parents are looking down at us from Heaven and loving this. Not only is Emerald sharp as a tack, but she is paying me back for all the times I did the same kind of thing during my childhood.
She is definitely my daughter. 🙂 And I’m loving that, too.