Friday, March 30, 2012

Sock It to Me, Angel: A Quiz

This is an interactive post: a brief, multiple-choice quiz. Ready?
You tell your 7.5-year-old that she may not walk around outside in only socks. She acts as if she doesn't even hear you. (For added challenge, picture her friend and some neighbors watching and listening to you both.)

Choose an answer. You:

Yes, she has shoes on. But just look how sinister this sock shot is! 

A. Are a terrible, failure of a parent. Your child has zero respect for you. Maybe it's because of the dysfunctional family and your single parenting. She is learning that it's okay to display practically sociopathic tendencies. Is this normal for a second grader? She will be dressing like Rihanna by third grade, moving out and smoking crack by middle school.

B. Realize she is just testing her boundaries. As a 1-year-old she willfully tossed her peas off the high chair, as a 7-year-old she's wearing socks in the gravel. It's frustrating but normal and practically inevitable.

C. Need to chill out. It's just socks.

D. Must learn to accept that she is simply a bad seed.

I'm eager to hear your take, lovely readers! Here's to an A+!
Lady MacBeff

Friday, March 16, 2012

Parental DVD Instructions: Strawberry Shortcake Meets Fight Club

I don't usually read instruction manuals, but I skimmed through the instructions for our new DVD player (which, by the way, was inexpensive but Code Free, which will mean something to you expats!). I am glad I read the manual this once, because I found this gem of a tip about a Parental Lock feature: "If the disc allowed, you could edit out violent scenes unsuitable for children and replace them with more suitable scenes."

Now, I can picture editing a movie to cut scary or inappropriate parts. I "edit" some fairy tales as I read, skipping nightmare-inducing parts or glossing over bits I'm too tired to explain to Little Miss Curious. In another version of ad hoc censorship, a certain companion of mine noisily sneezes or coughs during parts of songs or books that don't pass my approval for 7-year-old ears. But the idea of replacing part of a film with something "more suitable?" I see the potential to majorly warp a kids' mind.

The idea of splicing film, trying to rewrite history or manipulate minds with media isn't new. But the suggestion of switching scenes around (rather than avoiding violent films or even just skipping parts)? I can't help imagining what an insane perception of the world this could give a kid. Alex in a Clockwork Orange suddenly replaced with Swiper the Fox? It conjures up images of planting a warped Memento-meets-Strawberry Shortcake-meets-Fight-Club childhood in my daughter's future memories.

Be thankful I did not add the freakiest of these retouched shots. 
And here, the kid is already so warped by media. Well, it's the Photo Booth feature on the iPad. But you can see the dangerous influence setting in.

After this surprising tip, I'm almost tempted to read the rest of the DVD-player manual.