Archives for posts with tag: films

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We made a plan to go swimming today.

Swimming is a mildly traumatic experience as a single parent. Lone Parent. Sole Caregiver.
Whatever label.

It’s tricky as a Dad on your own.

No one ever mentions the temperature.
It is warm in the swimming pool changing area.
And crowded.

There is a slow scuffle for a changing room that is slightly too small and the horrible ‘One Man And His Dog’ moment tot trying to get the Proles, who always appear to have lost any sense of urgency or direction, in to the cubicle.

And you are getting hot because you are carrying swimming gear for three.
And you are still wearing your coat because taking it off takes space and time and you have not had either and you know if you stop the Proles will stand in the middle of a corridor or passage way and half naked people will be trying to get past them.

And you get into a cubicle and the Proles don’t seem to grasp that you need to get in as well and you have to issue instructions.
And you are still heating up because you have your coat on.
So you know the Proles are heating up and a hot Prole is an unhappy Prole.

So you ask them to take their coats off and put them on the bench and one does and the other puts his coat in a puddle so you tell him to pick it up so he ‘moves’ his brother’s coat out of the way by putting it in the puddle he has just removed his own coat from.

And with three of you in there, there is no where to put the bag, except in the puddle.
Which you do, because you have to take your coat off because you are boiling.

And by the time you get your coat off and hung up there are one and a half pairs of Prole socks in the puddle too.
And you all three try to get changed together without knocking each other over.

I can do the ‘swimming trunks under trousers’ thing for a quick change but following a couple of big, loud, traumatic ‘accidents’ over the last few years I make sure the Proles change into trunks at the pool.
I can’t really go into details.
On one occasion I had to throw the trunks away, it was that bad.
That’s all I am saying.

So I have a plastic swimming bag to counter the puddle and I take a spare for the Proles to chuck clothes in.
And there is the minor stress of fitting three lots of clothes, coat and shoes into one small locker.
I could do two but then you have two of those daft ‘key on a broken watch strap’ things on your arm.

But it’s lovely once you are in isn’t it?

Except today we could not get near the pool because the ‘Race For Life’ was on and the road to the pool was closed.

The pool was open to anyone who could haul themselves all the way up the hill carrying children and swimming gear.
I was not too sure about it because of the tired, grumpy, ‘where’s my lunch and why do I have to walk’ return trip to the car but fortunately I had completely forgotten the swimming bag with all the towels and costumes.

It was next to the door when we got back home.

The rest of the day sort of unravelled as I had apologetic textual intercourse with all the people I had arranged to meet at the pool.

A friend took pity on us and too us home, fed us and sent us on our way but Prole2 was really upset and has been asking ever since when we are going back.

He is ‘turning a corner’ with his swimming and with so much in the house being about Prole1 I really wanted to keep things going for him.

He is fine and hardly ever complains and is very happy to go with the flow but today he wanted to swim and today he was let down.

Prole1 is very forthright and will suggest plans, negotiate and revise schedules. He likes to have objectives and a timetable. He is happy to discuss this with me at any time. He is happy to discuss this with complete strangers at any time.
The basic rule is that if you ask, ask nicely, and Dad can’t think of a good reason to refuse, then you can get what you want.

Prole2 hardly ever asks.
He asked today.
He has been sadly asking if we can go back all day.

I have promised him we can.

I am not keen on swimming but I want the boys to be able to swim so we go soften as we can.

I would actually go right now. In all the confusion I am still wearing my trunks and the Proles are in bed.

Polyester next to the skin all day.

I might just go and have a shower….

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I am hiding from the cat.

Sometimes at the end of the day, when I finally get the Proles off to bed, I sit down with a big sight and the cat jumps on to my lap.
Then it goes round and round in circles, shoving it’s bottom in my face, shredding my dressing gown with its claws.

I sort of want to throw it against the wall and shout “Stop sucking all the love out of me you parasites!” but the RSPCA take a dim view of that and anyway the cats are family or something.

Usually I just take it and wait ten minutes for it to settle, by which time I have to shift a bit because something is going numb somewhere at which point the cat jumps off and then five minutes later repeats the whole thing.

I have to be extra nice to the cat at the moment.
The cat is stressed.
I can tell because it has started pulling it’s fur out again.
We have new cats in the area. I think this is why it has started tearing it’s hair out.

It has done this before, a fifty pence sized bald patch on it’s side.
And its allergic to fleas, I have just de-flea-ed it but not before the tell tale scabs appeared.

That’s right, the cat is neurotic, part bald, scabby and prone to shoving it’s bottom in my face.

And I have to not make it stressed and cheer it up so it can get better.

So I am hiding.

I can’t say I blame it mind, I don’t know why but it has been one of those days.

Prole1 has a couple of bookings coming up for his burgeoning DJ career.

As gimmicks go, being in primary school and being a DJ has worked well.
I keep thinking he is going to get too old and not be cute as a DJ any more but so far he still keeps getting bookings.

He was playing through some odds and ends today.
Mr Brightside by the Killers.
I am often left cold by the Killers’ lyrics but they do make a right old glorious racket and suddenly I was in tears over the cooker.

This had followed a rather emotional trip to the pool.
Prole2 has been slowly, slowly convincing himself to join Surf Life Saving with Prole1.

When Prole1 started I just said “OK, in you go” and in he went.
If he had not wanted to go in he would have said “No thank you, thank you very much for asking” because that is what he says when he does not want something or is transfixed with fear.

Prole2 is a different kettle of fish.

I know swimming is nice once you are in.
I also know that Prole2 needs to convince himself of this.

Me: Do you want to go in?

Prole2: Yes.

Me: Off you go then.

Prole2: I am scared.

Me: Ok, don’t go in.

Prole2: But I want to.

Me: Ok, go in.

Prole2: But I am scared.

Me: You don’t have to go in if you are scared.

Prole2: But I want to go in.

Me: Well go in then, off you go.

Prole2: No Dad, no. I am too scared.

Me: Well…don’t go in or do go in….do something.

Prole2 But I am scared.

This went on for some time and when he finally did go in I had to have a quiet moment to get over it all.
Prole2 gets locked in uncertainty like that.
Prole1 would just get changed again.

I pulled myself together but by then some Mums had sat all around, and in one case on, my towels and coat so I sat at the end orf the row with some small girls doing colouring in. Them not me.

Prole2 walked past a few minutes later, splotch, splotch, splotch in a pair of flippers and a huge grin.
I was off again he looked so happy.

We finally got home and after ten months of asking we finally bought ‘Lilo and Stich’ and sat on the sofa to watch it.
Disney, not afraid to kill a parent or two at the start of the film to get you on side.

I should have known I would go again I suppose, ‘Toy Story 3’ hits the Achillies heel every time and even ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ has it’s moment.

I sat there sniffing on the bean bag while my scabby cat mauled more threads out of my dressing gown.

Prole2 has joined the Surf Life Savers.
I am so proud.

Excuse me.

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It has been said in social study that human beings function best in groups of around one hundred and fifty.

The vague rule of thumb is that you have around five close friends in a ‘circle’ around you.
You then have ten in the next circle, thirty five in the next and a final circle of around one hundred.
These one hundred and fifty friends may change and evolve over years.

i am not sure if it is true or not and I have a little bit of emotional trouble ordering my friends along these lines, slight guilt that some are in close circles and some are in extended circles.
Slight nod to my own self deception to include people who may not belong in any circle.
It is also an emotional minefield trying to work out where you may be within other people’s circles.

If I am honest I don’t think about this much.

I heard it on the radio once and it chimed with something a friend had said at the time.
He said he had met a brilliant guy in the pub, they got on well, shared interests, laughed at similar jokes and had families around the same age.
At the end of the night they parted ways and never contacted each other again.
‘I have’ he said at the time ‘enough friends’.

So I imagine there probably is a finite number of people you can be close to but I also imagine the number changes from individual to individual.

Also, I imagine it would be interesting to see to what degree your friends need to actually be human to qualify for a place in the circles.

I am not going to get all funny and start talking about people who live with life size rubber dolls or keep twenty cats in the house.

I have no desire to do either of these things.

What did strike me as odd was earlier on today.

Prole2 was upset because he could not find Eeyore.

We had just returned from a stay with friends and I had unpacked the bags from the car and left them in the hallway.
Once of a day this would have been a well packed suitcase with the Proles and my belongings segregated so I could check them in and out.
These days it is four big shopping bags, one for me, one for Prole1, one for Prole2 and one for dirty washing.
The bags were in the hall and Prole2 was going through each of them.
No Eeyore.

It was raining outside so I did not automatically check the car.
I took the dirty washing and sorted it out and talked to Prole2 who stood with his nose pressed against the door to check when the rain stopped.

I am prepared for the loss of Eeyore.
We have been there before.
Childhood is a brutal time and there can be many casualties.
The first to fall in Prole2’s life was Monkey-Rabbit.
It was a Rabbit that Prole2 called Monkey. Monkey-Rabbit.
They were inseperable but one day Monkey-Rabbit went absent without leave and never returned.
Then there was Puppy.
Puppy was a Puppy. I know, not very imaginative but hey, Prole2 was three.
Puppy is very much alive and well but lost his position as top dog in Prole2’s life by dropping down the back of the bed and getting lost for a couple of weeks.
By the time he returned, dusty, a bit squashed but all in one piece, he had been replaced by Eeyore.

Eeyore is a bright blue Disney rendering of the A A Milne character.
Sorry Eeyore was a bright blue Disney rendering of the A A Milne character.
Eeyore is a bluish grey, baggy, saggy, tired looking, i’d-disinfect-that-before-touching-it-if-I-were-you Disney rendering of the A A Milne character.
In fairness the designer did try to make Eeyore look tired as part of the concept but Prole2 has really done some work on Eeyore and he looks positively exhausted these days.

I did not warm to Eeyore like i did to Teddy.
Teddy was a remarkably cheap teddy bear that Prole1 took to his heart.
Teddy has aged well.
I know he is not as young as he used to be and his fur is a little distressed in places but his eyes have a trusting wisdom that you just can’t help but be reassured by.
Eeyore on the other hand is a distillation of the Disney version of Eeyore.
He has a woebegone expression on his face that verges on the suicidal.
He is a cuddly toy so the suicidal nature has been mildly tempered to evince pity from the beholder and therefore a cuddle from some poor unfortunate child that will remain pathetically attached to it ever after.

It’s the most passive aggressive cuddly toy I have ever seen.

One that looks like it might self harm if I should ever buy Prole2 a Nintendo DS.

The prospect of losing Eeyore was one that I had mentally steeled myself for but also I have always considered that Prole2 could take a leaf out of his Brother’s book and find himself someone more dependable.

As I packed the washing machine I realise that Eeyore has been with us for the best part of four years now.

He has accompanied us on ferries, aeroplanes and across Britain.
He was with us in the hell that was Disneyland and rode on may of the rides with us.
He sits on the sofa while we watch telly.
He lies on the landing for days at a time.
He has been left out for the night in the garden on more than one occasion.
He has been in the toilet on more than one occasion.
He is the one thing guaranteed to help Prole2 sleep.
When Prole2 was very small he used to sit in the laundry basket and watch Eeyore in the washing machine.

When I need a tiny bit of leverage, a small bargaining chip, a weeny amount of extra parenting wriggle room, Eeyore has been there to help.

I know that Eeyore is a bit of once blue fur whose shapelessness comes from the way his stuffing has squashed into his legs and head.
I know he is a scruffy disease trap who was created by a monstrous international media company, cynically taking a well loved character and serving it back up as a marketing opportunity.

I know the plan when Eeyore finally goes.

But in that moment of stuffing the washing machine, I really did hope Eeyore was in the car.

Because I think, somewhere in my one hundred and fifty friends there might be a place for Teddy and Eeyore.
They have been good to me.

I looked in the car and Eeyore was on the floor with a brown, and heavily stood on, apple core squashed onto his tummy.

Nice.

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The Proles are watching “Dougal and the Blue Cat”

There is a reason for this.
First off I want to dispel any ideas that I might be any good at this parenting thing.
My house is a mess, things are unwashed, untidy and falling apart.
I am also not blessed with completely unlimited patience.
Some days I find it hard to find any patience at all.
Today when I had tidied breakfast things up and got the cuddly toys out of the kitchen, then tidied yesterdays toys out of the living room, then gone back into the kitchen and tidied it again from the lego session that had happened because the living room was out of bounds, then gone back into the living room and tidied up the cars that had been brought out whilst I was tidying the kitchen, I started through the door and I trod on a small plastic wrestler.
With bare feet.
Me not the wrestler.

It was Seamus from the WWE, in case you are interested in the details.

Now Seamus has extended arms and a ‘flicking’ action that can propel his plastic foes across the ring, table or in this case hallway.

I tried to do the ‘light-step-not-putting-all-your-weight-on-it’ move that you learn when the first piece of lego is placed on the floor and you have bare feet.
(Why does lego hurt so much by the way? It is totally disproportionate to any other toy stepped on in bare feet, surely?)

Seamus did a good job though, his outstretched arms digging into my exposed instep and I began to drop the cars I was carrying and I tried to do the ‘move-your-bare-feet-out-of-the-way-whilst-still-standing’ move that I learned from carrying large ungainly handfuls of toe smashing toys.

This meant I fell sideways and banged my head on the wall and I hissed with pain.

The Proles froze half way through the marble run they were constructing on the kitchen floor.

The net result of this was that I was SO ANGRY and ENRAGED that I put myself on the naughty step to calm down and sent them into the living room to watch a film.

Putting myself on the naughty step was a brilliant discovery by the way, they are not allowed to talk to me and I am not allowed to talk to them.
Sometimes it is the most peaceful place in the house.
And I get 43 minutes if I want.

Anyway it got me thinking.

I like watching the wrestling.
This is a bit of a hangover from my childhood and the ‘Golden Years’ of TV wrestling in Britain.
We did not watch it often at home, it was not actually banned but it was on on Saturday afternoons and watching the telly on a Saturday was limited to mornings only.
Sometimes, on rare visits to other family members, I would be allowed to watch.
I stopped watching at all when I got into my teens because it was so very clearly a pantomime.

A long time later  I found that they would repeat shows from the bigger American wrestling shows on British TV.
These were the days when I was working in London and the perfect unwind might be the most mindless telly in the world.
Robot Wars and the World Wrestling Federation were top of my list.

Before you judge me I would have to point out that during the summer months my days were taken up discussing Shakespeare, renaissance culture, authentic theatrical practices of the sixteenth century and complex rehearsal schedules.
I spent most days bluffing my way through with some of the keenest historical and theatrical minds in Britain.

By the end of the day the last thing I wanted to do was indulge in anything cerebral.

Robot Wars was just weird, geeks from all over the country bringing their dreams, time and spare money together and creating a mechanical machine that would get smashed to pieces on National TV.
It was simultaneously brilliant and awful.
Mostly awful though and never quite as exciting as you thought it might be.

The Wrestling was different.
On the face of it big men (and sometimes women) get into a ring in improbable clothing and pretend to beat each other up.
This is interspersed with universally badly improvised speeches over the microphone.
After you watch it for a while something else starts to shine through.
Week after week those people train hard and rehearse incredibly complicated series of moves.
A bout can go on for fifteen minutes or more.
They have spent time working these out and have to remember them in front of  live audience.

I know professional dancers that would have a problem with that schedule week on week.

Added to that the moves themselves are all fairly dangerous.
Some of the jumps are huge, falls onto concrete floors, catches and somersaults.
I once witnessed an actor dislocate their whole foot. All the were doing was running across the stage.
The risk to professional wrestlers is incredible.

Added to that a different partner to play off most weeks, sometimes multiple players to be rehearsed in.
The setting is brutal, scaff planks with a foam layer covered in canvas, steel frame with some robust padding.

Week after week you can watch the same people get into the ring.

There are plots to watch if you can be bothered, feuds, villains turned saints and faces turned heels.
The plots are usually awful and unsurprising, just a means to getting people fighting really.

There is often some sort of fictitious competition for the championship belt, this is just a reason for bad improvised speech it appears.

The real drama is played out as you watch the talented and not so talented try to hang on to their fans, try to hang on to their contracts, try not to pick up too many injuries.
Some of them have been doing it for years and you just know a large part of their wages goes on surgery to keep them in the game.

Even before the film “The Wrestler” came out I was trying to read that story behind the glossy TV shows.
Men in their late thirties, forties and in some cases fifties stepping into the ring and being hurled around in tendon snapping back bending ways.
Most of my more physical theatre friends have all sorts of problems with knees, arms, necks and backs.
Heaven knows what the list of injuries must be in the professional wrestling scene.

I would lie on the sofa and watch the ‘show’ each week.

It is like they have no pain and no fear.

Which brings me to the toy Seamus the Wrestler.

The thing is, when the real Seamus the Wrestler goes home does he hurt himself when he steps on lego?

I bloody hope so…..

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At the end of a long day I am aware of the things I don’t do.
As a parent this is fairly universal.
Like a huge weight of failure that follows us round.

I don’t store the beans upside down.

If you store the beans upside down, or indeed many kinds of food cans with ring pulls, then when you open them all the thick stuff is at the top.
Turn it upside down over the pan, quick shake, everything plops out, no need to scrape out the tin.

It is so easy when you store the bean cans upside down.

I ALWAYS forget to store the bean cans upside down.

I know that if you put half a lemon in the dish washer the plates come out sparkly and fresh.
It must be ten years since I have actually done this. Even when I actually have half a lemon in the house and it ends up going manky I somehow manage to block out any connection with the dishwasher at all and throw it away.

Flat coke cleans toilets. Pour it in, leave for an hour, flush and scrub with the toilet brush.
Except in my house where it gets poured away.

The Proles’ drawers stick on their wardrobe.
I know that if I rub candle wax on the runners the problem will be gone.
I can see a candle from where I am sitting now.
It’s over there.
But the Proles are asleep (this is a lie, they are in bed but Prole1 is re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the third time and Prole2 is under the duvet with the cat, ‘cooking her dinner’ any way I can’t go in there now, it would be chaos)
Tomorrow I will forget all about it until I sit here again and look at that candle.

The things I could do with white wine vinegar and bi-carbonate of soda.
If I had any white wine vinegar.
If I had not removed the label from the bi-carbonate of soda and now can’t tell the bi-carbonate of soda from the baking powder or cream of tartar.
I should leave more labels on as well.

I take that back, those labels were rubbish.

I should have left them on though.

I don’t usually mind my failings.
To be honest I don’t often have coke in the house so I can almost forgive myself that.

It is more the principle of the thing.
I think culture tells us we should really be doing these things and the more we do them the more super beings we become.

I don’t want to be a Domestic Goddess (as far as I can tell there is no male equivalent to this, any how whatever it is I don’t need to be it) I think it is just entropy getting me down.
The tendency of the universe to revert to chaos.

I blame popular culture.
Specifically I blame Lucy Liu.

Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and by proxy any one who has ever starred in a ‘kickass’ action film ever.

Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, John Wayne even.

The problem is, they set out to do something and they just ‘do’ it.

In the film Charlie’s Angels the Angels are infiltrating the evil criminal’s base. Their strategy seems to be to be ‘kickass’.
They come out of the sea ‘kickass’. They remove wetsuits ‘kickass. They beat up bad guys ‘kickass’.
Lucy Liu goes up to the roof ‘kickass’ to set up a satellite link or something ‘kickass’. Something on the roof. It was ‘kickass’ anyway.

She arrives at her roof top destination with her ‘kickass’ computer satellite stuff but has no where to put it.
She reaches out her foot and ‘kickass’ flips a wooden crate onto it’s side and puts her techno ‘kickass’ stuff on it.

Even thinking about that moment depresses me.
I can’t do that.
Not with kids.

You know that you would take ages getting up the stairs making sure the Proles were using the bannister and then you would be all hot and be distracted or thinking about lunch and the crate would fall over and you would have to put everything down and pick it up again and then if you did get it back up one of the Proles would ask what you were doing and then use the crate as a drawing board or a fire engine or something.
And you could not stop them because you are too afraid of them falling off the edge of the roof.
And if you were trying to set up some kind of laptop satellite nonsense uplink thing the other Prole would just be asking if they could play Angry Birds.
What takes Lucy Liu a second and a half to achieve would take me several minutes and include a break for carrot sticks and a drink.

I could not even put the nappy change bag on the floor without it slowly slumping to one side, just out of reach of fingers, so I had to shuffle over and retrieve it, off balance and holding a squirmy child in the least ‘kickass’ way imaginable.

Nothing I do is ‘kickass’.

Please don’t get me wrong.
I have no desire to be Lucy Liu.
I don’t want to wear impractical leather wear and have ‘cute’ conversations with Drew Barrymore.
Really I don’t.

I just want the beans to come out of the tin first time.

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Prole2: Why is Laurel and Hardy funny?

Me: Why is it funny?

Prole2: Yeh. It’s like…really funny. Why?

Me: I don’t know, it just is.

Prole2: But why?

Me: Well, there is a size difference, Laurel is small and Hardy is big but Laurel wears a big coat and Hardy wears one that is too small for him.

Prole2: Yes…

Me: And they are like clowns, innocents really. Laurel is very stupid but capable of great wisdom and Hardy thinks he is more clever and refined than he is.

Prole2: Yep. Ok.

Me: Their attempts to find food or shelter or to do the right thing always get them into more trouble. Every time they get into trouble they fight but we know they love each other really so we like them. And they rely on slapstick and jokes to make us laugh.

Prole2: Yes.

Me: Why do you think they are funny?

Prole2: Because they wore that goat thingy and rode a bike and it crashed so they were on those wheels and when he was trying to hide and Laurel had a bucket…ha ha ha…Laurel had a bucket…ha ha ha…

Prole1: What’s he laughing at?

Prole2: Laurel had a bucket…ha ha ha ha…

Prole1: Ha ha ha…a bucket…he had a bucket….on his head…

I left them in fits of laughter and went to run a bath.

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Tonight we tried to decide which film to watch.
We do this quite often as lip service to democracy in the house.

Me: Ok, if you see a film you like say it out loud and if we all agree we can watch it. I will start. Iron Giant.

Proles: NO!

Me: Umm…ok, one of you have a go.

Prole1: Incredible Journey?

Prole2: NO!

Me: Ok, not popular, your turn.

Prole2: Happy feet?

Prole1: NO!

Me: Right, if you say no you have to come up with another solution. Carry on.

Prole1: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

Prole2: NO! Lots and Lots of Little Toy Trains?

Prole1: NO! How To Train Your dragon?

Prole2: NO! Lots and Lots of Monster Trucks?

Prole1: NO! The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe?

Prole2: NO! G-Force?

Prole1: NO! Prince Caspian?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo and the Goblin King?

Prole1: NO! Legend of the Guardians?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo and the Samurai Sword?

Prole1: NO! Wal.E?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo and the Lake Monster?

Prole1: NO! Mary Poppins?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo and the Winter Wonderland?

Prole1: NO! Speed Racer?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo and the Legend of the Vampire?

Prole1: NO! The Borrowers?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo and the Alien Invaders?

Prole1: NO! Madagascar?

Me: No! NO! No, no, no, no. Not even in jest. Toy Story?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo meets Batman?

Prole1: NO! Singing in the Rain?

Prole2: NO! Scooby Doo Monsters Unleashed?

Prole1: NO! Professor Layton Eternal Diva?

Prole2: NO! Is there any more Scooby Doo?

Me: No.

Prole2: Lego adventures?

Prole1: NO! The Wizard of Oz?

Prole2: NO! Loris and Gromit the Wrong Trousers?

Prole1: NO! Robots?

Prole2: NO! Loris and Gromit A Grand Day Out?

Prole1: NO! Singin’ in the Rain?

Prole2: NO! Loris and Gromit A Matter of..what is ti?

Me: Loaf?

Prole2: Loris and Gromit A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Me: Who are Loris and Gromit?

Prole1: Wallace. NO! Astroboy?

Prole2: NO! Loris and Gromit Were Rabbit?

Prole1: NO! Dougal and the Blue cat?

Prole2: NO! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Prole1: NO! Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs?

Prole2: NO! Sean the Sheep?

Prole1: NO! Muppets Treasure Island?

Prole2: NO! Avengers Movie?

Prole1: NO! Next Avengers?

Prole2: NO! Power Puff girls?

Prole1: NO! The Magic Sword?

Prole2: NO! Horton Hears a Who?

Prole1: NO! Ice Age?

Prole2: NO! Ice Age 2?

Prole1: NO! Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs?

Prole2: NO! Thomas: Misty Island Rescue?

Prole1: NO! Chitty Chitty Bang bang?

Prole2: NO! Robots?

Prole1: NO! Bagpuss?

Me: Wait a minute you just said Robots?

Prole2: NO! I mean yes. Yes.

Me: And earlier on you said Robots?

Prole1: Yes I did.

Me: So, shall we watch robots?

Proles: NO!

Me: Right…

Prole1: Muppets, Series 1, Disc 1?

Prole2: NO! Toy Story 2?

Prole1: NO! Muppets, Series 1, Disc 2?

This carried on for some time.

We watched an Iron Man animated series in the end but I have to say the discussion before hand was much more fun.

Tonight Prole1 watched another in the Star Wars series of Films.

I have been worried about it for a while, the first three films in the series can be quite close to the bone.

Pressure and bargaining, bargaining and pressure. Yes to the Star Wars series, no to Harry Potter, X-Men and any Avengers linked film. Not yet.

The first three films are the worst, for the most part they are fairly harmless romps through space, as long as you ignore the mild bondage and rubber wear the female protagonist seems most comfortable in during “romantic” scenes and the fact that one of the characters, “Annie”, gets dismembered and set on fire whilst still alive.

“Annie” then becomes Darth Vader, for those of you who don’t know, and in a remarkably improbable series of events and plot points (in which all characters behave as if they have no intelligent thought between them) we lurch into the much cuddlier final three films.

After the film Prole1 wanted more detail.

Prole1: So, in Star Wars the Galactic Senate is what?

Me: What?

Prole1: What is the Galactic Senate?

Me: It’s that place with all those round floaty things with people standing in them and talking. Where the Evil Emperor comes from.

Prole1: Yes I know that but why are they doing all that talking?

Me: Well, it’s the Government of the Galaxy.

Prole1: Muh?

Me: Ok, if our house was a planet, and there was a Galactic Senate one of us would have to go there to discuss what our planet thought should happen in the Galaxy. They would go to the senate and be a Senator.

Prole1: Would you go? No, you are in charge here. One of us would go.

Me: Yes, one of you would be a Senator and go. We would vote for it.

Prole1: I would go.

Me: Well, it’s a democracy so we would vote.

Prole1: You can’t vote because you are in charge and that’s not a democracy. He can’t vote because he is on the toilet.

Me: He has been up there a while.

Prole1: So when I got there I could get a floaty thing and tell the other planets what we thought?

Me: Yes.

Prole1: Like in Parliament?

Me: Ummm, yes, just like Parliament I suppose.

Prole1: So I’d be like a …what are they?

Me: Politician? MP?

Prole1: MP! MP! We learned about them at school. There are lots of them in a big house.

Me: That’s right, they all talk….

Prole1: And there is the one, the one they all voted for who is in charge?

Me: The Prime Minister, our Prime Minister at the moment is David Cameron.

Prole1: Prime Minister. Yes. Prime Minister…..

Short pause whilst Prole1 jams his fingers in his ears, screws up his face and looks at the light bulb.

The light shade is split where I tried to hit Prole2 with the beanbag earlier and caught it with the up swing.
He is a slippery one but I got him in the end.

Prole1: So is the Prime Minister like the Evil Emperor then?

What to say?

Me: Ummm….let me just check on your brother.