April 16, 2012
Our boys don't watch a lot of tv. They would if we let it happen, but we don't and they generally watch about fifteen minutes of Thomas/Octonauts/Pingu after bath time. Sometimes a PlaySchool when it's been a rainy day and they need some entertainment while I cook dinner. We've tried to watch a movie with Ollie (Cars) but I think we got about ten minutes into it before the chaos and noise of the over the top animation got to Ollie and he decided he didn't want to watch it. It wasn't a surprise really, we've managed The Jungle Book and we are also fans of The Gruffalo, but these are sweet, gentle animations. He's been known to watch Bob the Builder from behind a cushion, so he's not the kind of kid that likes to contemplate anything too stressful.
We'd been thinking about whether it was time to take the boys out to the movies. The Lorax, we were told by our parent friends, is great! The kids will love it! They'll have a great time! It's such an awesome movie! OK. So, we decided to take the plunge and take our boys to the pictures for the very first time to see said movie, despite what now seems to be the obvious indications that maybe we should have waited a while.
I thought it would be fairly tame. I thought the animation would be gentle, cute, Dr Seuss animation. I didn't think about it from the perspective of a three year old, and definitely not from the perspective of my boy, who's always been a little sensitive and never really enjoyed anything that might result in overstimulation. The movie was actually great, but it was loud, full of references that we as adults can process and understand (the music, the images of thunder and lightning, the kid going to find the Onceler in the dark) but that a three year old would reasonably find really quite scary. Ollie tried his hardest but even with the help of his little comforter and sitting on my lap didn't help, and he seemed positively relieved to say yes when I asked if he wanted to leave.
Max on the other hand, seemed to be ok. Maybe it's because he was snug on his dad's lap, or maybe he was too young to question what he was watching, although there was a moment when he squeaked a little and needed to be comforted, but on the whole, I think he could have handled it. But we didn't stay the course. We left after about twenty minutes, did some shopping, ate our many packed snacks anyway and talked to Ollie about what he didn't like. Turns out it was the previews.