Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mr. Blue Sky Vs. The Monsters Under the Bed

Minion: So what's the plan, sir?

Megamind: I have no idea!

After the little one went to bed at just before 8:30, Dan and I started watching Megamind. I don't always like computer animated movies, but this is one of my favorites. Funny and sweet, the bad guy decides to do the right thing and changes for the right reasons.

Megamind movie poster, from Wikipedia, here.

ELO's Mr Blue Sky is featured in Megamind. ELO made a new video for it last year, in 2012 for some reason - the original came out in 1977. I've always liked it and have always thought I heard a dog panting in the song. Having seen the new video, either I'm right about the dog, or the animator mis-hears the same thing, because a doggie is animated in at just the right spot. Sweet, right? 

2012 ELO Mr. Blue Sky

The previous video of Mr Blue Sky was a more straightforward performance piece by ELO. From the marvellous and much-missed era of huge 'fros and rockin' mullets, it's neat, but in a different way.

Original video, ELO, Mr. Blue Sky

About an hour after we started watching the film, the little one came down crying. Fast forward another 40 minutes, and we sent her back to bed, still a little upset, but mostly calm. Now I'm upset, too.

Mr. Blue you did it right
But soon comes Mr. Night
Creepin' over, now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind, I'll remember you this, I'll remember you this way

Lyrics from Mr. Blue Sky by ELO

She couldn't sleep because today at school, when she had a moment to read, she picked up a book called More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (link goes to the Amazon page for the book). Tonight, in bed, she had plenty of time to think about the stories, and when she came down, she was terrified. I have the feeling that she may have picked this particular book up because it has a horse on the cover. She loves horses.

I'm actually not upset about the book. In spite of the title, it seems to be age-appropriate, from what I can see. It simply was not "our child" age-appropriate, but the teacher would have had no way of knowing. Additionally, I'm not one for censorship. Still, I know my child, and could have foreseen this. But I wasn't there. And she wasn't here.

For half an hour or so, we talked to her, and I held her & her pony and gave her tight hugs. Dan told her about a scary movie he'd seen when he was little (he'd seen Jaws) and how he'd had a hard time sleeping when he saw it, but how now he knows that movies and books can't hurt us. When she was calm, but still a little worried, we sent her to bed.

Jaws movie poster, from Wikipedia, here.

Normally, when she's scared, we'd sit up and talk and maybe find another book to read or do something to replace the scary ideas she has swirling around in her mind. We'd take the time until the issue was resolved, even if it took a while.

But we can't sit up for another hour or so.

Sending her to her room is a rude reminder of what "going to school" means.

Hey, you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
Lyrics from Mr. Blue Sky by ELO

She has to get up early in the morning for school, and I had to tell her that she had to go back and try to sleep.

Now I'm sitting here, sad and frustrated that I couldn't do everything I felt called to do because of time constraints. We did what we needed to do to calm her and get her back in bed and hopefully  to sleep. With school looming,  though, there is no time to find stories to give her new things to think about, or to have a talk about why we sometimes like scary things and how they aren't always bad.

She asked to stay home tomorrow, right before she went back to her room, and I had to say "no". School is something to fully commit to and attendance is important.

I desperately wanted to say yes.

Taking the time to talk and spend time with her and to fix things is how we've always done things. We both miss that right now.

I feel like crying, and I didn't even read a scary book.