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February 26, 2005

President's Day

Now that it's Saturday, I should probably write about what I did on Monday.

As it was a holiday, Kelly had no school, and fortunately my work recognizes President's Day, as Jean had clinicals and couldn't be home. So I stayed home with Kelly. We worked a bit on her school projects (a mystery novel report, and a diorama involving red foxes). I gave Kelly a choice of movies to see and she jumped on Son of the Mask. My, was this a bad movie. The original, with Jim Carrey, was a lot of fun, but Jamie Kennedy has no charisma to speak of, and just couldn't carry it off.

That night, I was tucking Kelly in to bed, and she asked me "did you enjoy the movie, Dad?"

"I really enjoyed seeing the movie with you, Kelly."

(Kelly, not buying it...) "But did you enjoy the movie, Dad?"

So I told her that I enjoyed some parts, with the 'baby mask' and the 'dog mask', but that 'daddy mask' was lame, compared to Jim Carrey. She seemed to accept this.

It's getting tough, when I can't deflect an awkward question with carefully phrased misdirection. Pity me!

Posted by dpwakefield at February 26, 2005 08:44 AM


I'm wondering why you didn't just tell her you didn't like it much, and why. It seems to me that would help her feel free to be critical as well...

I do think it's great to say that you enjoy seeing a movie with her, but I think kids sometimes feel obliged to "enjoy" media that others appear to be enjoying. It might be liberating for her to learn otherwise.

Just curious.

Posted by: Pascale Soleil at February 27, 2005 07:12 AM

Nice direct question. My answer is going to seem glib, but stick with me:

I'm a shitty parent.

Jean always poo-poos this when I say it, but I really mean it. I'm introspective enough to know that I am lazy about parenting. Good intentions can not make up for disposition, personality, call it what you will. But it never occurs to me to do these things until *after* someone else points it out.

When I mentioned this incident to Jean, she said "I think it's sweet that she really wants to know what you think." Which is a slightly nicer way of letting me off the hook ;^)~

I try to compensate for my known personality flaws by pushing myself to be more involved, help her with her projects, spend time talking with her even if I don't have a clue when she really wants honest discussion, versus the usual silly banter. Maybe someday I'll have a cognitive shift, but experience teaches me that 'being proactive' about my flaws is a lot like a fish being proactive about recognizing that stupid water limitation.

Posted by: Donald Wakefield at February 27, 2005 10:53 PM