A Suburban Dad's Guest Blog: The reason I haven't seen the Oscar nominated films

By Rick Kaempfer

Oscar night is Sunday and once again, I've only seen one of the nominated films...and that one is Toy Story 3. I'll still watch the show, of course, but I won't have any rooting interest.

I never really thought it would get to this point. I used to love going to the movies, but something happened along the way.

We had kids.

Now we don't really have time to see movies anymore. On the other hand, there's no shortage of free entertainment.

One person who recognized this
phenomenon was Art Linkletter. In the 50s and 60s his television show
"Kids Say the Darndest Things" helped make him a very wealthy man.

I've found that kids are most entertaining and unpredictable (and also impossible) at age 3 or 4. My kids were no exception.

To keep me sane when they were that age, I jotted down their comments. Like the nominated Oscar films, some of the following examples aren't laugh out loud funny, but remember that
you don't always pay money to see comedies. Sometimes you see a drama
or a movie that makes you think.

*When he was three, every time my son Sean hit his head he said
"Tweet, tweet, tweet." I finally asked him what he meant by that, and he
told me that there were little birdies flying around his head.

*While grocery shopping with 3-year old Johnny in the soft-drink aisle,
his face lit up when he saw the all the cans. He screamed at the top of
his lungs: "Dad, look, BEER!"

*When Tommy was 4, I asked him: "If
you could have three wishes, what would they be?" He said the following
with very little hesitation: "I would wish for more nature like trees,
grass and plants. I would wish for a double chocolate chip ice cream
cone. And I would wish to someday discover a color that has never before
been seen by the human eye."

*Typical Johnny question at breakfast: "Dad, can a panther eat a boy?"

*When I dropped Sean off at my mother's house, he proudly said to
her: "My mom says that you have a lot of crap in your basement."

*Johnny had a bit of an anger
management problem at this age, but he was always very careful not to use bad words even when
he was enraged. Instead, he made up his own swear words. A typical
outburst went a little like this: "YOU GO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE AND GO
TO JAIL YOU ALLERTICOTT!"  

*We were in my mother's backyard, and my mom's neighbor was
standing on her driveway. Sean sprinted across the lawn because he had
to talk to her right away. When he got there, he realized he had nothing
to say, and he stood there in silence for about ten seconds before
blurting out: "Love your nails."

*When Johnny was 3, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He thought about this long and hard, and said in all earnestness..."I think I'll be a wrestler in outer space."

*Actual conversation on the swings in the park.
Dad: Sean, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Sean: A doctor. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Dad: (chuckle) Good question.
Sean: Do you want to be a mom so you can go to work?

When you've got little ones at home, every day brings a new little moment of free entertainment. I strongly recommend writing them down. That way, when they become teenagers...and they will become teenagers...you can look longingly at their cute little utterings and convince yourself it was like that all the time.

Also, be sure to remind yourself that this entertainment was free. The stuff at the movie theaters...not so much.

 Maybe that will help you make it through another Oscar broadcast for films you haven't seen.

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  • I, too, am a father of a couple of kids headed towards teenagerhood, so this is quite familiar.

    The one question I have is WHY would you subject yourself to watching the Oscars? That's three hours of your life that you'll never get back, and for WHAT? I mean, it would be one thing if you'd invested in one of the films in contention and were anxiously waiting to see if the DVD would have "nominated" or "winner" on the box ... or if you'd had some youthful tawdry indiscretion with some notable from some film or another and this was going to greatly improve the impact of the story ... but if you've not seen the films (and, frankly, I've not even HEARD of most of the flicks in contention!), why sit through something that would be irritating if you were THERE and INVOLVED?

    I will never understand why people watch these sorts of things ... they are, generally speaking, less interesting than the Superbowl half-time shows, and 10 times as long!

  • Those are all excellent points. I confess that I watch it because I get a kick out of the self-absorption and self-congratulation. I like to imagine the award ceremony at a regular business. "And the best salesman in the territory goes to..." Cue the music and the tears.

  • OMG, Rick. That's a hilarious point! I can imagine, I don't know, my husband, say, replying, "You like me! You really, really like me!" when he wins Best IT Manager of the Year!

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