One good thing about my kids getting older

If there’s one good thing about my kids getting older, besides their ability to “pick up a six-pack for your dad on your way home,” it’s not having to sit through another kiddy movie, play, or TV show.

None of my kids dragged me to see Frozen. Some families have seen it multiple times. It’s the talk of parents with little kids but I know absolutely nothing about it. If it’s Disney, I’m just guessing here, I haven’t Googled it, there’s probably a princess and one or two little sidekick critters--- the snowy version of Pumbaa and Timon or Sebastian and Flounder. Then there’s a Cruella De Vil or Jafar-type bad guy/gal. Something like that?

I might very well be the only person in the tri-state area who has yet to even hear the runaway, smash hit: “Let It Whatever… Go? Grow? Snow?” There’re sing-along showings of Frozen I understand, like Rocky Horror Picture Show back in the day (except, probably, with less alcohol and exposed flesh. Or toast). The song won an Oscar®; I didn’t hear it then.

toasterWhen my kids were little, we’d be right at every new Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks animated moneymaker, no matter what the reviews. So for every Totoro, there was a Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars. We saw Hercules at the Chicago Theater that included a 20-minute live Pocahontas show on the lip of the proscenium stage in front of the movie screen. Thank God they never begged to see anything “On Ice!”

But there are 50, 60 Disney classics on VHS decomposing in my basement, some from the “Disney Vault---” Aladdin, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life. I’ve seen them again and again and again. I’ve heard the soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast quite possibly--- a conservative estimate ---1,245 times on the cassette player in the minivan. (It was the only way kid #2 would sleep in his car seat.)

Then, it seems like overnight, our kiddy movie attendance dwindled off to nothing. The last one I saw in theaters was probably The Incredibles, which came out almost ten years ago. I completely missed Shrek! And Cars. Ratatouille and Brave.

TV wasn’t much different. Kid #3 was obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine. I enjoyed the early Ringo Starr/George Carlin years, before they added those weird animated faces. Kid #4 liked Dora and Oswald the Octopus. There was Sesame Street, of course, there’s always Sesame Street. Before Cookie Monster started watching his glycemic levels.

I couldn’t pick a Wiggle out of a lineup (and from what I’ve seen of their creepy primary color sweaters, they’ve probably been in a few), I sat through my share of Teletubbies. I pretty much dodged the Caillou bullet. He was just poking his big melon onto American TV sets about the time my kids graduated to Courage, the Cowardly Dog and SpongeBob.

So time, and children’s programming, marches on. I’m quickly approaching “other” on the world’s demographic checklist, the fill-in box that comes after 25-34 and 35-58… I may live way down at that end, but my kids keep me current with what’s going on at theirs.

adventure timeBecause of my kids, I’ve experienced Fallout Boy and Panic at the Disco! live (chaperoning… with earplugs). My kids introduced me to Archer and Always Sunny and Adventure Time. They showed me Daniel Tosh--- who’s kind of a mean, bigot and South Park--- which actually has some worthwhile social commentary.

Yeah, I miss them snuggling in our bed at night or running around naked after a bath or their giddy excitement finding presents under the tree. But I don’t miss sitting through Pokemon 4Ever!

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