I decided to scar my daughter over the weekend.
On Sunday morning, my daughter woke up crying. She'd had a terrible nightmare where I had been cursed in a museum and turned into a skeleton. My daughter was quite upset, upset enough that when I joked about it she didn’t laugh and her mother warned me that I was being inappropriate.
That evening, I decided that I wanted to watch Star Wars. My children have seen it before and liked it, so I figured it wouldn’t be any problem. So I talked them both into it: I told my son that it had lots of fighting and shooting, which he likes, and I told my daughter that since she’d seen it it wouldn’t be too scary for her. My wife asked me (several times) "are you sure this is okay?" I told her yeah, stop worrying me, dad's got it under control.
My son quickly got bored. It was great watching the storm troopers take over the rebel ship, but after that there’s not so much fighting. Every time Darth Vader appeared, my son would ask “why doesn't he get out his light saber?” I don’t think that the boy cared who Darth Vader killed: rebels, starship commanders, governor Tarkin; he just wanted some ACTION! Also, I worry that the boy was rooting for Darth Vader to destroy Luke’s ship in the last scene. He may be in league with the dark side of the force.
My daughter quickly got hysterical. If you remember, there’s a scene where Luke comes back to the farm and finds his uncle and aunt dead. They’ve been burned, complete with close up of two charred skeletons. Oops.
That night, as I was tucking her in, she started sobbing uncontrollably and telling me how horrifying the movie was. She made me promise that, if we watched the other movies, there’d be no skeletons. She said she was ready to watch episodes 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, but that episode 4 was way too scary for her and she’d never watch it again. Sigh. So much for great ideas.
Worst of all was my wife's snide comment, "don't worry, daddy knows what he's doing!"
Next weekend I figure I’ll just go the whole 9 yards and show them “The Shining” and then offer to take them off to a secluded cabin where I can work on my upcoming novel, “If I Did It.”