Secondhand movies
Sometimes a mom just has to stand up and say ‘Enough!’
It is a harsh thing but I have come to believe quite firmly that children need to be reined in on their enthusiasm for sharing the plots of movies they’ve seen and others haven’t.

The problem is not in the wanting to share. The problem is in the editing. My 8-year old daughter wants to tell me one very short part – the part where he fell over his feet and landed in a puddle of mud. She starts there and then decides I need to know his background. I also need to know who he was dating before the incident, what his mother said when he left home at the tender age of 23, what he was wearing that morning, and the fact that he’d been in a good mood.

She starts again, and finds that she is now on a runaway train and tells me his past, his puddle-y present and where this whole thing will end. She stops for the time it takes to refuel a jet at each joke, imitates the faces, laughs hysterically at the bits she just thought of but hasn’t found the breath or words to describe yet, and then works her way film inch by film inch towards the movie’s resolution and the touching final scene where they dance on a riverbank.

At this point she also tries to relate what the music was like by comparing it to vague hums in her head.

It is exhausting. None but the most long-suffering and masochistic of parents, aunts, godfathers or older siblings can be expected to sit through this even once in their lives.

Mom says stop

The other day 4 of them came back from seeing Gnomeo and Juliette. One said something about the movie, another chipped in, the third one corrected number one and the fourth one corrected number three and then all four started telling their version at the same time.

I jumped on the chair and karate chopped the air, silencing the melee with an egg lifter brandished menacingly through the noise.


‘I do not want to hear four versions of the same movie which I haven’t seen. I frankly am not interested. There are also four other adults at this here breakfast table who would like to converse.’

I sat down and sprinkled grated cheddar cheese on my Spanish omelette and looked up at seven sets of eyes waiting for me to laugh and make light of my little drama.

‘What? I’m serious. I’m not interested. Sorry. It’s tough, but there it is.

‘Now, anyone for more toast?’

Sometimes there’s just no nice way to say ‘this is so boring my ears are melting and my limbs are numb’.

Do your child sometimes recount too much detail of movies or TV?

Read more by Karin Schimke

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