Now, don't get me wrong, for those of you who've visited this blog before, you'll know I'm not traditionalist. On the other hand, I'm also a bit of a media tyrant when it comes to my kids - we don't do a ton of media, and when we do, it's often in the two non-English languages we speak in the house (that's a whole other blog entry on raising tri-lingual kids)
But today was our one zillionth snow day this month, and I was tired. And all I really wanted was to make popcorn and cuddle up with my kids on the sofa and watch... something. But all the stuff available streaming on Netflix today seemed to in the vein of Hannah Montana and the Olsen Twins sing in a high school musical. Er, no thanks.
And it occurred to me - when did we as a society start marketing ALL the kids' media to, well, kids only? I mean, what ever happened to films and books that adults and kids can enjoy together? And I know that's what the Pixar and some of the Disney films are going for, but (and perhaps I'm romanticizing here) didn't films in some imagined bygone era lift kids UP rather than having adults come DOWN?
Now, clearly, for someone who LOVES children's and YA lit, and much, MUCH silly YA media (see prev. post The Vampire Diaries for confirmation therein), I'm obviously only half serious about this argument. But the other half of me, the parent half, actually prefers having my kids see, say, "The Sound of Music", "My Fair Lady", "Sissy", "Meet Me in St. Louis" (movies they LOVE, by the way) than the really fast moving, admittedly witty (almost too witty?) films billed as modern day family fare.
So today, we watched "Cheaper By the Dozen" - the 1950 version. Now, it was admittedly steeped in the values of its time, including pretty annoyingly traditional gender roles, but it was also sweet, and funny, and slow paced. In a sense, the ideal qualities I'd like to enact in my own family. Er, except the anti-birth control ranting and uncomplaining-mom-at-home-with-twelve kids part. Yea, that part not so much.
What are your favorite 'old fashioned' films or books?
(Right now, we're doing From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as a before bed read aloud - and last night my 6yo actually interrupted me to ask "What's a typewriter?" which required a suprisingly long explanation... how fast times change...)