Monday, January 28, 2008

Just Say "Pocchi-No" To Corporal Punishment

We've been systematically working our way through the Disney films of the golden, pre-Eisner era, and this weekend's selection was "Pinocchio." Or "Pocchi-No", if you're Ellie. The film is chock-a-block with typically charming vintage details (wild-eyed, puppet-thieving gypsies, cigar-smoking children, man-eating whales) and a particular scene featuring some cuckoo clocks in Geppetto's workshop in which one of the clocks opens to reveal a little mechanical woman, angrily paddling a child's rump.

So, right after this scene, Ellie turns to me and says, "That mommy is angry."

Concerned, ready to tender a wise, motherly explanation of the situation, I say, "What was the mommy doing?"

"She was hitting her baby. On his bum."

"Yeahhhh. She sure was. Is that a nice thing to do?" I cluck.

"No," she says, shaking her head, watching the movie.

"You're right. Mommies and daddies shouldn't hit their babies, should they?" I say, nodding solemnly. This is good, I think. This is solid-gold parenting in action, right here. I put my arm around her wee shoulders.

Ellie glances away from the screen, sees my face, does a double take, and says, "It's just a clock. It's just a cartoon clock, Mama."

Even the three-year-old is embarrassed for me.


Anonymous said...

I think you handled it just as a well educated mommy who is attuned to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations should do. Most tiny children would just nod their heads and say, "ooh, mama smart." Back to the movie. More popcorn.

Ellie appears to be somewhat of the genius variety of child. My condolences. Genius children refuse to fall for anything and embarrass us regularly. We are so, "duh Mom."

Tootsie Farklepants said...

She's wise. Keep an eye on that one.

Anonymous said...

Oy. You're so screwed when she hits puberty. She is gonna KILL you guys.

Mrs. G. said...

Dissed by a three-year-old...even at that young age, children can sniff out the most well intentioned teachable moments and mock you.

I AM VERY MARY said...

Something tells me that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Anonymous said...

I remember the first time I saw that scene with Jack - I was kind of appalled, myself. I was hoping that it would just kind of go over his head. I think it did, but I'm not sure...

And what was up with the whistling and jeering from Jiminy, over the wooden blonde doll who came out of the cuckoo clock? That was a somewhat strange and disturbing element, too.

I love what your little one said. Jack always says the same type of thing when I start to cry during a movie. "It's only a MOVIE, Mommy. It's not REAL." I know, honey. I know.

stephanie said...

That is pretty rich. We just can't fool them. I'm getting really sad about that.