Last night -- when I started this post fully intending to publish it by my self-imposed deadline of 11:59 p.m. Monday through Friday (Saturdays and Sundays are optional) -- I was watching How to Train Your Dragon with Ashlyn. This was worth celebrating as it marked our apparent graduation from the Deathly Hallows and Michael Myers to something light and cheerful.
We've watched the first installment of the final Harry Potter story some 20 times since it's Oct.8 premier on HBO. It's the only thing to do in my bedroom as far as Ashlyn's concerned. Every Saturday and Sunday morning -- every weekday afternoon upon my arrival home from work -- Ashlyn leads me up the stairs chanting "Ha-we Potta, Mommy. Ha-we Potta."
If I'm in my room writing I can set my clock by the protests that go on in the hallway outside. The muffled giggle and thunk-thunk of a small fist hitting my door are followed by a few moments of quiet, in which I can hear her breaths getting quicker and deeper. Then the barrage of "Mom-meeee"s that unanswered escalate into kicking and screaming and the dramatic gasping of "Ha-we Potta" like a death rattle breaks my resolve to ignore her. The devious smile that greets me on the other side of the door triggers a paradox of elated rage that I lost a battle of wills to a toddler. Allowing me no time to shoo her off, the Little Darling jumps on my bed and points at the television, clapping. I take a moment to ponder the bright side of this derailment -- she could be downstairs watching horror movies with her father, because Jerod doesn't like wizards and magical creatures. He prefers serial killers and man-eating animals to all that kid stuff.
It's just as well I put off completing this blog post. Who knows what Jerod might have watched with Ashlyn last night -- the Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs? I should probably disclose here that I too have allowed our children -- Lily mainly -- to watch some pretty inappropriate stuff -- Jennifer's Body, Salad Fingers, Rock of Ages and other titles that I can't recall at the moment. But isn't that what parenting is all about: making mistakes that your children can learn from?