How Monsters, Inc. Changes When You Become a Parent

So, the other day, I gave EV all of our Pixar options and let her pick which one she wanted to watch. She picked up Monsters, Inc. and said, “RAWR!!” And so, she made her choice.

Monsters, Inc. was one of my favorite movies growing up. I’ve always been a huge fan of Pixar, I even dreamed of working there someday (and reaping the benefits of their cereal wall) but alas, my calling was to make tiny Pixar fans instead. Pixar seems to do really well with storytelling in a way that is entertaining for kids but also for adults. I mean, I’m really into children’s entertainment- more than most, I gather- but most people agree that most Pixar movies are just great movies in general.

After watching the film like 5 times this week (I mean, not really watching, but you know, having it on, the only way parents watch things for a few years), I have noticed a few things that are totally different now that I’ve got kids. Even more so now that EV is practically the same age as Boo, and also, like, her twin.

Boo is a creative genius

Monsters Inc Screen Shot 27

Based on her level of speech, physical abilities, and general demeanor, I’d say Boo is about 2.5 years old. Which means her drawings are waaayyy ahead of the game. EV is starting to reign in her creative skills, but I seriously doubt she’s only a few months away from drawing cohesive creatures. Then again, kids are pretty stinkin’ amazing at learning things. Still, Boo is probably destined to be a famous artist if she can draw like that at her perceived age. Apparently, she can also write her name (as can bee seen in close-up stills of this scene). So… what’s up with that?

 Boo’s parents are either really horrible or traumatized for life

“Remember that time when little Mary disappeared and then suddenly showed up in her room like nothing happened? Yeah, that was TERRIBLE.”

That’s what I imagine Boo’s (who I guess is named Mary) parents saying to each other a few years after the shock of their toddler being M.I.A. for like 30 hours. That, or they didn’t even notice, which is pretty awful. It’s hard to imagine this scenario, since even ignorant parents would miss their kid at night, but it’s possible her home situation is just that bad. Based on her room, though, she seems well taken care of.

One thing in their favor is that Boo is independent, happy, and really expressive. The evidence would suggest she is often left with others, perhaps in a day care setting, since she never cried for Mama or Dada the whole time, but whether or not that works in their favor is uncertain. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised there weren’t any police or sobbing parents in her bedroom any of the times they tried to put her back in her world.

Either way, I weep for them.

Oh, and to address the whole “passage of time” theory (some people believe time didn’t pass the same way in the human world, therefore the night Boo returns is the same night she left), it doesn’t really hold up when you consider that Mike and Sully showed up, from the human world, just in time to save Boo from the Scream Machine. Speaking of the Scream Machine…

The Scream Machine is 1000x more terrifying

Yes, the idea of a machine that rips screams from you is pretty darn scary. As a kid, I was totally not cool with it. As a parent, that whole idea makes me want to punch a hole in the wall. When you’re a kid, you look at the world as it applies to you. When you’re a parent, you think of it as it applies to your kids.

So Randall and Mr. Waternoose are better off dead, in my mama bear mind. I’ve been through forced torture on my kid before, and all I have left to say is NO. Screw the scream shortage. I nearly cried when Boo was strapped into that thing. “What would her parents do? Omg, I would murder them all!”

Yeah, that’s what was in my mind. Pixar turned me into raging monster, and they didn’t even have to animate me.

Monsters, Inc. teaches something uncommon in the film industry

As much as I might gripe about the inconsistencies I now notice, I’ve realized something hopeful about this movie that I never had before. It teaches a very simple lesson:

Toddlers are people too.

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In movies, it seems largely ignored that toddlers are complex individuals all on their own. While most movies with a toddler character treat them only as they benefit the story of the older characters, MI doesn’t do this. Boo is not only an accurate representation of a toddler, presumably because she was modeled after and voiced by a real toddler, but she actually grows as a person in the course of the film. Her unique problems and victories are responded to by the main characters. It’s touching, really. Even Mike, the trademark “put that thing back where it came from or so help me” guy, grows to appreciate her as an individual.

Frankly, we could do with more films that treat toddlers this way. It may be easier for everyone but their parents to ignore them until they have fewer tantrums and better ideas, but they care so much more about the world than we realize. They treat everything they experience with all they got, whether good or bad, and our job is to help them figure it all out.

The compassion that Sully has for Boo is something we don’t see often in movies. The way Boo grows as a person, despite the fact that she’s a toddler, is also not often in movies. But these things happen every day. In fact, it’s my daily life. So I really appreciate it.

I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Monsters, Inc. Especially after having my own little Boo.

A New Year, A New System

So, we had an amazing second Christmas, and spent lots of fun time with my in-laws. Honestly, I did not expect the gift exchange to be as big as it was, but everyone got lots of fun stuff! And I certainly can’t complain about all the extra help, love, and time I got to have with everyone (and Jimmy)! Oh! And we got to play Settlers (among other board games), which is a real treat since we hardly have the time and bodies to get through a whole game.

One of gifts I have most utilized this year was practically free: the bullet journal system. My mom mentioned it and when I looked around the web, I thought I would really like to try it out. I had gotten a journal from Jimmy, nothing fancy, which is perfect because bullet journaling takes some trial and error. If you’re interested, I found this great blog on how to start without getting overwhelmed and I mostly agree. But, really, you should work on it a little yourself and see what you like about it. The blogger doesn’t like to write grocery lists in her bullet journal, but I love it. Writing something on paper and marking it off, in addition to using ibotta is a much better way for my brain than any technological way I’ve used. (Ibotta is a cool grocery rebate app, my referral code is “ostfodm” without quotes, if you want to try it. Why not? It’s free money!)

  
I personally don’t do diary entries, prayers, or stories in my bullet journal. It functions well for me as just a planner for now. One of the best pieces of advice in the blog is that the Daily Log isn’t just meant for to-do lists, it’s meant for ideas, notes, and other little things you want to write down. It’s a log. That’s one thing I didn’t take into account when I started my Weekly Log in lieu of a daily one. Then I wound up with pages and pages of Collections that I maybe didn’t need. But, I do like a few of them, such as ideas for EV’s 2nd birthday, waiting on, home improvement, and, ironically, collection ideas. I also have pages to track EV’s sleep schedule, grocery lists like I mentioned before, and some inserts with Japanese characters so I can practice my kana if I ever get to it!

That’s another thing: I have so many Japanese language learning tools now. Bullet Journaling is one, but I also got a game, I have a number of books, and the app Human Japanese. I’ve been really excited about it lately, but that’s happened before. Who knows what will happen next? I hope I can some day get into a classroom setting because that environment seems to work well for getting me to actually do the learning. Regardless, my Habit Tracker in my journal shows that I’ve been working on it almost every day, so that’s something!

Gosh, I could go on and on. But I will share one lesson I’ve learned about myself and this bullet journal system: I need a Weekly Log and a Daily Log. The weekly log helps me see what I hope to get done for the week, what plans I’ve made, and I find it’s a great place to write down prayers and have my habit tracker. What I forsook about the Daily Log was that, even if I don’t have tons of things to do in one day, I have lots of thoughts that I want to write down, and all those thoughts don’t need their own collection pages. Now I just have to figure out what I really want to do as for formatting.

Note: I can’t believe January is already half over!

I hope everyone is having a good year so far! I’m looking forward to an exciting 2016 for the Kramers 🙂

Media Not-So-Frenzy

Greetings friends and readers unknown!

Things are about to get personal. Kinda.

One of the purposes I even started this blog was to share all of my myriad of interests. A rather large portion of my interests revolve around media, meaning things like books, music, movies, TV, you get the gist.

Well, God has sort of intervened on that front. Let me explain. Continue reading

Might as well tackle the web series thing

So, I’ve gotten interested in something lately: Youtube series…es. Multiple web series. Not sure how to write that. Oh well.

The start of my intrigue was last year, when I was introduced to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It was a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice through the medium of biweekly Youtube videos. It went on for roughly a year, and it even followed along in the holidays and seasons of that year. It was interactive through Facebook and Twitter, and it gained a loyal following of people who refer to themselves as Seahorses.

I can’t really recall why though. Fandoms are like that.

Anyway, it was the highlight of my workday when I could sit and watch the latest 3-8 minute episode on my lunch break. Even though I was thoroughly familiar with the story, it still evoked an emotional response. And it was a lot less predictable than I expected, which is funny because, like I said, I knew the story.

The “company” (which is more like a group of enthusiastic creators) is called Pemberley Digital (hence, the category) and they’re into the thick of their latest web series, Emma Approved, which is about, you guessed it, Jane Austen’s Emma.

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Now, I’ll be totally honest, I was not convinced that there was a good way to retell the social-class-obsessed story in a modern setting. But… they’ve done pretty well. Continue reading

Off-Topic: I love me some anime

I’m a nerd. A real one. Certified.

Just look at what my dear hubby got me for my birthday.

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This is an anime. A shōjo anime. The distinction is that it’s meant for girls. It makes me happy 🙂

I plan to watch it with EV when she’s older. It’s about a young girl who is living in a tent on her own after her mom dies, and she happens upon a home in this particular forest that she’s chosen to live in. Living there is a young man who goes to her school, and he belongs to a family whose members, as she soon discovers, turn into an animal of the Chinese zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite gender.

Shenanigans all around!

It’s sweet though. The theme music is stuck in my head.

Oh, and maybe I should mention that I’ve already seen it. Heh.

Highly recommended by yours truly!

Ok, tangent over, please go on with your lives as usual.

Movie Monday: Boy Meets World (not a movie…)

I guess I’m not doing super well with this whole “movie monday” thing. Part of it was due to the fact that my mom and aunt visited last week (more on that later!) but also, I am much more comfortable without any meaningless commitments.

But, I need to continue writing. I might even try NaNoWriMo next month. Continuing to get words written is important, even if I’m not really being all that creative.

So, here we go.

Boy Meets World

Boy Meets World

Continue reading

Not really a movie and also not really Monday

So, Monday was a bit busy for me. It started out with me being awoken by horrible back pain at 3:45 AM. Once I got up, I was overcome with nausea. So I threw up for the first time since I got a hold of those miracle anti-nausea pills. Since I was running low on them, I decided to not take one and eat a banana instead, along with some painkillers for my back. Bad choice. One hour later, I threw up again, but my back did feel quite a bit better! So, pill it was. That’s how my Monday started.

Up until now, I have been busier than usual, and pregnancy brain (aka extreme forgetfulness) has made it almost impossible to do the things I really want to do, because, well, I forget to do them.

So here we are.

The Paradise airs on PBS

The Paradise airs on PBS

I did watch the second installment of a new series on Masterpiece Classic called The Paradise. Like the title indicates, it’s not really a movie, but it’s also not Monday. Here’s my review on this new show so far. I will only do the “spoiler-free” review because there really isn’t a lot to spoil quite yet!

Spoiler-free Review Continue reading