Here is common problem around our house that you may experience yourself. We are getting ready to start family movie night, and my wife and I try to suggest some exciting new movie that kids have never seen but that we think they will love. But do the kids appreciate our brilliant recommendations? No! Our thoughtful and insightful choices are met with cries of “We want to watch _____!” The blank can filled in with whatever movie we have just watched twelve times. It does gradually change. For a while it was “The Little Mermaid.” Then it changed to “Ponyo” for a long time. Currently it is “My Neighbor Totoro,” or sometimes “Pocahontas” of all things. But once it achieves that “favorite” status, we know that we will be watching it many, many more times in rapid succession.
But it is not limited to movies! Oh no! This happens with television too. Last Friday (so three days ago) the Disney channel released their new special Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode, “Quest for the Crystal Mickey,” which they had been advertising for centuries and thus had my children frothing at the mouth for it. Edward asked to watch it every day last week, his two-year-old brain not understanding the concept of “it hasn’t been released yet.” And Ruby was counting down the days until it aired, lamenting that she had to go to kindergarten on Friday and would have to wait until the afternoon to see it on the DVR.
Now, all of this seemingly contradicts my previous assertion that the children like to watch the same thing over and over. Here we have them excited over something new! Something they have never seen before is coming out, and they can’t wait to see it! Except that I have seen “Quest for the Freaking Crystal Mickey” about four hundred thousand times in the past three days.
Edward saw it when it came on, and immediately demanded to watch it again. So we watched it again. We did some other stuff, but he kept asking to watch it some more, so I finally gave in and let him watch it a third time. And then Ruby got home. The first thing she did when she came in the door was shriek with excitement that she could now watch Crystal Mickey. So she got her first viewing and Edward got his fourth.
Being a mildly decent parent I did put the kibosh on any more television that day, much to Ruby’s protests that Edward had gotten far more viewing time than she had, but not to worry. We had all day Saturday to watch it. And Sunday. And I am currently watching it again as I type this. For the second time today.
I, personally, do not generally watch the same thing over and over again. Even my most favorite movies I have only seen a handful of times. I would rather see something new than something I have seen five times. But I suppose when I was a kid I would watch the same things over and over again. Maybe it is just a kid thing? Of course, when I was a kid we only had 4 channels and a small selection of movies at home, so I didn’t have a lot of choices. My children, living in the twenty-first century, with all of recorded human entertainment at their fingertips, having access to hundreds of channels, the full library of Netflix, and our extensive DVD collection, don’t seem to appreciate how good they have it! And so, with pretty much infinite choices available, we will watch “Quest for the Crystal Mickey” an infinite number of times. And then probably “My Neighbor Totoro” again. Hooray for the future.