Tag Archives: conversation

Conversations with Children: How to Make a Movie

Making Movies

Saturdays are a big deal around here.

The kids run around in their pyjamas until after 9:00am. We chill out and snack instead of sitting down for a “real” lunch. We have an early dinner of fish & chips. And, most importantly, it’s Movie Night.

We only turn the TV on once a week, and that’s for our weekly family movie. Then we all sit around together, giggling at the funny bits and generally enjoying our special weekly treat.

Choosing the movie is generally up to five-year-old Big Brother. (Mostly because Little Brother is too young to care what we’re watching.) I usually give him some guidance, or a few movies to choose from, and let him pick. But last Saturday night, our conversation took a turn for the exasperating.

“What movie would you like to watch tonight?” I asked Big Brother when I picked him up from dance class mid-afternoon.

“Hmmmm….”

“Would you like something new, or something you’ve seen before?”

He thought for a few minutes. “Can we make our own movie tonight?”

“Instead of watching a movie?” I asked. Because I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Yeah, make our own movie. We can call it The Invincibots.”

“Um. Maybe.” And then I changed the subject. Because… Make a movie? Really? I didn’t even know what that meant.

Cut to two hours later. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s pick this movie for tonight!”

“No,” said Big Brother,”we’re going to make a movie tonight, remember?”

Oh, yes. How could I forget? “I don’t really understand what you mean.”

He put on his serious expression and looked at me steadily. “I mean, make a movie.”

“Yes. Okay. But what does that mean? Is it like putting on a puppet show?”

“No.”

I was struggling to get a sense of exactly what he wanted to do. (Is it just me? Is this obvious to everyone else?) “So how is making a movie different from making a puppet show?” I asked.

He kept giving me that same look. “One of them is a movie,” he said. “And one of them is a puppet show.”

At this point, I poured myself a drink.

Of water*.

Obviously.

Then I tried again. “Okay. So when you say you’d like to make a movie, what exactly do we need to do? What steps do we need to follow?”

His plan was simple.

Step 1: Think of what you want to make.

Step 2: Make what you thunk.

Step 3: Watch it on TV.

I waited. Just in case there was more. But there wasn’t.

“So when you say ‘Make what you…. (I couldn’t say it) …thought’,” I said. “What exactly do you mean by that?”

He looked at me with his deadpan expression.

“Mummy,” he said. “Do you remember step one?”

* I can neither confirm nor deny the veracity of this statement.

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Kid Logic

You know what the best thing is to keep your ego in check?

Kids.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling when your five year old says, “You’re so lucky, Mummy. I have to stay in the bath for ages and ages to get wrinkles on my skin, but you have them all the time!”

Or when you’re talking to your mother on speaker-phone and your son announces, “If I talk too much, Mummy just tells me to shut up.”

The thing about listening to children talk is that they say what’s on their mind. All the time. Even when it doesn’t make sense

My sister called the other day to ask Big Brother if he’d like to go with her to the art gallery. Big Brother responded, “That would be lovely! And do you know what I had for breakfast today? Yoghurt!”

But it’s not all accidental insults and non-linear conversations. I was discussing school with Big Brother the other day when the conversation took a turn for the complimentary.

BB: What happens when I finish grade 12? Is there another school?
Me: If you’d like to, you can go on to University and learn something else.
BB: When I grow up, I’m going to go to every school in the whole entire world so I can be as clever as you.

If you ask me, he’s pretty clever already. Or, in his own words, “I may only have a little brain, but I have big ideas.”

One of  his big ideas is that he’s going to be an artist when he grows up. A sculptor, to be exact.

“When I grow up, I’m going to be an artist,” he said. “And I’m going to make sculptures and have my own art gallery and studio, just like Auntie Jak.”

“That sounds great,” I said.

“Will you help me set up my gallery, Mummy?”

“Sure. I don’t know much about art galleries, but I’ll help you however I can.”

“Great,” he said. Then he thought a minute and said, “Do you want to be an artist when you grow up, too?”

I smiled. “Actually, I’m already a type of artist. I’m a writer.”

His face lit up like it was Christmas. “Really?”

“Yep.” I admit it, I was thrilled he was so excited to have a writer for a mother.

“Then you can write all the signs for the art gallery!”

Like I said, there’s nothing better to keep your ego in check than kids.

Do your kids give you back-handed compliments?

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