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Where I have a new favorite tantrum

by John on May 2nd, 2014

As one of the (many) reasons of this blog is to preserve those memories which, given time, may depart for forever, I thought I’d share a particularly entertaining tantrum.

We ditched cable a long, long time ago . . . this has its pros and cons.

  • Pro: our monthly bills went down by a significant chunk (even after we factored in subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime).
  • Con: the kids, now can basically watch whatever they want to watch, whenever they want to watch it.
  • Pro: our kids seldom see an advertisement, meaning that they’re only ever exposed to the “latest & greatest” toys at the toy department of Target.
  • Con: we still go to Target.
  • Pro: Every show that is on the air, that I want to watch, is carried by Hulu and is available the day after it airs.
  • Con: The Hulu app for Roku sucks and will sometimes just force the device to reboot at a climatic part of an episode.
  • Pro: I barely am able to stay awake to have time to watch anything on TV anyway.
  • Pro: I can watch horror movies where scantily clad, buxom “actresses” drink themselves silly & act out fantasies involving bathtubs and whipped cream.
  • Con: the Netflix “recently watched” queue is incredibly difficult to hack in order to hide my tracks.

My children, like most all children, are creatures of habit. When it’s time to pick something to watch, they choose familiarity — the only time they’ll choose something new-to-them is, well, if they’re carefully guided along that path.

Spy Kids is in heavy rotation, at the current moment. As far as kid movies go, I’m ok with this — it’s silly, it’s action packed . . . it’s among the lesser of many more evil options. But, however much I might not mind when my kids choose to watch one of the Spy Kids movies, I’d never sit down and say “hey, let’s watch Spy Kids.”

So, the other night, we put the kids to bed, but they were still wide awake. We turn on the Roku and start an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Within the first few minutes, a little voice rings out from my daughter’s room, “What are you watching?”

“A TV show,” we respond.

“Are you watching Spy Kids?”

“Yes, we’re watching Spy Kids,” comes as a sarcastic response.

Sarcasm is lost on the young ones.

The next thing we know, The La is in our room, demanding to watch Spy Kids and nothing will appease her, save for us putting on Spy Kids for her to watch. And, of course, doing so would have meant that she would win.

The only way we were able to resolve this was to turn off the TV, entirely, so that nobody watched anything until Leila calmed herself down and fell asleep. Which was after Duffy & I had fallen asleep.

So now, once we put the kids to bed and the Hulu queue awaits, I always start the “what to watch” discussion with “let’s watch Spy Kids.”

And, if Leila was awake and listening? Protest. Immediate protest.

But, then again, as parents, well, aren’t there times that you want to eat candy and watch their crappy television shows when they can’t, as some sort of karmic payback for whatever they’ve put you through that day?

  1. Oo, Target. I’m there weekly. Sometimes more. Love that store so much.

    • Too often, I find myself heading there when I’m without the children and act leisurely . . . . because shopping without the kids is just plain easier (especially when the store in which you’re shopping has a toy section), but then I realize “I’m spending my kid-free time doing chores” and kind-of get mad at myself.

  2. Oh, HBO… I just can’t quit you. If I could? I’d be down to Hulu and Netflix and our questionably ethical British television experience. Damn you, Home Box Office!

    • Yeah, that questionably ethical British television experience is problematic, isn’t it?

      Honestly, the reason I was able to step away from HBO so easily was 1: I wasn’t watching anything in realtime, anyway, and 2: the “big” shows at the moment, I’ve read the books, so I kind-of had to step away from the shows or I just got too confused.

      Speaking of HBO, have you watched the Wire?

  3. Wait, is Spy Kids a tv show now? I am so out of the loop.

    • No – Spy Kids is a movie . . . but there are lots of them. I think, with the original kids, there were three movies. And then they did another one, where the original kids, while in it, are not the actual spy kids (because they’re all grown up now & stuff). That movie is actually called Spy Kids 4-D, because, when it was in the theatres, they had special smell-dispensers at certain times . . . so there’s a prank involving bleu cheese, and lots of farting, and baby poop. Thankfully, the Netflix experience does not deliver the fourth-dimension.

  4. Oh my goodness, it never occurred to me that with younger kids, I might have to hide my “recently watched” history!

    Thank God my kids are almost 17 and 15.

    (I don’t get to say that very often, so let’s go with it.)

    p.s. Sometimes, I miss the days when you had to wait until Saturday morning to watch one or two crappy cartoons. Damn. I’m old.

    • Now that Netflix has the profiles, it’s less of an issue for those devices that allow profiles (which is all but the TV in the master bedroom) — but in the early days, the “recommended for you” list included kids cartoons from the 80’s, PBS stuff, and “zombie women who take off their tops, a lot”

      And yeah, I remember waking up on Saturday morning morning, and if I was too early, having to deal with some news program or something before the cartoons came on. It’s a very different world these days.

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