Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tim Burton Ate My Son...and then SPIT HIM OUT.

We feel so used.

So,  there is this popular book out right now for Moms of Girls. I mean, I think it is geared toward girls since it's called Cinderella Ate My Daughter, but I have seen my sons don a dress from time to time. The book discusses the firestorm of the Princess-Obsessed Culture many Moms of Girls are experiencing today. Circle back to last summer's Disneyland trip - I believe the Happiest Place on Earth is also the place where many little girls are converted to Princesses and Fairies. My son was enamored by Jack Skellington of the Nightmare before Christmas Fame. We, as parents of boys, were not immune from immersing ourselves in an obsession.

Halloween kicked-off our Jack fascination as Ryder transformed himself (well with my help) into Jack. Now, one thing I HAVE to mention is that before he could qualify himself as Jack, I felt he was to understand what part he was playing. This clearly a repercussion of my Thespian days, and of course the imparted skill of "Method Acting." Without doing any research, I let him watch the film...and left the room (I guess that's a no-no.).  I need to tell all of you that THIS MOVIE IS NOT MEANT FOR 5 YEARS OLDS! You probably already knew that...but I of course, did not. I have heard from other parents since then, that they would NEVER let their kids watch this movie. I will say that my son actually enjoyed the DVD extras even more than the film. He watched a 2 hour "How it was made" and the "Tour of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland" several times by choice, beyond the film itself.

Thankfully, my son did not spook - even though they try to kidnap Santa Claus and say they want to "chop him into bits." Yup, they say that. I will tag this post with "Awesome Mom."  I am sure you are seeing a trend by now...and I have enough posts regarding my awesome mothering, that we now have a "series."

Back to Halloween...I had to buy an adult size costume and break out my 2 year-old-brand-new sewing machine to make it happen! I cut a men's size 42 jacket down to a 4T. My handy-work below...

CD Label
As his birthday approached and the theme was a no-brainer, we made sure to encourage his love for Tim Burton's Nightamare, by purchasing everything we could possibly find that was Jack (see above for just SOME of it)...including the Soundtrack on iTunes. Since we have historically given mix CDs as party favors, I felt that this was going to be perfect.  I downloaded the album, and guess what? After listening to a bit of Marilyn Manson and choruses that included lyrics like "Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick, lock him up for ninety years, see what makes him tick," ONLY 2 SONGS WERE SUITABLE FOR OUR MIX CD. At this point, I was starting to wonder if we would get a lot of "No" RSVPs due to the theme. My son would not budge...this was it.

The party was held at a Bounce House Party Place - basically that was the criteria. He wanted a Jack Skellington party at Bounce-U. That is what he got. From Jack cupcakes at school, made by yours truly, to Jack clothes, a Jack Cake, Jack invites & favors, and a Jack pinata - lovingly made by his Nanny/BFF, Ana, I think it was awesome. We won't talk about how he vomited that morning before the party...another story in itself.

What did we learn? Well, honestly, my husband and I were thrilled in so many ways that our son found a love for Tim Burton. The man has created so many incredible, whimsical and creative- despite dark- accomplishments. Who are we to squelch our sons innate interest for the macabre animated arts. We have opted as parents to do damage control, rather than to censor his creativity. Ryder is no worse for wear from this experience and continues to be his amazingly creative and cerebral self, who is now 5 years old and on to the next big thing. Tim Burton has temporarily been replaced by Captain Underpants (not appropriate, but found in an older cousin's room - again...damage control) and a daily barage of joke telling. He really wants nothing to do with most of the Jack things we bought him at this point - which is a bummer on a financial front, but normal in the timeline of childhood obsession. I am surprised by him every day and will close off this birthday recap with something his teacher said at our parent / teacher conference that will stay with me always:

"I am so glad that I get to be a part of Ryder's life, because he is going to do something great someday. I can say I played a part in that." Makes me cry every time. I believe her.


  1. Ryder and Megan need to hang out more! Megan LOVES NBC. Pretty much the only music she listens to on the ipod is the soundtrack. She is also a big fan of Tim's version of AinW. You're not alone.


  2. We let our girls watch the inappropriate movie, "Coraline." Yep, we're those kind of parents.

  3. And, Ryder's good friend, Kate, was totally into the Nightmare Before Xmas theme! She is the biggest fan of *never* seeing or hearing anything that might be the least bit scary... but loves how Ryder loves Jack Skellington. It was a hit and no one batted an eye. In fact, it totally made sense. That's when you get to say, "I am an awesome Mom." And I totally agree with his teacher.