Sunday, November 01, 2009

Ninja girl



Confession (and further proof of negligent parenting): We've never actually taken the kid trick-or-treating. Except for that time when she was 2 and we were visiting my mom and we went to all of 3 houses, and this was less for the joy of trick-or-treating than for the joy my mother took in showing off her cute granddaughter to the neighbours.

Our urban neighbourhood simply isn't condusive to it. We've never once had trick-or-treaters at our door, at this address or in our previous apartment. I've never seen any in the streets. Which I don't fully understand — I know kids live around here, there's a school at the end of the street, and the playground a couple blocks over even this time of year is full of them. Helena tells me some of her classmates partake in this tradition — I have yet to determine if these are kids who live nearby or out of zone. It's all very mysterious.

But I don't think Helena minds much. There have always been plenty of activities, and candy, at school (and daycare before that) to keep here happy.

With yesterday's crappy weather, she was more interested, thankfully, in preserving that other grand Halloween tradition: the watching of scary movies.

Google "scary movies for kids" and you'll find parents like me wondering what's too scary. You'll also find lots of outraged parents wondering why on Earth we would want to scare our precious youngsters. Well, because it's fun.

Obviously individual sensibilities must be taken into account, but this kid's made of pretty tough stuff (although ironically, the older she gets, the scarier she thinks Doctor Who is, her fear growing proportionally with her comprehension). She's been reminding me for weeks that we need to find a scary movie. And not a cartoon.

Last year we watched The Birds. She watched less than half before opting for bed, but it made a memorable, nontraumatic impression, such that we can refer to this cultural touchstone when we encounter vicious swarms of seagulls in parking lots and have a good laugh over it.

This year: The Horror of Dracula (1958), starring Christopher Lee. Helena tells me it wasn't scary at all (don't tell her I told you, but I saw her jump twice). It's just biting people, and she shrugs her shoulders. Although, she clarifies, if Dracula acually came to bite her, yes, she'd be scared, but he's biting other people so it's no big deal. But now at least she knows how to kill a vampire.
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