The children love films. They have a range of favourites; many modern animations and some classics like Bedknobs and Broomsticks. A few of these are watched again and again, which pleases the children greatly and drives me quietly insane. Inevitably the repetitive nature of their viewing habits means they pick up certain phrases, which subsequently erupt from them at inopportune moments.
Three year old G adopts a glazed expression when she hisses under her breath “I’ve been chosen…”
To her father and I, both Toy Story aficionados, this is rather endearing. We ruffle her hair and laugh at her mimicry of a small green alien. To her grandmother, less familiar with the film, the behaviour is deeply disturbing. The first time it happened she backed slowly away, bringing up a hand to touch the tiny silver cross hanging around her neck. I intervened before she called for an exorcist.
At the weekend we came across a family who were playing with a new puppy in the park. He was an adorable ball of black and white spotty barks and the little ones were entranced. In the midst of this pleasant scene G’s twin sister E drew herself up imperiously to her full height (95 cm) and pointed a quivering finger at her brother J. Sweeping an imaginary fur stole over her left shoulder, she bellowed, “KILL THE PUPPY” and turned haughtily away.
The puppy’s owner, a sweet looking seven year old, blanched and burst into tears. Even her mother looked rather frightened and bustled her family away before I had a chance to explain that the children were simply re-enacting 101 Dalmatians.
I hope we don’t meet anyone who looks like Shrek.