With Tracey away shooting a wedding all day and most of the evening Saturday, I did what any father left alone with five young kids would do when there’s miserable weather outside.
“Who wants a movie marathon?!” I asked the kids.
Oh, yeah. Who’s the favourite parent?
In the end we settled for all three Toy Story movies, back to back. I was thrilled because Toy Story makes me laugh (thank you Joss Whedon), but also because the other option on the table was a Barbie movie marathon.
Tracey loves the Toy Story trilogy. They make her cry. Sarah McLachlan’s When Somebody Loved Me reduced her to tears the first time she saw it: the second time she saw it: the third time: when we talked about it just now.
But me, I just laugh. Buzz Lightyear is hilarious – some of the best acting Tim Allen’s ever done. And Mr Potato Head – classic.
I don’t see why you would want to cry in a comedy.
When she wells up I’m always a sympathetic shoulder. Eventually.
“Mummy’s crying!” I’ll say while I point at her.
It’s fun. The kids love it.
“Why’s mummy crying?” they’ll ask me while they nearly crush her under their combined weight in a group hug.
“It’s a girl thing,” I tell them knowingly.
But sadly, with her at work, she wasn’t home on Saturday for us to mock.
While the kids lay under doonas and on mountains of pillows, I did the housework and read a book and played on the internet and kept up a steady stream of snacks and drinks, all the while enjoying the movies as much as they did.
By the time the third movie rolled around bedtime was approaching – we’d stopped between movies two and three for dinner and showers, so we were all set. I lay with them on the lounge.
“She’s crying! Dad, Molly’s crying!” said Master8.
We’d arrived at an especially poignant moment in the movie when Andy is giving his toys away.
“Be qu-qu-quiet!” said Miss6 between sobs.
“Dad!” said Master8, pointing an accusing finger at his sister the whole time he jumped up and raced over to where I was sitting. “She’s crying! Dad? What’s wrong with your eyes?”
“Nothing,” I mumbled. “I’ve got something in them.”
“Yeah, right. Tears!’ shouted Master8, his accusing finger now pointing at me.
“You are crying!” said Miss9. She was up and standing with Master8, a big grin on her face too.
I ignored them and wiped under my glasses with my sleeve.
“Come here, Molster,” I said to Miss6. “You look like you could do with a cuddle.”
But the boy wasn’t prepared to let me off without a bit of a dig.
“I thought only girls cry in movies,” said Master8. “Maybe next time you’d prefer us to have a Barbie marathon, Dad.”
As I comforted Miss6, mentally I raised my fist at the heavens and screamed, ‘Goddamn you, Pixar, with your superior, well rounded, emotional, awesome story telling abilities!’
I mean, come on, I don’t want to be a girl.
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