June 13, 2005

Traveling with spotty web access. Talk Amongst Yourselves

Just one thing I did notice while we've been traveling on a family vacation:

how your kids behave on a plane is almost secondary to how you behave on a plane w/r/t your kids. If you act like a petulant, whiny, immature brat and shriek, "Well, duh, obviously the DVD player DOES work, or how come you're WATCHING IT? Now let your sister watch Veggie Tales, or I swear, I'll--," you will engender the ill will of all the people around you.

And you won't be doing Jesus and pals any PR favors, either.


We were given a Veggie Tales DVD by one of my well-meaning cousins at a baby shower. It was a sweet gesture, but we ummmÖ donít really believe in God per se and arenít fans of most aspects of organized religion (note: Iím not saying that thereís anything wrong with religion ñ to each their own). We didnít know what it was, so when her 2 ‡ year-old son proposed we watch it, we happily obliged. My husband was already viewing it and I happened to walk it during a scene where Jonah, a zucchini, is stuck inside a whale and declares that he deserves to be there for disobeying God. Whoa, I thought, way to lay some good ole Catholic guilt on a kid! Then, the kid re-enacted a gospel musical number with such incredible timing and hilarity we were impressed, amused and a bit troubled. Hence, my question: Does he really register what is going on? Is the video all just fun, fast moving images and a nice story to his 2 ‡ year old mind, or is he at all cognizant of the religious talk? Are these messages going to seep into his subconscious and lodge themselves in some irreversible way? Should I fear the Veggie Tales?

I LOVE Silly Songs with Larry. There is a compilation DVD of the Best of Silly Songs and Ultimate Silly Cong Countdown. (It's not religious.) They're clever and catchy. Some DVDs are just generally good things to communicate to kids (Madame Blueberry realizing that the more stuff she buys will not bring her more happiness, etc.) but some seem a little overt with the Christianity (Where's God when I'm Scared? and "Heroes of the Bible.) Right now I'm stickin' with the silly songs.

We only let our daughter watch Beatles movies... they were bigger than Jesus, after all.

Naah. VeggieTales is pretty tame and non-offensive as far as religious-themed kids stuff goes. I'm pretty darned leftist-Christian and I certainly don't get a Religious Right vibe from it at all. I can see how it could spark warning klaxons in your head if you're agnostic or not particularly religious, though.

if you treat it as such, the kid might think it's just another story. then again, God's word is indeed powerful, no matter how it's presented. either way, VT is at the very least entertaining, and has a "good" message. I mean, in the story, Jonah was a petulant jerk who disobeyed a direct order. I would think if your kid defied you like that, you'd dispense some discipline too.

My son loves Bob and Larry.

I had this conversation in my car today.

I explained that God loves us. I went further saying that Jesus says that he is the vine and we are the branches.

My son reminded me that..."No, daddy, God is the Cucumber and we are the tomatoes."

Has anyone else been there?

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