I am a big fan, since GO. We finally got a DVD of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and showed it at my 8/9 year old daughter’s birthday sleepover. Great movie, great time. When the time comes for your baby to have a sleepover don’t fret it. It was fully successful and not bad at all. Remember this in eight years or so and email me for pointers.
A few days later when the real birthday arrived, we took our three daughters (5,7,9) to dinner and then went to have our nine-year old’s ears pierced. Before getting her ears pierced, the birthday girl took some of her birthday money and bought her sisters gumballs (one of those nice gestures that you love to see your kids do. Just wait. It makes the other miseries of parenthood worth it).
The ear piercing went well. Little apparent pain. No tears. Because we live in Michigan and it is miserable cold, I went and got the car so I could pick-up my women at the door.
When they got in the car, our youngest, Mika, was crying and my wife looked harassed. Mika had gum in her hair. When we asked why, she told us that she was trying to be like Violet and put the gum behind her ear.
I wish I could say that I was completely calm and sensitive, but mostly I kept barking at her not to play with it and not to lean back into her car seat, and that I would take care of it when we got home. She whined and cried the whole way (one of the terrible things of being a parent that make you wish that those gumball gift moments came more often).
About an hour later, after ice, peanut butter, one ruined fine-toothed comb, much crying and my reluctant use of scissors, the gum was gone. She also has a bald spot behind her right ear. We hope it won’t be as obvious as her self-cut bangs that just now are growing out enough to make her no longer look like Twiggy/Stevie Nicks/Mia Farrow as Rosemary.
In the shower when I was washing the remaining peanut butter and little strings of gum out of her hair, I asked her if she learned anything. She said yes: Don’t put gum behind your ear. A good parent would have been happy with this, but I am not a good parent. I want more. I want bigger lessons. I suggested that the other lesson is: Just because you see someone do something in a movie this does not mean that you can do it in real life.
Anyhow, I know you didn’t create the gum-behind-the-ear schtick that Violet does in the movie, but boy was I cursing you during the car ride home. On reflection, I am grateful. I would rather have Mika learn to suspect the world of fiction after emulating Violet and having a bad experience with gum behind her ear than learn that lesson at 21 after a bad experience emulating the behavior of any of the characters in GO.
Because I read your blog, I feel like I know you, which is a little weird. If I were to see you in the Farmer Jacks (grocery store in Michigan) I would probably walk right up and start talking as if we were friends. I imagine this is the thing that (other more visible?) celebrities find unsettling.
Have a great day.