Star Wars Saturdays and the circular nature of parenting

February 19, 2015

Star Wars toy figures

While you can kiss goodbye to luxurious lie-ins when you’re a parent, Alex and I occasionally try and give each other a bit of a longer sleep at weekends. It’s a tiny, tantalising reward for those nights of mid-week wake-up woes that inevitably culminate in all of us squashed in one bed, with the toddler taking up 90% of room.

So in a bid to allow the other a fraction more shut-eye, one of us will entertain the  space stealer for an hour and try to stop her making a run for it in the direction of the sleeping parent while shouting “cockadoodledoooo!”

In recent times, keeping her entertained = watching Frozen. But faced with the prospect of yet another helping of frosty fun, on one of his mornings Alex managed to convince Eliza to watch something entirely different.

“Star Wars?” was my reaction on hearing what that morning’s viewing was. “Really?” He argued that it’s a classic and he was educating her and broadening her filmic horizons…but yeah, we both knew it was to avoid the mind numbing boredom of kid’s TV. I smirked. It’d never catch on.

But a strange thing happened. One minute she was disinterested – “I want Auunhaaaah” – and the next she was entranced. Although she’s only viewed the edited toddler cut, she’s now watched all six, has favourite characters – Princess Leia and bizarrely, Darth Maul – and makes me join in her dance routines to the soundtrack.

It’s struck me recently that this is basically my own childhood, come right back round. My mum loved a good weekend lie-in (who doesn’t?) and it would be my dad who took us downstairs early. We’d make sofa cushion dens, fortresses out of Lego and watch cartoons. However, faced with the horror of whatever 80s kid’s delights were on our four channel TV, my Dad quickly introduced the films of that era – usually Indiana Jones and Star Wars –  in a bid to educate us and broaden our filmic horizons. Naturally, we loved them all.

Although many things are very, very different now (weaning, feeding, sleep advice etc), so many things seem to some back around from your own childhood when you’re a parent, don’t they? Even if it’s just getting your old toys out of the loft or re-reading the books you loved with your children.

Then there’s the ultimate cyclical element of parenting. You spend a lot of time thinking you don’t want to be your mum (not that there’s anything wrong with my mum – she’s ace – or yours, it’s just the furthest and most uncool idea from your mind when you’re a teenager, isn’t it?) Then you have children and one or two familiar phrases come out. “That’s weird!” you say as you laugh it off. And then it snowballs without you noticing, and before you know it you are your mum, and then the same thing will probably happen to my daughters, repeat generation after generation, to infinity.

So will my two be showing their own children the modern cinema classics of this era in years to come, early on weekend mornings? Inevitably. Also, I’ve just realised that far from wanting to expose us to future classics, my dad clearly made us watch these films to avoid the mind numbing boredom of the same kids TV, over and over. Just the same as Alex. See?

Also, should we stop tantrum shaming and rebrand the terrible twos?  And more toddler entertainment tactics.

3 Comments

  • Five things for the weekend |

    February 28, 2015 at 10:30 am

    […] February 28, 2015 gillian Leave a comment var addthis_product = 'wpp-261'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true}; 1) This week, while my busy schedule of snack fetching and endless rounds of the Shopping List game clearly meant I didn’t go to LFW – probably a good thing; clothes covered in a light frosting of baby sick are so not this season – I had fun, as always, looking at the street style shots of what people were wearing. Isn’t it like a glorious no-uniform day at school for grown-ups? 2) Also on a strange sartorial tangent, despite writing this years ago I kind of, sort of, might just maybe want some dungarees. I know! But it struck me on a middle of the night feed (when I get lots of brilliant, fantastic ideas that are, of course, completely ridiculous in the cold light of actual day) that they’d be handy for breastfeeding / playgroup / mum life. I know, I know.  3) A big one for small trends of her own, Eliza’s current micro-obsession is Room on the Broom, both the book and the animation. Amazingly the animation is great, it’s narrated by Simon Pegg and fills in lots of bits of the book (like oh my, the story of the green bird). It’s currently on Netflix along with both the Gruffalo cartoons. Other micro-obsessions include questions, telling hilariously ridiculous jokes, and blocks – totally the new bracelets. 4) I’m pretty thrilled to be the Tots100 February blogger of the month. Read my three tips for blogging and vague plans for this year.  5) It’s been a bit of a weird old week, this one. It seems like we’ve been hanging around under the longest ever Wonder Week leap for months; it’s bought to you by the letters T.I.R.E.D. And it seems like there’s a catching case of the mehs going round for lots of people, isn’t there? But some good things – lighter evenings, green shoots, daffodils. I think spring really is coming. More posts from this week: What’s in my bag? How one breast pad can ruin your entire day and Star Wars Saturdays.  […]

  • 10 signs Sundays have changed since our childhoods |

    March 1, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    […] were the special Sunday morning cartoons, which your dad would watch with you while your mum had a lie-in, way, way before the dawn of 24 hour kids TV on 30+ […]

  • The parenting perils of bedtime stories | A Baby on Board

    August 20, 2015 at 8:07 am

    […] Star Wars is still a firm favourite in this house, even more so when Eliza was given a Star Wars annual that told the story of all six films. This is another we had to hide under the pile, after reading it so often. Eliza soon sussed this out though, requesting ‘let’s have a made up Star Wars story!’ Which always turns out to be the story of Star Wars, in its six volume entirety. […]

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