Beauty and the Beast

Venue Production: “But you watched Beauty and the Beast just because your girls wanted you to right?”
Me: “Um… sorta”
I’ve always loved Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I remember taking a buddy of mine to see the original cartoon in theatres in high school. He thought it was weird but had nothing else to do. I apparently didn’t think it was weird.
I love movies where the bad guys are predictably evil and easy to hate and the good guys are complicated individuals who are decent people deep down inside but look like monsters and wrongfully imprison people in enchanted castles and end up rescuing them from wolves and then need rescuing themselves and then give them libraries and enchanted mirrors and are finally turned back into their beautiful selves and get the girl in the end.
(Breathing break)
Actually, I just like Beauty and the Beast.
As ridiculously focused as I can be, there’s this other part of me that gives itself up in the most naive and childlike way to things that most adults are too cool for. I was always a little too serious from my school days until the moment I had children, but then something funny happened.
I feel like they made me young in a way that I had never been before. I began to experience the wonder of life and it’s soaring heights and piercing valleys in a way I hadn’t given myself permission for.
Most adults are doing their best to free their life from unpredictability while I feel like I’m trying to do the opposite: I’m trying to engage in it all and not miss the magic moments.
My little Neela came in and informed Erin and I that she heard our two older girls fighting about something downstairs, which I will definitely be writing about soon. One day into summer and there have been four attempted murders in my home amongst the Kope girls and mostly involving who gets the TV remote control.
When Neela told me what was going on I asked her to come into the room and deliver a message to the girls downstairs.
Now, the key to parenting is being very specific and intentional in our communication with children and then following up with them, so here’s what I told Neela…
“Come here sweetie. I want you to give a message to the older girls but you have to do it exactly like I show you.
Walk up to each of them, get in their personal space with your face right up to theirs, make a fist with your hand, hold it up and say ‘Dad said he’s going to come down here and mess you up if you don’t quit fighting!!!’. Then, still glaring at her, walk over to your other sister and do the same thing.”
I cannot impress upon the reader how important it is for the other spouse in the room to NOT do what Erin did while I was trying to get my point across to the older girls. I feel like spouses need to back each other up during conflict management with children instead of openly laughing beyond control. This gives little girls with a serious job to do mix messages.
Neela’s eyes lit up in delight and she danced out of the room trying to keep the laughter at bay and ran downstairs. She returned but had obviously failed in her mission.
I asked “How did it go?”
She responded “I couldn’t stop laughing and couldn’t get the words out!”
The only thing to do was turn my disappointment into a teaching moment. I said “You sit here and I’ll show you how to do it” (all the while Erin and Neela are losing their minds laughing).
I turned around and spun back dead serious. I walked up to Neela menacingly, slowly shook my fist in front of her nose and said in my most chilling locker room voice “DAD   SAYS   HE’S   GOING   TO   COME  DOWN   HERE   AND   MESS   YOU   UP   IF   YOU   DON’T   QUIT   FIGHTING!!!!”
This resulted in a new uproar of laughter which naturally prompted a reprisal tickle fight and a new memory none of us will forget.
Also somewhere along the way the girls thought the message from Dad was pretty funny and they should probably stop fighting over the remote.
I think we lose magic moments when we concentrate too much on the negative. There are times when you have to stop the train and deal with issues, but let’s not miss the fun along the way?
Am I going to watch Beauty and the Beast at the Movie Night with my girls and thoroughly enjoy myself?
Yes I am.
Am I forcing Venue Production to watch it?
Yes I am. Life is too short not to believe in magic.

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