American Idol, watch out!
I'm quite ill with a sinus infection, so my mom offered to take the girls off my hands for the evening. She had a copy of Mamma Mia that she hadn't seen yet (nor had I), and made a movie night for the girls. I was still really busy choosing and buying more books for the school library, so I left to spend a few hours at the bookstore.
The problem? Hmm. The movie. Other families had raved about what fun it was, but I vaguely knew the premise, about a daughter inviting multiple former boyfriends of her mom to her wedding in the hopes of connecting with her father. Hmm. Not exactly child-appropriate content. But then again, was Grease?! I remember seeing that when I was little, loving all songs, and having NO clue about the larger plot. Grease was such a cultural landmark in my childhood--I remember all those songs by heart to this day--and I thought the kids would be thrilled to hear all the musical numbers by Abba... (They have danced to Abba songs in the past at their Russian kindergarten and loved them).
The musical ran last year in Moscow, and it was immensely popular. Many families I know took their kids to it. I didn't, because, well... I couldn't quite fathom going to a musical translated into Russian, especially when the songs are well-known in the original. (Then again, we did go see Beauty and the Beast this year, and it was phenomenal). I really needed an evening without the kids to get all this last-minute stuff done, so I figured, "Sure, sounds great."
In the end, I figured my kids would simply pay attention to the cool scenery of Greece (where we might go on a school trip next year) and to the fun music. They did, of course LOVE the music and island setting... But they also picked up OH so much more...
My mom first realized that she might be in for it afterwards, when Natalia declared:
Natalia: "I just loved the part when the girl told her mom 'I don't even care if you slept with a hundred men; you're my mom and I love you!'"
My Mom: (She surely then thought to herself that I was going to freak out! She also was probably praying that Katya wasn't going to offer some up some "gem" of her own...)
Katya: (Eager to add her two cents, of course, and right on cue...) "And I loved the part where you saw the man's butt behind his apron!"
Oh..... At times like this, there's a whole lot to be said for the 100% control I have over my kids' media exposure in Moscow... They pretty much only watch DVDs that I personally choose and buy...
At the end of the day, however, I bet the movie's plot did go right over their heads... And I bet all they'll remember is the fantastic time they had dancing in the kitchen afterwards with their grandma. (I also have SUPERB video of the three of them shakin' it once I got home, but out of deference to my mom, I'm not posting it...)