October 21, 2012 posted by note3793

I have never seen Star Wars…

There’s a programme on radio 4 called ‘I have never seen star wars’ where a celebrity talks about a few things they haven’t ever done before and then they go and try one out. It’s usually things like; changing a tyre, reading a certain famous book -1 that’s on a list of ’10 books to read before you die’ that if it weren’t on a list and you weren’t being told you should read it then maybe you just might. The point of the programme is simple; try something that you haven’t before because it might just surprise you and actually (yes really) you might just like it…

I have a confession. I have never seen Star Wars. I have 2 brothers and 3 sons so the opportunities to see the films have been endless especially now when we have DVD’s of the films in the house (they weren’t around when I was younger) and my 3 boys seem to be taking it in turn to become absolutely obsessed with them. We did a couple of years with Ollie and he had the bedspread, the Millennium Falcon (bought for a ridiculously young child by his ridiculously over excited father. I think it was more for the father?) and the hours of film watching and relaying of the really ‘interesting’ facts about the story (yawns) and anything to do with Star Wars. I’ve never liked being talked through certain scenes from films that I haven’t seen let alone witness them being acted out in front of me however dramatically…

No 2 son enthusiastically took up the Star Wars baton and is enthusiastically running down the race track as fast as he can with it. He loves Yoda and worships his power, greenness and quirky way of talking. He builds models out of Lego and has fierce battles with his 2 brothers and yes, just like the films (apparently) the Republic always wins. Goodies versus baddies once again and I know we’ll do it all again with no 3 son in a year or two. No 1 son has moved onto Harry Potter and runs around the house, and really anywhere we are, shouting ‘expelliarmus!!’ and points at us and in his imagination he has defeated us. It’s funny how the goodies versus baddies don’t really move even as children get older it’s just that the situations are different and the characters change their names.

When I say I’ve never watched Star Wars I think I really mean I have more of an aversion to it. If it’s on when I’m in the room I stay for a bit, slowly lose interest and start wondering about the washing pile I have in the utility room and whether we have enough milk for breakfast and I start to itch about wanting to get out of the room. I’m the same with any fantasy film or story really. I’ve never read the Hobbit, seen ‘Lord of the rings’ or any of that saga either. I think although I’m creative and certainly have an imagination to design I know I don’t have a suspension-of-reality type of creative mind. I can remember having conversations with Hubbie about this as he loves fantasy and as a result of me saying rather to loudly too many times ‘Oh now that really wouldn’t happen’ whilst we were at the cinema he finds other people to go and see the latest special effects blockbuster. Apparently I ruin films for him…

This suspension of reality to enter into a fantasy world extends to other parts of my life too. I have never really ‘played’ with my children in the sense of dressing up and having a tea party or having mock battles with dramatic death scenes acted out in the sitting room. Trench warfare has happened behind the sofas sure but I’m not the one with the Lego gun fighting those baddies. The children ask and I always find an excuse not to join in ‘I’ve got washing to do, milk to buy or a blog to write’ is what I say. The boys don’t mind as I think I’m not letting them down as a Mummy they are viewing me as someone who might want to play as they would their friends and if they friends don’t want to play at that moment then that’s fine. They aren’t upset. Don’t get me wrong I do lots with the boys. I wouldn’t want you to think I sit and write or sew all day and that they are running riot or that I shut the door on them and although they press their noses on the glass pane looking in at me as I work with tears running down their faces, I draw with them, help them to learn to read and write. I take them on trains to visit museums (that I’m very good at) we go for days out in castles, I organise and run parties for them without entertainers and just today we are off to the Albert Hall in London to watch and orchestral concert play Disney’s ‘Fantasia’. (I know Disney didn’t write fantasia but this is how the concert is billed) I do lots with the boys but I don’t play and if I’m really honest I don’t want to.

Although to write this blog I’ve obviously thought about this I don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t feel my children are missing out on anything as the parenting books would have you believe. My parents didn’t play with me, I don’t ever remember having a dolls tea party with either of them and I don’t feel a huge gap in my life because of it. My grandparents didn’t play with my parents and I absolutely know that my very Victorian great grandparents didn’t have time to play with any of their children as work, washing, cooking and cleaning very much got in the way. I think as long as my boys can play they don’t really mind who’s doing the playing.

There’s a very good book I read a while ago that was recommended by one of my sewing ladies. It’s called ‘Why French Children Don’t Throw Their Food’ and after the navel gazing introduction (stay with it though as after the intro it’s really very good) the author does write a really good reflection on the very different way of raising children that the French have. It’s not an instructional text, there are no ‘right’ and ‘wrongs’ in it but I was left with a sense of ‘yes, I’m glad I’ve read about people that have a similar way of doing things to me’ as when you’re sat at soft play and you see lots of mums following their children around shouting ‘Come on Jonny, let’s do this next!!!’ I do feel a little pressure to join in with the madness and pretend I’m having ‘so much fun!!!’ in an almost manic way that some parents do. I know some of the parents really are enjoying themselves (Hubbie has just admitted to absolutely loving soft play) but I bet there are lots that feel just like me but cave into peer pressure.

I have never watched Star Wars and do you know what? I never want too…

Here’s a link to ‘Why French Children Don’t Throw Food

1 Comment

  • I’m the same with sci-fi. I just totally glaze over. Tho I don’t mind watching Doctor Who when I go visit my brother. He is a total sci-fi freak and when he’s not being that he watches loads of cooking programmes. I don’t mind watching them (I am currently watching Jamie’s 30min meals) I hate cooking mostly cos I’m never any good at it and don’t get much praise even when I make the effort to have a go. Infact 9 time about of 10 hubby usually takes over when I do start to cook and I’m left to do the washing up.
    Hubby does the imaginative play with our little girl really well and so does her Nanna (tho I don’t remember her doing it with me) considering I’ve been a nanny for 11 yrs before my current job I’ve never really done the imaginative play. I’ve sat and had endless cups of tea made for me of course and pretended to drink them and make the appropriate yummy noises but nothing much more than that. Our little girl recently had her 2nd birthday and we bought her a really nice red wooden kitchen from letterbox.co.uk and whilst I was getting ready for us to go out for the day I could hear him downstairs playing kitchens with her and both having the best time. I said to him later that it sounded like try were having fun and that he’s really good at it and I confessed I’m not. Instead of the “that’s okay your good at all the making things arty stuff and making cakes and reading books” (where as he’s dislexic and tho he tries u can see a tensing of the muscles) I got “well u need to try harder and just do it” since my confession he plays with her for a little while and then pushes her to play with me which she hates cos she just knows I’m not as fun. Feel now I’ve ruined the daddy play and I think another conversation is needed with hubby to make him realise although he may see this as a fault he shouldn’t pressurise me and make me feel guilty and not take it out on our little girl by not playing with her as much. I spend a lot of time with her in other ways. For example I’m usually the one that does the bath which I confess I supervise where as hubby plays with her there too. I prefer to think that she’s creating her own play rather than being ‘directed’ in her play which she has got years of at school to have that. I need to make him realise he needs to focus on what I DO do rather than what I don’t.

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