We have some work to do here

Last spring, I became acquainted with the current production of Matilda the Musical (I say “became acquainted with” because, in the span of one week, at least five different people sent me, or posted to Facebook, links to various songs from the London Matilda production. Universe, I heard you: sometimes, you do, indeed, have to be a little bit naughty). In my continued quest to bring culture to the girls’ lives (shall we see how many hyper-links I can include in one paragraph?), and in keeping with their love of Broadway (that’s four!), I showed Ella and Annie the above clips from Matilda, as well as every other clip available on YouTube.

Small children with British accents get me every time.

We agreed to make it our goal to see Matilda the next time we’re in NYC, but in the meantime, the girls rented the movie Matilda from the library. I haven’t seen it yet, but given that it features that adorable little girl from Mrs. Doubtfire, my fingers are crossed that it’s good – even if she doesn’t have a British accent.

We were quite busy this past weekend, out and about and not taking the time to watch the movie (maybe because we were too preoccupied seeing Monsters University in the theatre; that’s just a hunch), and I was feeling slightly nervous that we wouldn’t find time to watch it before it’s due back at the library later this week. (I could try to renew it, or even just keep it past its due date and willingly pay the fine… but, given that we’re already purposely holding onto an overdue library book because the girls are totally into it but we’re not done with it yet and there aren’t other copies available but we’ve already renewed it as many times as we can, I figure I can only toy with karma so much.)

When the courtesy call came two days ago reminding me that I had a haircut appointment scheduled for this week, I was initially frustrated because I knew I’d have to bring Annie and Ella with me. I then realized that this was the solution to our problem: the girls could watch Matilda on my laptop while I got my hair cut. This would both a) ensure that the movie was actually viewed prior to its return date, and b) thwart attempts by my children to open the styling products for sale by the checkout counter.

It took me a good 20 minutes to locate the headphone jack splitter (because I’d rather have my offspring pour volumizing gel all over themselves than turn the sound up on an electronic device – while out in public – without headphones; why do people not understand this premise?!?!), but I finally found it and we were ready to go.

On the way to the salon, the girls peppered me with questions about the movie… and it was then that I finally realized just how “cultured” our daughters really are.

“Are the same songs in this that are on Broadway?”

No, sweetie. It’s just a movie.

“But which songs are there?”

There aren’t any. It’s just a regular movie.

“They made a movie of the Broadway show? Like that one with the lady* in Peter Pan?”
(*the Mary Martin stage version)

No. The movie came first.

“It did?”

Actually, the book came first. There’s a book – Matilda. By Roald Dahl.


Not really, it’s… never mind. Anyway, he wrote the book Matilda. We should read it; I think you’d like it.

“His name is ROLLED DOLL?”

And enough kids liked the book that they turned it into a movie.

“Is the movie happening right now?”

When you say ‘happening right now,’ what do you mean?

“The movie. Is it still happening? Right now?”


Matilda the movie! Are they doing it now??”

Do you mean is the movie being filmed right now, today? As in, are the actors acting their parts and are they making the movie today?


Well, aside from the fact that you’re holding the DVD, so that would be some kind of weird voodoo magic, no, the movie was made a long time ago.

“How long ago?”

I don’t know. At least fifteen years.

“Wow. That’s SO LONG ago. Is the little girl still alive?”

Uh, I think so? ‘Cause she’d only be, like, twenty-five?

“Oh, good. And what songs does she sing?”

We’re still talking about this? She doesn’t sing anything.

“Why not?”

Because it’s not a musical. It’s just a movie.


There’s no singing. It’s just a regular movie.

“But Cinderella sings.”

Yes, I know, but…

“And Tiana sings.”

I understand that, but those are Disney cartoon movies. This is a movie with real people.

“They sing songs in the movie Annie.”

True, but that’s a movie musical, so…

“And in The Sound of Music.”

Which makes sense, because it’s also…

“And Mary Poppins. And Enchanted.”

Wait a minute. Is it possible that the only movies we’ve shown are ones with singing in them??

“Ummmm…. We just saw Monsters University! That didn’t have singing!”

Okay, right…

“And Despicable Me 2! They don’t sing in that!”

So… movies with singing and cartoons. That’s where we stand? This is all we’ve shown you?

“But those are good movies, Mommy!”

That may be, but it’s kind of horrifying that we haven’t introduced you to any other kinds of movies.

“WAIT!! I know!!”


“We’ve seen The Princess Bride! A lot of times!”

YES! A real movie! THANK GOD. We have not completely failed you.

“Oh! And Indiana Jones! We saw ALL of those!”

A questionable move on our part, but still, yes. Indy definitely doesn’t sing.

“And there are all those snakes! And that guy’s face melts off!”

Again, questionable parenting. But I did show you Big. That didn’t have any singing in it.

“He ate the baby corn! And they played the piano with their feet!”

Yep, I remember. You’re still playing “Heart and Soul”, like, 186 times a day.
So… Cartoons, Disney movies, musicals, and 80s classics. It’s a start.

“I’m going to play ‘Heart and Soul’ as soon as we get home!”

That’ll be fun. Speaking of 80s classics, do you remember The Goonies?


I know, right??

“See, Mommy. You’ve shown us lots of movies.”

Thanks, baby. We’ve totally broadened your horizons. I feel much better about myself now.


I think we’d better stop while we’re ahead.

2 thoughts on “We have some work to do here

  1. Matilda is a great movie! We watched it over and over when the kids were little. “I’m big. You’re little. I’m smart. You’re dumb” We used to quote that ALL THE TIME!!

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