Me and my minions

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Aidan, like most kids his age, loves Minions. And who wouldn’t? This animated film is just about the cutest children’s flick I’ve seen in ages. Though admittedly, I can’t decide which I enjoy more: Minions, Inside Out or the Toy Story series.

Children’s films have changed since I was young. No longer do the stories focus on the damsel in distress. The female characters are stronger. They are more independent. And where a love story exists, the happy-ever-after message focuses elsewhere. Frozen’s happy ending was about sacrifice and love of family. Brave’s was about personal growth and self discovery. Minion’s was about following, without regard, despicable people. Okay, so not the best message. But at least it wasn’t about rescuing the helpless princess, am I right?

There’s another reason I enjoy watching these new films with Aidan more so than the traditional Disney flicks that – once upon a time – enchanted my own youth.

And it’s a purely selfish one.

To the parents who have not yet watched their favourite Disney movie with their children, listen very closely to what I’m about to tell you: Don’t do it. You may not think there is any harm in watching The Little Mermaid or The Lion King with your little one. Why shouldn’t they enjoy that magical moment when Arial and Prince Eric kiss? Why shouldn’t they dream about the adventures of young Simba?

I’ll tell you why. Because after you watch it with your child, you are going to watch it again. And again. And again. Because that is how toddlers do everything.

“Again, momma. Again, momma. Again, momma.”

Your favourite Disney movie is about to become your worst nightmare. Picture the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, except you already know all the lines and you don’t have the  humorous banter of Bill Murray and Chris Elliott to get you through it.

After watching her 35-plus times, IN A ROW, Arial and I no longer friends. She is now nothing more than a bratty 16-year old girl whose father needs to give her a good kick up her $^#$%. Running off with some stranger she just met?

In the words of a witty high school friend of mine whom I shared this story with prior to this post: “No, Arial. I do not want to be part of your world.” Thanks for that laugh, Mike.

In short, parents, do yourself a favour. Watch the crap out of the new films. Who cares if you end up hating those. It’s the ones you grew up with that you should hold dear to your hearts, and away from your child’s until they are old enough to spell repetition 10 consecutive times.

But I digress. As you can probably tell, it’s been a long day. As I write this, my son is fast asleep on the couch, milk bottle dangling in hand, cheeks still chilled and rosy from the two-hour long walk through the forest we just returned from, minion hat still on his head.

For three days now, Aidan has been asking me to carve a scary pumpkin for him. He loved Halloween last October, especially when we spent an afternoon carving his first jack o’lanterns.

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Months later, he still hasn’t fully comprehended that when they began to rot I had to throw them out.

It didn’t help that when Aidan came home from school that day and they had mysteriously “disappeared”, I may have blamed it on our very wonderful cleaning lady. To this day, he thinks she threw them out by mistake. In my defence, I had dinner to make, and simply could not be bothered with the spin and drop tantrum that I could see manifesting beneath him, smoke and all.

One day he’ll understand.

Today, I needed a pumpkin. Obviously, since the fall season and its colourful assortment of pumpkins is about eight months away, the only thing I had to work with at the store was butternut squash.

Scary pumpkin was not going to happen. But minion pumpkin? That, we could do.

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This is a pretty self explanatory project. Butternut squash, some paints, and off you go…

Add to that a household hunt for suitable goggles, in our case black felt, two milk bottle caps for the two-eyed minion, and a mini coke can for the one-eyed one – the bottom carved out and bent inwards until only the silver is showing, like so….

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Some paint, some drying, some more paint, some more drying, a handy glue gun, and a good long walk in the park to let it all dry, and viola, minion complete.

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There are about 500 google images of these little guys if you are looking for inspiration on how to paint them. Pick the one you like and go with it.

And importantly, have fun. While you still like them of course:)

Later in the evening, Aidan made me put them near the candles so they could be “scary minions.” Not sure if the effect was quite what he was looking for, but it’ll have to do for now…

IMG_7031Perhaps this time around I’ll suck it up and tell Aidan the truth about what happens to butternut squash minions when they begin to rot. I’m pretty sure I’ve used my cleaner card a few times too many in the last year.

All the same, we lived happily ever after…

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