One of the biggest bonuses you get for having a kid is the opportunity to relive some of those things you loved as a kid. One of the biggest drawbacks of having a kid is that sometimes you get the task of reliving some of the things you hated as a kid.
I hated Mary Poppins.
For a long time, I thought I hated Mary Poppins because it was The Choice in flicks for school assemblies when I was growing up. Every year right before Christmas break we would gather in the gym, seated in crisp rows in metal folding chairs, and get the "privilege" of watching that AWFUL movie. But only if we were good. Secretly, I tried every year to do something stupid enough to get banned, but I think the teachers were more determined to get an afternoon without kids than they were to use the movie as a true reward for the kids. Besides, making a kid sit in an uncomfortable, cold metal chair for two and a half hours is obviously punishment enough.
Because I am clearly the least selfish human on earth (ha!), I put aside my hatred for that stupid British nanny and let Alexis watch the movie. It might have been in part to prove my point that she likes musicals in general, and doesn't really demand that she be allowed to watch Hannah Montana and High School Musical all the time. It might have also been in part because it was free on On Demand. Whatever. The point is, I let her watch it.
I hated that movie not just because of the school assembly torture, but also because I have never been stoned while watching it. I don't think it could possibly make any sense unless you are, and in the brief moments when something semi-sensical is going on, it's maddening in a whole other sort of way. Evidence:
1. The father is a totally douchebag. I don't care what year the movie was set in, demanding that your glass of brandy be ready at 6:03 makes you a jerk. The only good thing about the guy being such a poopoobrain is that I got to hear Alexis say, "He's really mean. He shouldn't be mean like that to the mommy." Sing it, sista!
2. Bert (Dick Van Dyke's character) is essentially a homeless, unemployed guy who flits about from job-to-job every day. In what universe is that something to be admired? I think he's totally got a friends with benefits thing going on with Mary, which makes no sense considering how bad his fake accent is in the movie. He attended the Madonna School of Bad English Accents, methinks.
3. I can't hate on Mary herself, to be honest. Julie Andrews was smokin' hot (and not nearly as excessively skinny as the Mary Clones who wander Walt Disney World). Only she could rock pink shoes with a red dress, but did she really have to be soooooo uptight? Puh-leeze.
4. When I watched the scene where Mary and the kids join some old dude in a giggle fit that causes them to float in the air, I fully realized how many drugs the Disney Imagineers/Writers were using back in the 60's. HOLY CRAP. Not only were the writers a few crayons short of a rainbow, they were encouraging nannies everywhere to give The Happy Hallucinogen Juice to the kids.
5. What the frack is with the old guy who acts like he's on a boat when really he's on the roof of a house? I'm serious here, people. I don't understand. Is the guy old and senile and instead of putting him in a home his family decided to build him a "special place" up on the roof? Is he locked up there so he doesn't try to mingle with the sane people on the street? Who thought it was a good idea to give him a working cannon?
Of course, Alexis LOVES the movie. Loves, loves, loves, loves it. I guess that means that I can suffer through more High School Musical and Hannah Montana, or I can torture my brain with Mary Poppins.
At least I know that when the chimney sweep dudes step in time, they can totally wipe the floor with those lame High School Musical boys.