Monday, September 24, 2007

Daisy gets to watch a little TV most days. I realize that better parents would have their kids composing symphonies, or feeding the poor, or composing symphonies for the poor, but that's just now how things worked out in our house. I may be a liberal, but I firmly believe that the poor should compose their own symphonies. Bootstraps, baby.

Anyway, the other day Daisy was perusing the Tivo "Now Playing" list, picking a show to watch. She clicked over to the group of "Magic School Bus" episodes that were available. It's her favorite show, but she's seen every episode multiple times. Hank watched her scroll through the episode descriptions from the kitchen.

"Oh, not that one," Hank muttered quietly to herself, "she's seen that a million times. Good god, not that one either. Ugh, she's seen these all so many times. What a terrible choice." Hank sighed.

Meanwhile, from the living room, Daisy sighed.

"They're all so good," Daisy muttered to herself. "How can I pick?"

Thankfully Daisy made the tough decision and picked an episode, but, still, it makes me shake my head. Daisy will HAPPILY watch the same TV or movie over and over again. She has, more often than not, finished watching a movie and then immediately asked to watch it all over again. When picking a book to read, she's more likely to choose a favorite off the shelf than dig into a new one.

What the hell?!?

I will grant you that during my youth, I saw every episode of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's island more times than I care to admit, but in my day we had about 4 channels. So, there just weren't very many options. If there had been another show aimed at the mental level of an 8 year-old, I would have watched that instead of subjecting myself to the queasy feeling I'd get every time the Brady's picked up that damn tiki idol.

Not Daisy though. When I saw her reading a book for the third or fourth time the other day, I interrogated her about why she was doing that instead of reaching for one of the interesting new books she had received for her birthday.

Me: You JUST finished that book. Why are you reading it again?
Daisy: I like it!
Me: I know. It's a good book. But you have some new books to read that look pretty good too.
Daisy: I know.
Me: Wouldn't you rather read a book where you don't know what's going to happen?
Daisy: Then I wouldn't know what was going to happen.

Man, that is just weird. I think this comes from the same part of her personality that only likes stories where good things happen instead of conflict and resolution. It's some crazy fear of the unknown. The classic Daisy story probably goes like this:

Chapter 1: Baby kitten becomes best friends with baby bunny.
Chapter 2: Baby kitten and baby bunny open a rainbow and candy store together.
Chapter 3: Big musical number about togetherness

She'd watch that endlessly. Here in our corner of the world, there is no Joseph Campbell classic myth. There are only rainbows and candy.

There are bigger problems to solve, but this one is perplexing.


Siôn said...

Wow! A rainbow and candy by a bunny and kitten combo. That, I have to see.

Sue said...

No worries - I think her desire to re-read beloved books is pretty common. My son has read his favorite book about five times. When he runs out of books, he just goes back to his old favorite - and reads it again.(not bunnies and kitties; dragons and swords) He is 11, and it has just been in the last year or two that he was willing to begin a new book on his own, without me starting it with him. So, I wouldn't worry.

BTW - my understanding of a "classic" book is one that can be read several times, each time getting something new/more out of it. :)

Mike said...

Siôn, just wait until Daisy starts publishing her stories. You can buy the whole series.

Sue, I suppose, but I'm a bit of a plot whore. I need stories to unfold.

newnorth said...

Maybe she has alzheimer's?

Neel Mehta said...

Unrelated: Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings knows who I am, but more importantly, he quotes YOU! Go here.

Mike said...

Whooo! I'm extra famous! Bonus points because he didn't even question my gender!

carey said...

Those tiki torches must stay lit! Those seeds must be kept warm!


Mike said...

Newnorth, that theory would explain a lot.

Carey, my recall of Gilligan's island doesn't include specific quotes, but, thankfully, Google's is better.

Meg S. said...

Have you read any of Mo Willem's books? My girls love them and they are mostly about a pigeon who wants to eat a hot dog or drive a bus. Pretty cute actually.

I can quote every Barbie, Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, as well as Kiki's Delivery Service (good plot, kitties, teen witch good morals, very cute), or their new obsession, Sound of Music.

I know I read the same books over and over but not right away. The Stand (thanks to you), The Handmaid's Tale, Earth Abides are like that. She may just like the plot, and excited she knows the end, it's very comforting in a changing world, books are like old friends.


Mike said...

That Mo Willem stuff looks darn cute, but I'm trying to coax Daisy into reading stuff more appropriate for a 9 year-old who can read almost any word I throw at her.