Night Night

If you had asked me five years ago whether I would some day watch The Little Mermaid five times in a weekend, I'd probably have looked at you like you were an idiot. (I was a jerk, five years ago, I guess.) Of course, since Jason seems to have inherited our passion for movies, this has now come to pass. I'm not sure, exactly, but it's possible that I am now the world's expert on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Sword in the Stone. I'm at least on my way.

Anyway, the other day we were watching the end of Beauty and the Beast again, though this particular time was somewhat less tedious since we had skipped the first two-thirds of the movie. (Jason doesn't care much about continuity; he just likes particular scenes and doesn't care what order they come in.) We came to the scene after the climactic battle between the Beast and Gaston (OH NO! SPOILERS!) where the Beast has been mortally wounded and is dying in Belle's arms. In case you don't recall the exact scene, Belle begs the Beast not to die, the Beast tells her it's better this way, he slumps back and closes his eyes, and Belle collapses on top of him, weeping.

Just as the sad music came up, I heard Jason say, "Oh no! Booty night night." I looked over and he was pointing at the screen, saying "Night night!"

"She's not sleeping, buddy, she's sad," I replied.

"Sat," he repeated, nodding. "She sat."

Then it occurred to me: Jason sometimes gets Beauty ("Booty") and the Beast ("Beess") mixed up. Moreover, both characters were in a lying position with their eyes closed, so I couldn't be quite sure which one he was talking about. And it got me to wondering how much of the scene he understood. It seemed like he understood that something important was happening, and that it was bad--at least, the "Oh no" suggested that. But there was really no way that he could already understand a concept like death--he still struggles with the idea that Big Sur is too far from San Diego for us to see his grandparents every day. But if he was actually talking about the Beast's apparent death, how could I begin to explain that to him?

Before I could figure out a course of action, the movie ended and Jason wandered off to find something to pull off of a shelf.

I've since been able to determine that he probably did mean Belle, because now any time a character cries in a movie, whether it's Belle or Ariel or whoever, Jason will announce "Sat! Sat!" And, actually, that in itself is kind of remarkable to me, that he can extrapolate the concept to other people and other circumstances. But he's doing things like that all the time lately, which is why Juliette and I have been asking each other "Can you believe that?" a lot.



Fascinating and mysterious, isn't it? What a great adventure it is watching the young mind develop. You become amazed at the speed of which cognition is developing, and then it picks up even more. It, of course, makes me very nostalgic.


It really is amazing. It's so fun to watch Mattie when she sees a movie for the first time. The pure wonder on her face (and Thomas before her) is great.

Mattie's favorite movie is Ponyo, which is great because we all love it. I haven't yet tired of it. Thomas has never been one to watch the same thing over and over for very long, but we've gone through most of the best Pixar has to offer, with WALL-E probably topping the list as far as total number of times viewed.