November 6th, 2003


Empathic Toddler

Poor Jet.

We got Finding Nemo the other night. He was all excited, as John had built it up as something he'd really want. Jet keeps calling Nemo "Elmo", but doesn't mind getting corrected. Still, when we got it home, it was already pretty late, and he was tired and still sick. We decided to just show him the last third of the movie, and not start with Mom getting eaten.

It was still pretty traumatic. Jet sat in my lap to watch, and when they were in the whale, he started just sobbing, and he got up and tried to pick Marlin up from the floor of the mouth of the whale. He was so upset about Marlin lying there, dejected. He kept saying, "Get up! Get up!" He also got pretty upset at the pelican trying to eat Marlin and Dory and couldn't figure out that the second pelican was trying to save them until I talked about Freddi and Luther getting a ride in a pelican's mouth, too. He remembered Freddi Fish, so he calmed down again only to started crying again at seeing Nemo playing dead in the bag.

Whew. Quite the rollercoaster, there. But it was really touching, in a lot of ways, that he wanted, so badly, to help the characters that were in trouble.

That night, he woke up at midnight crying, "Fish! Fish!" and was sobbing into his pillows when I got up there. I cuddled him and tried to talk about how Dora had saved the ice cream truck, the baby jaguar, and other adventures that he loves of hers. And I just murmured about those adventures, and he tossed until his head got cuddled by one of his teddy bears, and he then settled down and went back to sleep.

Of course, the next morning, he watched the whole movie without any trauma whatsoever. So that's cool.
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