The tragedy of Netflix

Oh, streaming movies from Netflix is delightful. Spouse and I stream films the one or two nights a month we can find time beyond dishes and errands and food prep. And I found for Peanut both Kipper and Pingu for his movie day, thanks to the recommendations of readers who know my feelings about non-violent, non-menacing, non-commercial age-appropriate, limited-length DVDs.

Movie Day once a week means Shower Day for Mama Naptime. (Yes, that means most other days may not include showers. Show me the mother of small children who showers regularly and I’ll show you a woman with child care or a partner who is home during daylight hours.)

Movie Day with the DVD player also means Peanut gets the remote and watches, pauses, goes to the kitchen to eat a snack, comes back, watches, pauses, runs around, watches, pauses, snacks again, pauses, goes to the bathroom.

And that’s where the tale of Netflix’s wonderment goes horribly, horribly wrong. The remote does not work on streaming Kipper. Peanut is not allowed to touch the computer. Peanut cannot, therefore, stop streaming Kipper and life as he knows it comes to an end when nature calls.

P: Mommy! Mommeeeeeeee!
M: [soaped and NOT leaving the shower unless someone is on fire] Come on in here, Peanut. I know why you need me.
P: MOM! [crying] I need you. I need YOU!
M: Pea, come here.
P: [screaming, crying]
M: Peanut, I know Kipper won’t stop and I can fix it.
P: Mom, I have to go potty and Kipper won’t stop. IT WON’T STOP! [scream in rage, fear, and helplessness. piercing scream. new scream. painful scream.]
M: Peanut, come into the bathroom.
[he does, crying]
M: Honey, I know Kipper won’t stop. That makes you sad.
P: [sobbing]
M: Honey, go potty while I tell you how I’m going to fix it.
P: [sobbing louder, stis]
M: Honey, the remote doesn’t work on the computer. Kipper is playing from the Internet to the computer and the buttons you have don’t work.
P: [nodding, crying]
M: And that makes you so sad.
P: [sobs]
M: I know it’s sad, babe. You’re disappointed. But Peanut? I can fix it. I can make Kipper stop and go back.
P: [sobbing]
M: Honey, I can make Kipper go back so you don’t miss any of the new Kipper.
P: But it won’t stop.
M: Honey, I can make it stop and I can make it go back. I will fix it. You won’t miss any Kipper.
P: [crying]
M: Peanut. Take a deep breath. You’re sad. I will fix it.
P: [crying, wiping eyes]
M: I will fix it, babe.
P: [crying, washes hands, goes back to living room, and I thank heavens, again for Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. And as he continues to cry, I wonder if the empathy can stop in a while because, for crissakes, I said I could fix it and he needs only wait the ten glorious minutes I need to wash out the huge clumps of postpardum hair leaving my head in a fistful each hour of the day. ]

I rewound the playback to the exact moment he told me tragedy struck. And he watched the rest of the movie, scarred for life and terrified of ever needing to go to the bathroom again.

Thanks for the tragicomedy, Netflix.