Don't Watch "The Land Before Time" When You're Emotional; Don't Eat People


After spending the day in the hospital for a family medical emergency, I was feeling like a wrung out dish rag.  (We're all OK.  Not trying to be mysterious, just not my story to tell.)  Sweet Husband was needed for another task and I had no energy left to be mama, so I broke our longstanding "no TV on weekdays" rule and popped in The Land Before Time for the Kid.  It was a favorite of my 80's childhood, so when I saw it in the bargain bin I grabbed it up, hoping the Kid would love it too.

But, oh hey there, maybe it is not the movie to watch when you're already emotional.

In addition to just the general weepy nostalgia, first there's Littlefoot being born and oh they all love each other and they're the last of their kind.  Sob.  And then Littlefoot's mama goes all mama bear (erm, mama dinosaur?) to protect her little man from Sharptooth.  Sob.  And then she dies.  Sob, sob.  Knowing that she's sending Littlefoot on this epic, dangerous journey on his own and he's probably going to die because she isn't there to protect him.  Wail.

We were 10 minutes into the movie and I was already a snotty mess.

But I settled in a little when the Kid started asking questions.

"What's Littlefoot's whole name?"

"Well, he's a brontosaurus."

"What about Cera?"

"She's a triceratops."

"Is Sharptooth bad?  Like Shere Khan and the monkeys?"

At which point, I must stop to explain that we've watched The Jungle Book lately, too.

And also that I'm on a bit of an irrational quest to help the Kid understand that "good" and "bad" aren't really that black and white.  It's a little over his head, I'll admit, but not so much that it's completely futile.

"Remember, Shere Khan only wanted to eat Mowgli because he was afraid of him.  Sharptooth is a little like that--he only wants to eat the other dinosaurs because he's hungry," I answered.

Later that night, when Sweet Husband got home, we were laying in bed talking about Sharptooth again.

"Why does he eat other dinosaurs?" the Kid asked Sweet Husband.

Sweet Husband launched into a lesson about herbivores and carnivores and everything in between.

"Sharptooth eats meat," I summed up.  "Littlefoot and his family eat plants.  People eat both meat and plants."

"So, people eat dinosaurs?" the Kid asked.

"We might if they were still here," Sweet Husband answered.  "But they all died millions of years ago."

"Do people eat people, though?" the Kid cocked his head to the side, trying to discern the pattern in all this new information.

"No, buddy," I quickly chimed in.  "We definitely don't eat people."