After leaving Chloe and a friend off at the movie theater to see “Warm Bodies” (PG-13), Genevieve, the four-year-old (who came along for the ride because she wanted to get a look at “the friend”) and I had this discussion:
Genevieve: How come the bosses didn’t go with them?
Genevieve: They went into the movie show without the bosses of them?
Cassie: You mean the parents?
Cassie: They’re old enough to go see the movie by themselves.
Genevieve: But you said the movie was too scary with the zombies that are boyfriend and girlfriend.
Cassie: Yes. YOU are not quite ready for that movie yet. Someday, maybe.
Genevieve: When I’m older?
Genevieve: I’m only a little scared of zombies.
Cassie: Really? I’m A LOT scared of zombies. I can’t even watch the zombie shows that are on television…at home.
Genevieve: That’s why you let Chloe go to see that zombie movie alone with her friend? Because you’re too scared of the zombies?
Cassie: No. The big girls WANTED to see the movie by themselves…without the parents. Then, after the movie, Chloe’s friend is coming to sleep over at our house.
Genevieve: But they probably won’t be able to go to sleep tonight. Because of the zombie movie they are seeing right now….and because you had such scariness and couldn’t watch the zombie movie with them.
Cassie: Hmm. I hope you’re not right about that.
Genevieve: It’s always better if the Mom and the Dad go to the movies with all the children. But you are too scared so now Chloe and her friend will have bad nightmares.
Cassie: (slightly annoyed by the accusing tone of the four-year-old) They’ll be fine, Genevieve.
Genevieve: I don’t think so. (Pause) Is Daddy afraid of zombies?
Genevieve: When is he getting home from work?
Genevieve: Is Max afraid of zombies?
Cassie: No. I don’t think so. (Softly, but firmly.) Gigi, there’s no such thing as zombies.
Genevieve: Then how come YOU are afraid of them?
Cassie: (sighing) I don’t know, Gigi. (Pause) Now what do I need to get at the grocery store for dinner? Milk…
Genevieve: Charlie said that zombies eat other people.
Cassie: Thanks a lot Charlie. Like I said, no such thing as zombies, Gigi.
Genevieve: Why did they even make a movie about zombies?
Cassie: I don’t know, Gigi. I’m getting really tired of talking about it though.
Genevieve: Cuz you’re so scared of them?
Genevieve: Don’t do that, Mommy! You scared me with that sound.
Cassie: This conversation is making me feel exasperated. Ahhhhh!
Genevieve: Stop it! It makes me think you’re turning into a zombie! Never do that sound again.
Chloe and her friend return from the movie. Genevieve bombards them with questions about the movie, which the older girls answer patiently. The zombie boy and the human girl fall in love, Chloe and her friend say. “They fall in love?” asks Genevieve. “They don’t eat each other?” “Nope,” say the older girls. Then the tweens head toward Chloe’s room to set up camp for the night. Genevieve seems satisfied with the account of the movie and there is no more discussion of zombies…because they fell in love instead of eating flesh? Or, because Daddy, who isn’t afraid of zombies, is home from work now?