On Saturday, a little before Lucy was going to going to get up from quiet time (our replacement for her disappearing afternoon nap), I didn’t feel like I had enough time to start anything of substance, so I threw in “The Hunt for Red October” and watched a couple of my favorite scenes.
After about 15 minutes, Lucy got up and came out into the living room. She saw that I was watching a movie, and asked if she could watch it too. Most of the nuance and intrigue of the movie would fly right over her head, but otherwise there’s not much that’s actually inappropriate. I had watched it enough times to know exactly where to start and stop.
Fair warning: this post will make much more sense if you’ve seen the movie. If you haven’t, then you need an intervention.
After watching a few minutes, Lucy asked, “Can we skip to the part with kids?” There’s only one scene with any children – the beginning where Jack is packing up to leave, and his daughter sneaks out of bed to see him. When Jack asks her “What are you doing out of bed, you’re supposed to be asleep?” she responds, “Stanley [her bear] keeps waking me up.” He laughs like a parent who knows when his child is stalling. I paused the movie and turned to Lucy, “See? His daughter doesn’t want to go to sleep. You don’t know any little girls who get out of bed when they don’t want to go to sleep, now, do you?” She put on her best impish grin and said through the giggles, “No!”
She then asked to see a more exciting scene, so I skipped ahead to where Jack has to get on board a submarine by being lowered onto it from a helicopter in the middle of a storm in the North Atlantic. Before I started the scene, I had to explain what Jack was doing, and some of the parts of the submarine. When we got to the part where Jack disconnects his line and falls into the ocean, Lucy asked, “That man fell. Why did he fall?”
“Well, he really, really wanted to get on the submarine, but the helicopter was running out of fuel, so it was going to have to turn around and go home. Instead of coming back up into the helicopter, he decided to just drop into the ocean.”
“Is he going to be all right?” Lucy asked.
“Oh, yeah. He’s going to be fine. In fact, they’re going to rescue him right now.”
We watched the captain make his way down through the sub, and into the escape trunk, and then watched the sailors haul Jack through the escape trunk and onto the deck. Lucy noticed the captain’s expression and asked, “Is that man angry?” “Yes he is, Lucy. He’s angry at Jack.”
“Who’s Jack?” she asked.
“The man that’s all wet. The man they just rescued from the ocean.”
From that point on, Jack became know as “that wet man”.
We watched several more minutes before we were discovered by CJ, who asked with equal parts amusement and incredulity, “Are you really watching ‘The Hunt for Red October’ with Lucy?”. Yes, yes I was. I had to come up with explanations for things like torpedoes, sonar, why one submarine could follow another without being heard, and Crazy Ivans.
Lucy got very excited when I mentioned the periscopes. She had used those at a couple of different children’s museums, and went to great lengths to describe how they worked. “Yeah! The thing comes down, and you hold the bars on the side, and you put your eyes up to it like this ” – at which point she turned her hands into binoculars and looked through – “and then you see things.” We watched them raise periscopes, tap the button on the “bar” to send messages via Morse code (more things for me to explain), and respond with single pings, to which Lucy blurted out, “I want to ping it too!”
All in all, it was awesome. Lucy got to watch “The Hunt for Red October” for the very first time. And I did too – again.