Papa Don't Preach

Scott Kara's (rough) guide to being a father.

Papa don't preach: Friendly sharks

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Finding Nemo and the not-so-scary sharks. Photo / Supplied
Finding Nemo and the not-so-scary sharks. Photo / Supplied

I've gone and done it again. I gave my little girl another funny, touching and classic film to watch - and it's too old for her. Even I'm amazed how dim I am sometimes. I should have learned my lesson after Tinkerbell, another lovely classic that turned my Mia into a staunch little sulker.

At least Finding Nemo - yes, the 2003 film about the most adorable fish ever to grace the big screen - didn't have the same affect as Tinkerbell. Instead of dropping her bottom lip, she turned into a clamouring mess when she came face-to-face with Bruce the great white and his clan for the first time. Hey, she didn't know they were - kind of - friendly sharks. With her face awash with terror, she leapt off the couch with an "ARGH", and ran for cover behind my legs.

But she was keen to get back and watch it as soon as possible. The thing is, she watched the movie in two sittings, over two days, and declared the sharks her favourites rather than cute and intrepid Nemo.

"I like the sharks. Not Nemo," she said proudly.

So we thought it must be okay. What's a little bit of terror and fear? It's good for her. Be brave. Harden up. You know, like a safer, less irresponsible version of throwing them in the swimming pool and seeing them fend for themselves for a few seconds.

No damage done then. Or so we thought. It may have been a coincidence, because we didn't want to point the finger at Nemo and his shark mates, but she had her first nightmare in a long time. It was one of those ones where we couldn't wake her up, even though we'd got her out of bed and taken her into the lounge.

She wasn't muttering "Shark Bait" or anything (that's Nemo's nickname by the way), she was just upset.

Still, we thought we might put Nemo on ice in the chilli bin for a little while.

The best thing is we didn't have to throw Nemo out in disgust like we did with Tinkerbell.

And you live and learn, and I'm vowing (again) not to be so dim in the future. In fact, I'm leaving the kid's movies to my wife for now, at least until Mia's a teenager when I can bore her senseless with the Godfather I and II, Bladerunner, and Trainspotting.

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