In our pre-kid days, Chris and I had the peculiar hobby of reading Screen It reviews before, during, or even instead of watching movies. Geared toward parents, the site gives an intensely detailed yet discreet laundry list of every profanity or slightly negative word in the movie, detailed descriptions of all violence, drug use, or frightening scenes, and any sexual references all the way down to “There was a slight amount of cleavage showing on the lady in the far left background of the scene.”

Juvenile though it was, we especially loved the detailed explanations of how a word was used. For instance, it’d say “14 scatological terms, used literally three times, once with ‘head’, twice with ‘piece of’, and once with ‘you little’.”

Although we sometimes did make movie-watching decisions based on these reviews, we often found them more entertaining than the movie itself.

Since that time, Screen It has become a paid service, but other free sites like Kids in Mind have taken their place. Our kids aren’t really off the Disney/Pixar/Veggie Tales track yet, so we still don’t have a good use for this service, but it’s fascinating nonetheless.

Like, for instance, who is looking up “The Wolf of Wall Street” to see if it’s appropriate for children? And if they are, do all deem it inappropriate when they see* “Over 414 F words and its derivatives…82 scatological terms, 53 anatomical terms…name-calling (midget, scum, nitwits, degenerates, depraved, lazy, idiot, sweetheart)”? Or are some parents like, “Oh, well there’s under 500 F words, so I guess I can take the kids to see it!”

* I left out at least half of the Profanity listing of Wolf of Wall Street in the interest of not taking your entire day to read this post.

One service that Screen It offers is a listing of all imitative behavior, which would include any phrases or actions that they thought kids might mimic. For some reason, I always pondered these greatly. Like, would a kid really jump out of a fiery car just because they saw it on a movie? And if they did, wouldn’t that be a good thing? I mean the car’s on fire and all. And if I took my kid to see Maleficent and the worst thing they came away with was repeating the phrase “How Quaint!”, am I really going to care?

I looked forward to the day when I could see for myself if Imitative Behaviors really do get imitated.

But alas. Ali has never been an repeating type of kid. She’s a deep thinker, an independent thinker, and never seems to pick up other people’s behaviors.


So we had to have another kid.

Noah did not disappoint. He can pick up on anything anytime and repeat it with the perfect inflection and gusto.


Enter The Lego Movie – clearly a must-watch for our family.

As we have now seen The Lego Movie more times than the F word comes up in The Wolf of Wall Street, Noah has grafted many new phrases into his dictionary, such as “Darny darn darn!”, “Honey, Where are my paaaaaants?”, and “What the heck!”

But my favorite phrase…perhaps my all-time favorite imitable behavior of all time…is this Lego Movie Jewel.

Imitative behavior is every bit as awesome as I’d always imagined it. And then some.

Disclaimer: Before you ask, no representation is made that the contents of this video in any way reflects the speaker or the blogger’s feelings toward any recent blog topics.

13 thoughts on “On Raising a Parrot.

  1. I will never forget my oldest, probably age 4, pretending to be Captain Kirk and turning the toy stove into the Starship Enterprise console, and recruiting his 2 yr old sister to be Mr. Spock. He turned to her and said, “What the hell are you doing Mr. Spock!” I didn’t know whether to laugh or be angry.

  2. With my oldest, I was so careful to avoid the word “no” at all costs. Being a new parent, I knew that I could avoid having that horribly disrespectful phrase yelled back at me by not teaching it to him. Heh, I was clueless. If only that was the most horribly disrespectful thing my kids have yelled. Instead I said things like, “We don’t do that.” and “That is not for you to touch.” Yeah, instead of a kid yelling “No!” at me and other adults, I had the weird two year old who yelled “We don’t do that!” and also knew all the words to every Metallica song as well as muttered “It’s just a piece of crap.” under his breath when he got frustrated with a toy. I blame the last two on his dad.

  3. Oh, we’re quoting this at our house, too! I find myself saying, “Who’s Bruce Wayne? Sounds like a cool guy!” fairly regularly. Sometimes, I’ll even say, “That idea is just the worst.”

  4. Haha :) Very cute. We use Plugged In, the Focus on the Family version of movie reviews. Hasn’t steered us wrong yet, although it is so descriptive I feel like I don’t even need to watch the movie after I’ve read the review!

  5. My husband got The Lego Movie for our four year old son last night. OMG. It’s addictive.

    Transformers is what gets quoted most around here. We’ll be happily going through life when all of a sudden my son yells “Get Megatron!!!!” and runs off doing laser blasting sounds.

  6. I just recently saw the lego movie but my lego crazed 6 year old went with her Dad when it first came out. I had no idea the what the heck and darn, darn, darn came from it! That explains her frequent use of “what the heck”. She used to say “what the what”. She has never exactly been a follower either but she loves songs and re enacting books or movies so I guess that is what it comes from!

  7. I can sympathize. When my son was little Dora the Explorer had just been released, and he would walk around all the time saying “Oh man”. Sad thing is, it took me a few weeks to figure out where that phrase came from lol.

  8. That phrase gets said often around here. I can’t blame what the heck on it though…I had already introduced that one into their vocabulary.

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