Those who have been following this blog for some time know that the kid has had some issues, mostly connected to Hurricane Katrina and to aliens.
These are both connected to her allergies, specifically to what we think is a corn syrup allergy, though that's never been officially diagnosed. My suspicion is that she's not actually allergic to corn syrup, exactly, since she's not allergic to other sugars or to corn itself, but to something used in the manufacturing process.
However, so long as we keep her off foods containing HFCS, she's fine. (The minute she eats anything containing HFCS, even by accident -- as when I misread a label -- she gets terrible stomach cramps and is ill and cranky for days.)
Where was I? Oh, yes. When she was seven and eight years old, just after Katrina, a stressful time for everyone in the country, including us*, Dr. Skull was working on his dissertation, which was on Citizen Kane in specific and Orson Welles in general.
So one evening he was listening to War of The Worlds on his computer. Seven years old, the kid wanders into his man cave. "What's that, Daddy?"
"War of the Worlds," he says. "Want to listen?"
We don't know then that she's already got this HFCS issue, which basically means that she's not able to digest much of what she's eating. Over the next years, her condition will worsen, until by the time she's nine, she'll have lost twelve pounds, and she'll spend her days shivering in the big white chair in the living room, terrified that the "aliens" will get her. I'll have to walk her to the bathroom; I'll have to sleep with her at night so that when she wakes screaming I can promise her the aliens aren't real. It takes the combined powers of the internet -- the doctors at my Fort Smith clinic at the time were not very helpful, though I bet the one I have now would be -- for me to figure out what is wrong. (Heebie-Geebie and Tonks were highly instrumental in helping me figure this out.)
Once we took her off HFCS, her health improved dramatically -- basically, overnight -- but her terror of aliens and her anxiety did not go away. That has taken a lot of time and a lot of work.
So when she settled in with me to watch not just Alien, but Aliens, and then Terminator this week, and enjoyed them all tremendously, well!
["Hey," she kept saying, since she's a child of the internet. "Hey, that's where that line comes from!"
"Hey! There's a GIF of that!"
Just like the lady who went to see Hamlet and came out shrugging: "What's the big deal? It's just a bunch of quotations strung together."]
But now I have about a hundred movies in the queue, which I've never been able to watch with her -- Blood of Heroes! The Road Warrior! All the rest of the Terminators! The Sarah Connor Chronicles!
It's going to be a good winter.
*We were living in Arkansas even then, but my entire extended family was in New Orleans or the Greater New Orleans Area.
7 hours ago