FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Monster’s University

Written By: Scot Butwell - Dec• 31•13

DSCN1134D and I saw Monster’s University the first week of summer. It was the first day we were both out from school, and not having a plan for what to do with an entire afternoon, my default idea was to go and see a movie.

Monster’s U was only the second movie D has seen at a theatre. The first was The Muppets when he was three. D lasted 42 minutes, but he became a huge muppet fan from watching the movie on DVD many times at home.

I have avoided taking him to movies because of his difficulty with noisy environments, so I was curious to see if he could handle the loud audio and flashing images in an animated film.

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Since we watched Monster’s Inc. the night before at home, I was either guilty as a parent for allowing excessive media consumption (true) or creating an awesome double-feature movie opportunity (definitely true).

The volume for Monster’s U was loud from the start of the movie. D covered his ears with his hands and squirmed in his seat while I managed to tolerate the unusually loud volume.

I consider myself to be a sensory “sensitive” dad from learning from D’s occupational therapist and doing enough reading on my own to understand the sensory system for kids on the spectrum is different.

However, I ignored the signals his body was sending off. He sprang out of his seat at one point. It was clear his senses were overwhelmed, but my response was to cajole him to sit back in his seat.

I didn’t want us to miss any of the movie, but really it was me that didn’t want to miss any of the movie. This was how “sensitive” I was to his sensory system being overstimulated.

The next time I looked over at D, his body was convulsing as if he was in an electric chair. But I was still more concerned with watching the movie than giving D a sensory break.

Not long after D sprang out of his seat-again and ran stowards the exit. His senses had obviously reached their limit, and I finally got the message his body had been sending off.

So we took a break in the lobby, and when we returned, Sully, Mikey and the Tri Lambdas were competing in the Scare Games to become the top scarers at Monster’s University.

I liked how Mikey, a lime-green ball with one eye and pencil-thin limbs, accepted his physical limitations and refused to give anything but his best effort all the time.

Mikey was intelligent and a loyal friend to Sulley, a big, blue wall of fur, and he reminded me of D, and I saw glimpses of myself in Sulley, if for no other reason than his large size in comparison to Mikey.

I wasn’t sure what D thought of Monster’s U because he squirmed through most of it. Yet, after the movie, he began calling me Sully and himself Mikey. Just as he called me Gary and himself Walter after watching The Muppets.

This showed me what he thought of the movie and our relationship: it was a friendship tale. I thought it was a perceptive analysis of both the ill and our relationship.


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