If you haven’t seen the movie The Princess Bride, where…have…you…been?! Go see it. Now.
If you have seen it, you will recognize every line I use in the next few paragraphs, and understand how they relate so adeptly to the life of a single mom.
This movie has a beautiful princess, a scheming prince, pirates, swords, giants, giant rodents, and themes of revenge, magic, and true love. It has everything! And here’s how some of that represents my experiences as a single mom, reflected by some of my favorite lines from the movie…
1. “No more rhymes now, I mean it.” “Anybody want a peanut?”
I’ve seen this movie I don’t know how many times and I still bust out laughing when this dialogue comes up. What has it taught me? To have fun while learning. Fezzik and Inigo continually challenge each other to match each other’s statements with a response that rhymes. Learning something in a fun way - at any age - makes it more enjoyable, and it usually stays with you longer. This game can help your kids learn and help your brain synapses continue firing on all cylinders.
2. “Inconceivable.” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
These are two more of my favorite lines and they remind me that sometimes our kids try to understand something that is going on, but they really may be having a hard time dealing with it. At every age level, there is a different approach to how to discuss a situation with them - whether it’s a bully at the sandbox in elementary school, or a friend who is cutting themselves in junior high, or another friend from high school who was killed overseas during a deployment. We learn as they do and we must remember to explain things to them at their level of understanding, not ours.
3. “Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”
Yep, another favorite. I’ve even used this jokingly in my every day conversations! This idea has made me think that sometimes you don’t need a long, drawn-out, wordy, detailed explanation or conversation when there isn’t time for one (every day in single mom land) or you just don’t feel like giving one. It is perfectly acceptable to tell your kids “we’ll talk about this later.” Really. It is.
And last, but not least:
4. “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - the most famous of which is, ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia.’”
But this one is self-explanatory.