Tuesday 2 June 2009

A spoonful of sugar...

The Boys and I watched WALL.E last week. On a weekday. On a weekday afternoon, in fact. Normally tv for the Boys is a late afternoon/before bed wind-down activity in our home, or a weekend treat. It never goes on in the morning, and especially not during the day in glorious weather such as we've been having recently. In fact, I think Boy #2 still looks back on the one morning he ever got to watch C-Beebies whilst I writhed about on the floor waiting for the doctor to come and diagnose my appendicitus as possibly the best day of his life, so how did last week's anomaly come about?

Well, firstly because the nice people at Disney sent me a copy of the film on Blu-Ray and asked me to put on my glamorous kit once more to be an Ambassador and review it. Which I will, in a moment.

But mainly because we needed a calm-down treatment and we needed it quick.

I had picked Boy #1 up early from school to take him to the hospital for both his and Boy #2's annual allergy check. 'Previously on ER' as they said on the late great tv show, these allergy checks had taken the form of blood tests. Not pleasant when you are holding your frantic child (and even less so if you are the frantic child), but once the blood is drawn, done and dusted until the results come back from the lab.

This time, however, the consultant had decided that pin-prick tests were a 'better' idea. He won't be taking that decision again in quite such a cavalier fashion, methinks. There definitely are advantages in doing it this way: if you test a person's blood for allergies you need 1ml of blood for each test. So, for example, if you want to test for 5 different types of nuts (which you need to do because it is by no means certain that if you are allergic to one, you are allergic to all), you need 5 mls of blood. With a pin-prick test, however, you only need one pin-prick for each potential allergen. Easy, huh?

Well, it was. For Boy #2. The procedure works as follows;

1. Allow nice smiley consultant to draw a number of circles on your inner arm. Watch in interest as he does so, and then applaud after he finishes of with a smiley face at the bottom of the row.

2. Allow the consultant (still smiling) to place a tiny droplet of different types of allergen, one inside each circle.

3. Show a small amount of discomfort but be generally stoic whilst the consultant then proceeds to prick your skin through the allergen inside each circle (using a clean needle each time).

4. Climb down, announce you're fine, and wander off outside the room to play with the train track for 15 minutes, at which point the consultant checks your arm, looks at the resultant swellings / whelts / rash etc and announces that you are - as expected - allergic to nuts.

5. Carry on playing.

During which time, your older brother is going through the same process... Except it wasn't - the same. Boy #1's test resulted in his being quarantined in a special room with soft surfaces and glowing lights and bubbles, to avoid his wails scaring the other children.

The end result, of course, was the same. He too is allergic to nuts. And in fact, is allergic to more of them than he was before. Fabulous.

So as you can imagine, when we finally got home that there was some distraction required from the trauma and resultant itchy arms, and WALL.E was it.

Boy #1 had already seen WALL.E at the cinema and was delighted to get the chance to watch it again, but Boy #2 had not, so it was all new and fresh to him. (Well, it was when we could get his older brother to stop telling us the story in advance...).

The story of the last remaining clean-up robot left behind to deal with the mess humans had made of Earth was spot on for the boys, although as usual with most kids' films nowadays there were plenty of jokes for the adults too. And the crush that lonely WALL.E develops on the sleek uber-robot Eve who is dispatched from the mothership to find out if Earth has recovered after 700 years of being left with only robots to tend to it was nicely handled - as was her tendency to be (how can I put this?) a bit of a... bxtch... if things didn't go her way.

So yes, I enjoyed it. And Boys#1 and #2 laughed their little socks off, which was the point, after all...

Format-wise I can't say how much improvement Blu-Ray offers over the normal dvd for this movie, as I haven't watched the standard version. However, Disney-Pixar's normal animated offerings are always such high quality that I'm not sure I would go to the added expense of forking out for Blu-Ray (an extra £6.00 according to online vendors), even with the special features. Which, I haven't watched, if I'm honest. (I'm far too busy blogging and being an ambassador, floating around in cyber-space eating Ferrero Rocher...)


  1. Sounds like you had your hands full at the hospital. Those sorts of things never run smoothly with kids! I loved watching Wall-E and so did my 3 year old who is BIG on recycling...thanks to Peppa Pig! x

  2. We watched this movie one time, read a book a couple and Jonathan was in love. Various items are now "Wall-Eeee" and a female robot we picked up is "Eeeeve." Needless to say it is one we're going to have to add to our collection. Anything to stop watching the Bee Movie. Seriously.

    Oh...clareybabble mentions Peppa Pig. I seriously love that pig. They only show her in about 10 minute increments here on Noggin, but I love her! Jonathan...eh...he can do with her or without her.

    Sorry about the allergies. I'm sure I've got about 100 I haven't ever been tested for. *sigh*

  3. Well, of course I'm past the point of needing ratings on Disney movies, so I won't bother with that, although you handled that honestly, but I was fascinated with the pinprick procedure, having had to undergo that myself for inhalants and getting all sorts of welts on my arms. I am allergic to the dog and cats that I have, but it only shows itself in the bad case of eczema that I always have and I think it's worth it to have them. Trees, grasses, molds, birds, you name it and I get bronchial asthma, but I pretend that I don't, although I do carry an inhaler. It's only when I am exposed to certain kinds of weather that it bothers me. I seem to have outgrown the worst of it as I've grown older, except for the eczema, that never seems to go away. Hang in there, PM. Maybe it will get better with time.

  4. We picked up a copy of Wall-E the other day and my boys both just LOVE it! I was surprised, I wasn't sure they would go for it.

    blood tests (and pin prick tests by the sounds of things) and children just do not go together. Poor little mites - hope they are back onto top form now.

  5. Also have an award for you over at my blog :)

  6. CB, thanks for visiting and commenting and for the award too! We don't get to watch PeppaPig here (C-Beebies only, I know, I'm a control freak) but I know my boys love it at friends houses.

    Lisa, you are a martyr to yourself, really... And I think that often the parents get Peppa Pig more than the kids do. Really. It's not just you, I promise!

    Irene, eczema definitely can improve with age, I speak from personal experience on that one, and sorry to hear about the asthma.

    Brit (I hope you don't mind the abbrev), thanks for visiting and commenting and thanks, both Boys are fine now. (Until the next time!)


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