This post is inspired by Speaking from the Crib....
I grew up the baby in a family of four kids. By the time my mom had me, she was pretty used to kids and their shitty diapers and fighting and whining. Unlike my older siblings, I was allowed to play in and eat dirt, sleep in my parents bed when I escaped from my crib with a top on it (that, folks, is a WHOLE 'nother post), and was often left alone with my older siblings to care for me. Now, I am not trying to paint a scary, abused, poor-me picture- these parts were actually pretty good. I am just trying to show that once you have one kid and you keep them alive for their first year or two you aren't so freaked out when the next one comes along (case in point: a lady I know who was pregnant with her sixth and decided to go down the very high, fast, scary water-enema slide at the waterpark. She was fine, baby-in-utero was fine).
So back to my mom, she was very loving and caring. She wasn't prone to hovering over me in fear of some detrimental event happening to me. I played outside, by myself for the whole day in the summer. I followed my brother around with all the boys and played WAR. I climbed trees, I rode my bike around the neighborhood without a helmet or supervision. Hell, I rode my Big Wheel (remember those?) around the neighborhood alone. And if I was on a Big Wheel, I couldn't have been more than 4 or 5. It was the 70's, I had siblings keeping an eye on me, she figured.
One thing about my mom having four kids was if she wanted something she was probably going to have to do it with a kid. Example: she used to fix two pieces of jelly toast as a sweet night-time snack for herself. Well, as soon as we smelled what was cooking we would all toddle by taking one bite and then another. Eventually my very slim mom realized if she wanted to actually consume TWO pieces of toast she better make 6 pieces. I remember thinking, "Wow, mom sure can eat a lot of jelly toast" seeing her with a plate of 6 pieces. I wasn't old enough to add up how many she actually got to consume.
Apparently, if she wanted to watch a movie, one or more of us would be watching it with her. When I was about five or so, she wanted to see Halloween when it came on HBO, and since I was the youngest and didn't have to get up for school she said I could watch it with her. She laid on one couch, I laid on the other. During the non-scary parts I would watch from my couch, but when the shit was about to hit the fan I would fly over and dive under her arm. She would then let me know it was over and I could come out.
Soon, I was watching other scary movies. Poltergeist (sheesh what a mind job for a little kid), Freddy Kruger, Jason, Swamp Thing, When a Stranger Calls....my siblings and I would sit two feet from the carnage in rapt attention. I can't imagine letting my kids watch anything like these. I mean, Zo has just gotten over the part of Nemo with the sharks being scary!
But this is now and that was then. I don't think there was any negatvie effects on my development. In fact, today, I enjoy scary movies, A LOT. But I usually won't watch them at night for fear of the nightmarish images adding to my ability to hallicunate in the dark...Think I just found my next post!