I am (possibly) raising a sociopath.


The other night, my family decided to snuggle to a movie and the girls picked out Finding Nemo. We’ve seen the movie as a family before, but it’s a good film.

I think the fine people at Pixar used the opening of Finding Nemo to test a theory that they later went to perfect with the opening of their movie, Up. Make the beginning of the film sad.

If you’ve seen Finding Nemo, you know the scene that I’m talking about. Marlin the clownfish is bragging to his wife, Coral, about the ideal location of their new home on the edge of an ocean drop-off. They show the hundreds of fish eggs that will soon hatch, half of which will be named Marlin Junior, the other half Coral Junior, and one named Nemo.

Everything is fun and games and glorious rapture until disaster strikes. A toothy, evil fish knocks Marlin out cold and feasts upon Coral and clownfish caviar, leaving only one damaged egg. Nemo.

Here’s the scene if you have a couple of minutes to watch it:

We gain insight into the family dynamics that govern Marlin’s over-protective nature and fear of losing another loved one. We understand Nemo’s defiance and desire to prove himself capable in spite of his “lucky” fin. It’s beautiful story-telling, if somewhat heartbreaking to open the movie on such a blue note.

But as we’re watching this scene as a family, snuggled onto the loveseat in front of our computer, my wife and I silently contemplating the loss of each other and our children with tears poised behind our eyes, our 2-year-old daughter begins to laugh.

Full belly aching laughs.

“He eats the fishies!” she shouts cheerfully.

I’m hoping that she just didn’t understand the scene. I hoping that she doesn’t think that it is funny when family members are eaten or killed.

Anyway, if I all the sudden stop blogging, you may want to ask my 2-year-old where to find my body.