There is something simultaneously hilarious and “cringe-worthy” about the concept of kissing when you’re little. Much like the embarrassed giggling and false bravado which is found in the Sex-Ed class of secondary school, children under the age of 10 turn uncontrollable in the midst of kissing scenes.
As part of a recent attempt to bribe our class into good behaviour, we have been showing Stuart Little 2 for the last 20 minutes of the day this last week. For those of you who haven’t seen it (or can’t remember everything clearly) there is a scene in the first half of the movie when Stuart and his birdie friend, Margalo, are watching a film and the main characters embrace warmly and kiss. In the build-up to this scene, the combination of screen shots and audio cues hinted to the children that something to this effect would be happening and the agitation in the air was palpable. Sure enough, the 3 second scene led to utter chaos in the classroom with shrieks of laughter, cries of “eurgh!”, hidden faces and nudging elbows. Unfortunately, this is also was also the point of the day that we needed to pause the video to pack up and go home. The scene froze mid-kiss and total pandemonium ensued; the boys started jumping up and down and the girls giggled into their laps.
It was something never seen before; our plan to end the day on a calm and relaxed note was thwarted and we all left the classroom feeling slightly more frazzled than desired. Who knew that kissing scenes were akin to political movements when unleashed in the class of eight year olds.