I love the movie “The Bad Seed.” It’s a low-budget horror flick from the 1956 that stars a blonde, pig-tailed Patty McCormack as a homicidal maniac disguised as a sweet little girl.
The little girl bumps off anyone who crosses her: the kid who beat her at the spelling bee, the neighbor who complained when she bounced a ball in the hallway, the janitor in her apartment building, who suspected that she was evil. Naturally, this being the 1950’s, all the killing takes place discretely off-screen.
It’s probably not the best idea to show your kids this kind of film, because it can give them ideas. In fact, some of Patty McCormack’s moves have been embraced by my teenage daughter .
Now, my daughter mockingly repeats these words to me – usually when she wants something – like the car keys or to wear my black shoes or she wants permission to go a MIT frat party. And it scares me so much to hear her mimic the Bad Seed, that I usually cave in and say “okay.”
“Okay, you can have the car. Okay, you can drive to the frat party. Yeah, you can wear my shoes. Just don’t kill me.”
I may indeed be the nicest mommy.
“But I want those shoes back in my closet and I want you home by 11:30,” I say, just so I don’t seem like a push-over.
“I do have the nicest mommy!”
“and Sweetie….” I warn her sternly ,“please drive carefully.”