In addition to Mr. Mom, a lot of people also like to throw the classic Eddie Murphy film Daddy Day Care around when they talk about what I’m doing on paternity leave. “How’s Daddy Day Care?!” they say. Or “What’s up, Daddy Day Care?” Or sometimes it’s the angrier, “Daddy Day Who Cares. You’re not better than me!”
I wasn’t sure I had even seen the movie, but since people kept bringing it up, I sat down to watch it with my little miracle baby, who’s been an Eddie Murphy fan since he saw classics like Norbit, Dave, Imagine That, Dreamgirls, I Spy, Showtime, Holy Man, Doctor Dolittle, Metro, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, all six of those Klump movies, all thirteen of the Shreks, the film Eddie starring Whoopi Goldberg and The Eddie Fisher Show from the 50’s.
As always, I should emphasize that my baby’s views are not my own. While I am happy to follow the ups and downs of artists as they find their way creatively, he can be extraordinarily harsh and sometimes even cruel.
Me: I am laughing out loud. Parenting truly is a messy business.
My Little Miracle Baby: So, back in 2003, comedy equalled Eddie Murphy just sharing the screen with children? That’s really interesting. And dumb.
MLMB: All these kids are so adorable and quirky you just want to put each one of them in a headlock and shave their heads. I’d be like, “Not so adorable and quirky now, are you? Just bald.”
Me: You might not be the target audience for this sort of thing.
MLMB: I can’t imagine the target audience being much older than me. Or un-lobotomised? Seriously, children just talking and being there is not inherently funny. Want to hear a great joke? Bababababa. Are you laughing yet? I didn’t think so.
MLMB: There is NO WAY Eddie Murphy is going to fix his relationship with his son. No way. It’s beyond repair.
Me: Well, this is a family movie, so I think it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll work it out.
MLMB: If my father was that inattentive with me, I’d beat him with a pillowcase full of oranges while he slept. (He stares at me creepily for a solid two minutes.)
MLMB: Which one of these kids is the one he fathered with Scary Spice?
MLMB: There was about two seconds total when I thought Eddie Murphy was actually going to go back to work and abandon his precious daddy day care. And they happened before we started watching this, when I didn’t know what it was about. When I was young and carefree. Oh, dear Lord to be that innocent boy again…
Me: You can still be that boy.
MLMB: That’s a pre-Daddy Day Care mentality.
Me: But you loved Norbit.
MLMB: How dare you compare this apocalypse to Norbit! Norbit was about something.
Me: Okay, bedtime…
MLMB: Norbit had class. It had hope. Hope!
At the end of the day, my baby and I ended up disagreeing about the quality of Daddy Day Care. And even though he stepped over the line several times with his sharp, unforgiving language and virulent personal attacks, I find myself unable to question his passion. After all, that’s what makes him a little miracle.