Adventures in Parenting #38: Movie Day

You may have heard that I am a big fan of the movies. I've mentioned it a time or two, no big deal if you missed it. (Entire collection of movie reviews here and also a link to my podcast which really is the bee's knees. *shameless plug over*) Some of my favorite childhood, teenage, and adult moments were spent in a movie theater and I'm super excited to share that joy with my kiddo one of these days. Well, "one of these days" came a little early. Now, I wrote about our trip to the drive-in theater last year so I guess technically that was the kid's first movie but as much as I love the drive-in (and I truly do, by the way; Coyote Drive-In is where it's at), it's not the same as being in a theater. With that said, there's nothing that ruins the magic of the theater more than unruly kids.

When you see as many movies as I do, you're bound to run into some crazy situations but nothing can bring me closer to the point of homicide than settling in for a serious film and realizing there's a four year old sitting behind me. It's tough to get emotionally invested in the fight for survival of Pi Patel when you're thinking about your potential trial defense if you decide to murder a child's parents. With experiences such as this in mind, I always intended that Cooper's first trip to the movies would come after he was able to sit relatively still for 90 minutes, pay attention-ish to what happens on screen, and understand the direction to be quiet lest he ruin the movie for everyone else.

Best laid plans, am I right?

This last week has been a trying one around the Gill residence. Coop has been under the weather for several days; never bad enough to take him to the doctor but certainly enough to keep him from sleeping well. If you don't have children and you're considering taking on this responsibility, the best way to test your readiness is to hire a friend to move in with you for a week and pick random times throughout the night to LOSE HIS CRAP and force you to come in and console him. (On second thought, maybe don't hire a friend. This could get weird fast. Hire a drifter instead.) Have him perform this task a few times a night with no rhyme or reason and if by the end of the week you haven't attempted to murder him, then you can have a child. (This post is awfully murder-y isn't it? Sorry guys.) On top of this, my babysitter (read: "mother") has been out of town, leaving us with fewer options for reprieve than we usually have. And while Lindsey has been super busy this week, my work schedule was fairly light. As such, guess who won the "Fussy, Kind of Sick Baby" lottery? This guy. I don't think Cooper left the house between Saturday and Wednesday and most of that time was spent with his increasingly grumpy father. By Wednesday, we had both had it and we needed to get out of the house. I was supposed to see The Lego Movie for my aforementioned podcast so on Wednesday afternoon, Lindsey and I packed up the King Baby and took him to his first movie. At nine months old. Because we are the worst people in the world.

Now here's my justification for taking my actual, literal baby to a movie.

1.) It's a kid's movie. Even at my grumpiest, I've never been upset about a child making noise during a kid's movie. That goes with the territory. In these situations, I make a deal with the parents: I won't get upset about your child making noise in the middle of Monsters University and you don't call the cops over a single male sitting alone in a theater for Monsters University. It's only fair.

2.) We chose the showing that was voted "Least Likely to Be Successful" by its peers: 2 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. There were 6 other people in a giant theater and we sat as far away from everyone else as possible.



When we sat down, I thought it was possible that he might actually watch a good chunk of the movie. Not so much. He was very confused for about 15 minutes and since the speakers were cranked to 11, he held on to his little ears while trying to assess the situation. We kept him fairly happy and quiet through his regularly scheduled feeding. Then we entered Phase 2 wherein I moved to the back row of the entire theater and let him crawl around on the floor. Yes, the dirty, grimy, probably disease-riddled theater floor. In my defense, the back row has carpet so it wasn't quite as bad as the sticky cement floor you hear about in legends but still, let's not pretend like he was crawling around in a pool of hand sanitizer. But he wasn't yelling so I'm counting this as a win. And of course, despite having a giant screen filled with bright colors sitting right in front of him, he decided he was much more interest in the dim little running lights that run around the edge of each row.


This is where our adventure gets really fun because at this point, Cooper decided it would be a great time to WRECK SHOP in his diaper. Fortunately for me, I had to watch the entire movie to make sure I knew what we were talking about during our podcast so Lindsey drew the short straw. And by the way, "I have to watch The Lego Movie in order to talk about it with my friends on our podcast" is probably the greatest excuse to not change a diaper ever. You guys try it and let me know how it works. Lindsey brought him back from the bathroom without pants and missing a sock which is the perfect summary of what it's like to try to change a growing infant in a public bathroom if you're wondering. Soon after he started getting a little grumpy and showed the signs of fatigue that all parents know and thus, the final 15 minutes of the movie were spent like this:


(This is probably for the best as the last few minutes of The Lego Movie are actually quite touching and it makes Cooper uneasy when I cry on him so happily he didn't have to see that.)

The movie wrapped up and we hunkered in the corner of the theater in order to avoid the angry stares we were bound to get from the other 6 movie goers before leaving. On the way out, we stopped by the Lego Movie promo display to get this last picture of this banner day with Cooper in all of his pantsless, one-socked glory.


I should have probably paid for those 6 people's movie tickets, Brian