We’d not tempted fate up to this point.
We’d sent the big boys with Mimi, or taken them separately, or pushed them off on friends.
But, somehow, we’d avoided, at all cost, the taking of The Two Year Old to the theater.
He’s just not cut out for that.
He’s a machine. Designed for battle. Made tough.
He’s not into “the arts” (a term I’m using loosely to include Shrek Forever After*).
He’s more of a gears and guns type dude.
A man’s man.
A ladies man.
A man with a mission (which I’m nearly convinced is to drive me batty).
Point is my fear of the unknown prevented me from taking #3 aka The Ruffian to the movies.
#2 wanted to take his girlfriend “on a date” and since I had to chaperone said date #3 had to go too (worst first date ever: mom, baby brother, girlfriend’s mom, and girlfriend’s sister, but somehow they still held hands for most of the show!).
So make a note friends. I survived taking my short-attention-span-toddler to the movies and you can too!
Dumb Mom’s Guide to Taking a
wild, off the chain Toddler to a Feature Film (on opening day no less!)
*SPOLIER ALERT (it’s a predictable film, though so you’ll figure it out anyway)*
1. Use restraints. As in handcuffs, bits of twine, whatever you can find to ensure that your toddler stays securely fastened to his seat (or your lap, or the sticky-dirty floor directly in front of his seat, or anywhere other than standing on the back of the seat in front of the lady two seats down from you).
2. Use drugs. Benadryl works nicely. Alternatively (for those of you categorically opposed to drugging your children), you could schedule the movie for right in the middle of naptime with hope that exhaustion takes over and puts your little one outta commission at least until the movie’s climax music frightens him awake. But, Benadryl is probably your best bet, because without it you can expect an exhaustion-sugar-excitement induced meltdown to proceed the nap and a movie theater is no place for that.
3. Use bribery. As always this was my go to strategy. Plenty of popcorn, candy, and his very first taste of soda. It actually worked because he stayed in his designated area for most of the film and only hit the I’ve-had-too-much-sugar-and-somehow-missed-my-nap wall during the last 15 minutes. At which point all hell broke loose and he proceeded to lose his mind to some pretty exciting Shrek-gets-his-life-back themed music. Very dramatic!
4. Use strategery. As in, strategic, expert pre-planning to ensure that you have the optimal movie going conditions. Good seats; on the end for easy exit in case of an emergency (emergency being a nice way of saying the moment you know your kid has jumped the shark by kicking over your soda, stepping in your popcorn bucket, and banging his head on the back of the occupied seat in front of him as he launches into a full blown GIMME-MO-CANDIES fit). Early arrival; but not too early as to get him antsy before the thing even starts. Early showing; the one all the “normal” people avoid. Week day showing; because people who can’t tolerate loud-talking-aisle-exploring little people are generally at work, not sitting in the first showing of Shrek Forever After on a Friday morning. Good company; take kids who actually know how to behave and possibly their movie going expertise will rub off on your little renegade.
5. Use the power of preparation. We hosted a McDonald’s Shrek Forever After HouseParty** the day before the movie was released. The kids got to enjoy tons of Shrek themed toys, games, and food with some of their bestes buddies. They ate
their most favorite thing chicken nuggets out of mini Shrek boxes while watching Shrek The Third on DVD. #3 has been carrying his seriously-shut-it-already purring Puss in Boots Happy Meal toy around ever since and was more than happy to enjoy a little more Shrek related action. He was particularly excited to see “DA PUSSY! DA FAT PUSSY!” on the big screen. Yeah, that was exciting. For all of us.
If all else fails, please note that, if you follow my precise instructions, you are likely to wind up in the same theater as myself (or at least a
less-than-awesome replica) which means there is a good chance your kid won’t be the one everyone is looking sideways at.
Good luck and enjoy the show!
Have a Mom Tip you’d like to share?
Link it up and we’ll all take a few moments to revel in your awesomeness!
*A little info about Shrek Forever After: I would give the film a good 3.5 out of 5 stars. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the thing, but personally I found it engaging, colorful, and rife with Shrek-like humor we’ve all grown to love. I appreciate films that even adults can find funny and I admit to laughing at a few parts the kids didn’t even get. Plus, there were numerous occasions in which they laughed out loud. I think adult critics are too harsh on kid movies, lamenting the loss of pop culture references and double entendres and accusing Rumplestiltskin’s character (he’s the villain by the way) of being one dimensional. Really? Because kids don’t really care about character dimensionality and they don’t get the double entendres anyway. Please believe me when I say that this film, similarly to the previous episodes in the series, is gonna please the pants offa the kids and it’s WAY more adult tolerable than say, Beverley Hills Chihuahua, or Underdog, or, should I go on? I’m obviously just going to name every talking dog film ever made, as I abhor talking dog films?!
**A little info about HouseParty.com: If you aren’t familiar with this program you really should be. It’s especially for all of you who are as popular offline as you are on. It allows you to promote new and upcoming products in your home by hosting parties for your family members and friends. They supply the goods (in the form of items, and/or coupons/gift cards to purchase items), you supply the friends and the buzz (aka you agree to post on your party on your blog or on some other social networking site). We have done a few of them in the past, but this one was my all time favorite. Sadly, I am a bit of a McDonalds-aholic. I know, I know, so bad. And, thanks to Weight Watchers and my get in a tankini by August self imposed mandate I stay as far away from the golden arches as possible. But, this was special! And, the kids LOVED getting to share Happy Meal toys and McNuggets with their buds.