Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Awkward Mom vs. the Movie Theater

You're gonna need a bigger post....

I might like movies, a little bit. OK, a lot bit. You gotta admit that as far as art forms go, they are pretty rockin'; explosions, romance, spaceships, drama, soaring scores, creepy surprises that make you jump out of your seat, adorable kid actors, adorable adult actors. The whole of human existence, in all its glory and flaws, parading by in a Technicolor whirlwind, while you eat butter with a little popcorn thrown in to make it less decadent. Pretty rockin'.  One of my earliest memories is watching The Wizard of Oz in my childhood living room, hunkered down behind the couch with Uncle Awkward, where the flying monkeys couldn't get us. One of Awkward Dad's earliest memories is seeing Empire Strikes Back in the theater. I use the word "seeing" loosely; he claims he "watched" most of it through closed eyelids due to the intensity and enjoyed it with his other senses. It says a great deal for George Lucas' storytelling that Empire and it's Star Wars cronies remain some of Awkward Dad's favorite films.

It is no surprise we found each other, with that kind of movie-love blossoming from such an early age. And it is no surprise that we want to pass that movie love onto the Supers. Passing this love on is proving trickier than I would have assumed. Now, I'm not gonna lie, getting them to watch movies isn't hard at all. The Supers have been watching movies, Awkward-Dad-Empire-style, since they were in utero. Can't exactly avoid it; movies are always on around here, even before we got Netflix streaming. The Supers love movies. At home. Because getting them to watch movies at home is like fighting Colonel Stuart from Die Hard 2; the plan isn't that complex and although the villain is crazy, he/it is pretty manageable. Bruce Willis has his tricks and I have mine. Mine happen to be more in the candy variety, but whatever works. No, movies at home are cool. Movies at the movie theater are a whole other thing. Movies at the movie theater is like going up against Hans Gruber; arguably one of the greatest movie villains of all time, incredible intelligent and intense, and Alan Rickman. Who wants to tangle with that?! Well, apparently, the Awkwards do. Yippie kay yay....

When Super Preschooler was 18-months-old and Super Toddler was happily kicking me from within and demanding guacamole daily, Awkward Dad had a birthday. I don't remember which one because I don't think I have slept in 5 and a half years, but it was his birthday and he wanted to go to the movies. We were in a movie drought because we were too scared to hire a babysitter (Ah, first child issues) and too proud to rely on our friends. Awkward Dad decided that 18-months-old was plenty old to see a movie at the theater, and we took Super Preschooler to see Up. It was magical. Because Up is a magical, beautiful movie, but the experience was also magical. Super Preschooler has always been a imaginative, creative child with a thing for jujyfruits. The movie theater is perfect for him. He sat between us on a seat that his tiny body couldn't hold down on its own, so Awkward Dad and I each held it down with our knees. We cuddled there and watched a million balloons carry a house to South America. He was quiet. He was fascinated. He ate all the candy, but no matter. It was lovely.

Fast forward to Super Toddler being 18-months-old and Super Baby kicking me from within and demanding maraschino cherries daily, and it is no one birthday but Cars II is coming out. Memories of Super Preschooler's angelic introduction to the movie theater fairly fresh in our minds and confident that Super Toddler's love for all things automotive will carry us through, we troop off to the movie theater. It wasn't the magical Up experience, but it was close. Super Preschooler loved it, but he was old hat at this point and had been to about a dozen movies. Super Toddler was fascinated by the lights, the sounds, the popcorn, and all those Cars. I don't know if we could have gotten away with another movie. Subject matter is what moves Super Toddler in terms of movies; i.e. it better have a lot of explosions, guns, and car chases. This had all three, so he was pleased. Inclined to wander toward the end, but pleased. He has been back a couple time since, only to the more actiony of the children's movies, and he is usually quite well-behaved.

Fast forward to Super Baby being 18-months-old (last month, which means she was technically 19-months-old) and no one is kicking me but I still want some guacamole, and it is definitely no one's birthday but Awkward Dad has the day off, which is basically like a birthday, and everyone wants to see Monsters University. Or be in air conditioning and eat popcorn. Same thing. So, Awkward Dad and I look at Super Baby and decide to risk it. She likes home movies; she is pretty good at  fighting Colonel Stuart, let's see what she does with Hans Gruber. Well, I'll tell you what Super Baby does with Hans Gruber; she joins him. Didn't even take a minute to think about it. She eats all the popcorn and then defects to the dark side. Baby girl is a movie terrorist with a taste for the villains. Which should have surprised no one.

We are there maybe 10 minutes before Super Baby shows her true colors. The previews are still going on. Sitting on Awkward Dad's lap, she has been feasting on the bucket of popcorn that I am holding in my lap, happy and looking around like an innocent little bird. She sighs contently and kicks off her shoes. I would put them back on but it is dark and she is going to be sitting on Awkward Dad's lap, peacefully watching the movie, right? We'll get them later. This is when Super Baby simply flies off Awkward Dad's lap (seriously, I am sure she levitates for a good 4 seconds), grabs the popcorn bucket, and races into the aisle. Shoeless. She dumps the remaining popcorn on her head, pulls the bucket down over her face to make a jaunty hat, and proceeds to walk down the steps toward the screen. Awkward Dad appears to teleport to her side in the time it takes me to truly understand what is going on, and chases her down the steps. She does this for the REST OF THE MOVIE. Oh, sometimes she runs up the steps. Sometimes she runs into the row behind us to delight the pre-teen girls sitting there. Once she gets all the way to the screen, which gives more credence to my levitation theory. Awkward Dad never sits down for the next 2 hours, bless him. And since I have to "watch the Super Boys" (who are a little miffed about the lack of popcorn but otherwise cool), I can't exactly help him, now can I? Needless to say, Super Baby will not be going to the movies anytime soon. True movie-love takes time, so we haven't given up on her yet. Of course, we are thinking that for her next movie battle, maybe we should go up against someone a little less intimating than Hans Gruber. So, we are looking into Drive-in Movies; the Simon Gruber of the movie world. Wish us luck!

Oh, and yeah, the shoes never make it back on her until the credits, so either she has undetected ebola now or the strongest immune system in the 
Western Hemisphere. 

You mean I had the power to leave this post anytime I wanted? All I had to do was click my mouse together 3 times? I'm with the Scarecrow, lady, you should told me that before! 


  1. This post makes me want to watch all the Die Hard movies again. As if I didn't have enough to do...

    But seriously Erin, your posts are always a well-crafted, enjoyable read. And they make me laugh!

    1. Michael! I am flattered, given your own clearly impressive writing talents! Thank you. And I find that when I feel the need to marathon the Die Hard movies, pretty much anything else can wait. :)