What? The Edge girls?

So it all started with an idea. A great idea.

A mid-morning matinee to a children’s feature with one of their best friends, Michael. I should note that Michael’s mommy was smart enough to hire a baby sitter for his 18 month old little brother…

We talked before about what to expect. We talked about how big the screen was. How fun it would be. That we would get popcorn! And then a fun lunch when the movie was over. In my head, I was giving them a super fun field trip. This seemed so much better than just hanging out at the house and eating mom’s boring lunch before hitting the bed for nap time.

We arrived early. We waited in line for our tickets. We purchased our popcorn and filled up our cup with lemon flavored powerade, one of their favorites. They taste tested the popcorn while we waited to go inside. It was an instant hit.

Once inside, I saw the awe. They had never seen a screen so big. What is this? We sit in these seats? Each too short to get in themselves, I picked them up and placed them in a seat together. With the popcorn between them and smiles on their faces, I thought this was going wonderfully and imagined that this would be something we could do on a monthly basis! What a treat!

We talked about using whispers in the theater. We talked about staying in our seats. We talked about potty breaks. Both were agreeable. Then, the movie started.

The previews came.. and went. And the Pixar short film, The Blue Umbrella, came, brought us smiles, and then went. I snapped the picture. By this time, only 30 minutes into our movie, the popcorn began to run low. Charlotte looked away from the screen and began looking around. In a panic for what I knew was coming next, I offered her the drink. She gulped, passed it to her sister who also gulped, and set it in the drink holder. I quickly grabbed for the next item I knew would occupy her… the fruit snacks. These bought me all of 30 seconds before they were gone and I was left with nothing. $6.75 for a kid’s snack pack and it got me 30 minutes.

Charlotte climbed to my lap and sat for a minute. Then she wanted down. Knowing how much she loves to play with my phone I made the mistake of pulling it out and offered it to her to keep busy. Another mistake. Charlotte is loud. Very very loud. She plays with my phone but then yells when she wants something changed on it. She lasts for 10 seconds on each app before yelling for the next. I don’t know why I even thought to grab it. I tried to put it away but she got louder. And then the tantrum came. I quickly shushed her and ran outside the theater with her to calm her down. We came back in a while later and Cameron said she was scared of the movie. And also that she needed to go potty. Of course she does.

We went to the potty. We washed hands. We went back to the theater. Both girls forget the whisper rule. Charlotte yells for the drink and then drops it on the floor. Gone. Cameron whines about the movie and asks when it is over. My gosh, the actual movie portion has just begun. Do I leave? Do I just wait outside? Are they just too young? Are my children spoiled brats?

For the next hour and a half I played this game. Up and down in the seats. In and out of the theater. Begging Charlotte to be quiet. Doing everything I could to keep her interested. Insisting to Cameron that the Monsters in Monsters University really are nice monsters!

I have never been so happy to see the credits. Ever. In my life.

I asked Cameron if she liked the movies and she said, “No I didn’t!”

And the pizza lunch that followed was no better. I picked a slice for each of us and ended up eating all 3 because I couldn’t bear to throw away 10 dollars worth of pizza that my children wouldn’t eat. They refused to sit. They refused to listen. They refused to eat. I just wanted to cry.

In the car on the way home I was furious. I was fuming mad. I was mad at myself for having expectations that Charlotte would last 2 hours in a theater when she will not even watch 30 minutes of TV. I was mad at Cameron for being three, big enough to enjoy and appreciate  such outings, and being so ungrateful. I lectured her on the way home about saying ‘Thank you’ when someone does something nice for you and to never in her LIFE expect that she is entitled to such things. And then I was mad at myself again for even thinking that she would retain anything I was telling her, she’s only three. And then the feelings of “I’m raising spoiled children” set in and then, after they were home and put straight to bed, the guilt set in. I can’t believe I was so mad. They’re just children. I had unrealistic expectations. And such high hopes. I just wanted to do something fun for them.

A while later, when they awoke from their nap, Cameron hugged me. I said, “Do you have anything you want to say to mommy?” I expected her to say “I’m sorry.”

But instead. I got a “Thank You.”

Every single day since she has told me thank you. Even for the little things.

2 Comments

  1. dibble July 25, 2013

    Kids and movies are hard. You never know what they’ll do once they have to be still and quite for 1+ hrs. Even if they are great at home when watching their shows . . . it’s not always going to be the same. ( Or so we’ve found )

    We’ve been out to a few drive-ins the past two years with Finn hoping to get him used to the idea of sitting/watching movies. When he gets antsy, it’s in the car, or around it, and it’s not as big a deal than when you are ‘trapped’ in the middle of a row, etc.

    We’ve been where you are and it’s rough. Back and forth trying to do nice things for your kids, being angry with them, with yourself, etc . . . it’s certainly not easy. Though, they generally make up for it in the end somehow. ( Usually a smile, or hug, or a simple ‘Thank You’ and then I feel like a terrible person )

    Nothing ever goes as planned even with the best intentions. So they tell me, and I still ignore it 🙂 Learn little bits along the way is the best any of us can hope for.

    Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear that is was more stressful than it should have been. I’m sure there will be a day you are all in the theater again and you look back and laugh about it all. Some day 🙂

    Now off to find that user manual on raising kids and being a good parent I’m in desperate need of.

  2. Becca July 25, 2013

    Thanks Todd. I hope this didn’t come across as just a post about me complaining about them. Believe it or not, I’m actually already laughing about it. I realize it is just not something we’re going to attempt for some time. And I’m on the hunt for a baby sitter…so that we can do more things for Cameron without having to always focus on chasing her baby sister. 🙂

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