Well, it was the last day, and chose to see Ice Age 4.
Cinema food is expensive, so I usually prefer to bring my own. I found some snap lock bags, labelled them with my children’s names, and started filling them with various pantry items: biscuits, lollies, and a couple of chocolates. Easy, already opened stuff that I knew I wouldn’t have to fiddle with in a dark cinema. I wondered if I should quickly zap some popcorn in the microwave, but seeing as we were going to get some Ben & Jerry's ice cream for the movie, and then go to Mc Donalds for lunch, I wanted the kids to actually be able to EAT lunch. Also, they'd probably get a lemonade with their Happy Meals, so I got a big drink bottle filled with water to take, too.
Pretty prepared, right! Lolly bags for each child (labelled, of course), a big drink bottle we were going to share, and I packed us all a cupcake each, too. I felt pleased, and convinced myself that I wasn’t feeling sick and that I will manage just fine to experience going to the cinema with an 8, 7, and 2 year old by myself.
I bought the tickets while Ben eyed the packaged ice creams, trying to persuade me to buy them since we were going to get ice cream anyway. Tamara danced in the queue, and Jonathan ran straight to the car and gun game machines... I bought a medium lemonade (which is only 50c more than a small, apparently), because I knew that if I didn't have a drink, then less than 10 minutes into the movie Jonathan would asking for one whilst getting more and more hysterical until I provided it...
I was constantly shushing my eldest children whenever they (quite often) repeated funny lines in the movie, as if everyone in the cinema missed what he/she said, or just NEEDED to hear them again and so miss the next one... That's right... I was that mother that everyone rolls their eyes at when she takes her loud and uncontrollable kids to the cinemas...
When the credits started rolling, I pinned my 2 year old to his seat so that I didn't lose him on the way out... We ended up being the last ones out of the cinema, as pointed out quite loudly by my eldest son. Hopefully everyone had forgotten what we looked like by the time we were walking down the foyer stairs of the cinema... To see that Ben & Jerry's was now open!
It was nice sitting down peacefully with Ben and Tamara eating our ice cream... I mean lunch. Jonathan could just have a sandwich at home. But about 2 minutes before it was time to go, Jonathan had changed his mind and now wanted to join us and eat ice cream. Luckily, he has a lovely big sister who was full but still had some ice cream left, and she gave him the rest of hers.
The day didn't exactly go as planned, but at least (I think) my kids had fun... I'd love to hear ideas of how other mums (or dads) manage with their children in the cinemas! Also, I'd love to hear if there's others I know who've had experiences as bad (or worse?) as I did.
Until then, we will enjoy watching movies at home when they come out on DVD :)