Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Last day of the school holidays...

The final day of the Winter school holidays had arrived... I'd been feeling a bit sick the whole weekend, but it was the last day of the holidays, and I'd been telling the kids for over a week that we'd go to the movies at some stage in the holidays...

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.

As we were buckled in the car ready to go, I was thinking that this was going to be a pretty great last day of the school holidays :)

We get to the cinemas with enough time to go to the toilet, buy tickets, and choose some Ben & Jerry’s ice creams (a tradition my husband started whenever he takes Ben and/or Tamara to the movies).

Well. Turns out that Ben & Jerry’s isn’t open at 9:20 in the morning. Maybe I should have made that popcorn after all... No. It’ll be fine, the kids had their lolly bags, I had packed cupcakes, and I’ve just realised I left the drink bottle at home... Damn.

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...

By this stage, we had about 5 minutes to get into the cinema and find out seats. Which were taken by someone else... Not to worry, there was a whole row spare on the other side of the stairs... Cool. We take our seats with brilliant timing, just as the lights start to dim...

25 minutes later, the actual movie begins! By this stage, all three of my kids had finished their lolly bags, had drunk 3/4 of the drink, and didn’t want any cupcakes... Great.

I spent the next 90 minutes trying to enjoy and pay attention to the colours on the big screen, with familiar characters I had grown to love in the few years they’ve been around. Meanwhile, turning my head constantly to see Jonathan either hanging over the back of the chair in front of him, sitting and rolling on the aisle stairs, hurling himself back into his chair over its arm, and me firmly whispering in his ear to "sit down, please; come back, please; and stop jumping on the chair, please"...

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!

With Ben and Tamara still wanting ice cream, we/they decided that we’d have that for lunch instead of Mc Donalds... Meanwhile, Jonathan (again) was more interested in the car and gun game machines, and didn't want any ice cream, politely saying "no tanks" when I checked with him about 3 times.

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 a
bout 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 :)

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