Taking My Three Year Old To Her First Movie In A TheaterMorgan Shanahan
[Don’t worry, the first movie I took her to wasn’t Transformers,
it was Disney’s Planes. I just really like this picture.]
We’d meant to take her when The Croods came out a few months ago, but it just never worked it’s way into life’s hectic schedule and then it was out of the theater. We live in LA. I work in the entertainment industry. And yet here was my three and a half year old daughter never having seen a movie in the theater. Oh the shame. The humanity.
So when we were invited to the premiere of Planes, we jumped at the opportunity to make it official and take our daughter on our first movie date as a family. At a crowded premiere for what might arguably be one of the most hotly anticipated kids’ movies of the summer. In the head of August. In the middle of Hollywood Blvd.
I had prepared her for what the experience of sitting in the theater to actually watch the movie would be like, but it totally failed to occur to me to prepare her for THIS:
Holy overstimulation, Batman! Not to mention that I had a little preview of what her teenage years might be like when we ran in to my friend Rebecca and her family, only to discover that Rebecca’s daughter was wearing a full-fledged princess dress. My poor deprived daughter had come straight from school pick up and was stuck wearing her favorite spinning skirt and t-shirt — LAY PERSON CLOTHES. THE HORROR.
As I introduced her to Fable she spun and looked at me, utter betrayal in her eyes: “But Mommy, did you bring a Princess dress for me to wear? You said I didn’t need special clothes!”
I had apparently led her wrong on the dress code and she will probably discuss it with her therapist on my dime one day. Parenting is totally hard. (Make no mistake, premiere attire runs the gamut from jeans and t-shirts to custom ball gowns —no one is ever over or under dressed, but that was clearly not how my daughter saw it. This was a missed opportunity to dress up. Mommy fail. Big time.)
And then the movie began. There was so much to take in. The booster seat. The 3-D glasses. The decible level.
I tried to explain to her that the people who worked so hard on the movie were all watching it with us in that theater, and that it was a really special day because a lot of people worked really hard for a long time so that we could sit there and watch that movie, but I don’t think she got it, because at one of the most emotional scenes in the movie, just as the mentor Plane is confessing his dark past to the underdog Plane, my sweet girl turned to me and said in her outside voice: “MOMMY, THEIR TALKING IS SO BORING, WHEN ARE THE PLANES GOING TO COME OUT OF THE TV AGAIN?”
So much for respecting the creative process, kid.
In the end of course, she’s got her Rusty and Skipper planes in the same bag of special things her old school My Little Ponies live in, and she carries them everywhere we go, and makes me to do the “boy voice”. For all her hmmmning and hawwwing during the movie (she cried to leave early, and then cried to go back and watch the end when we finally gave in and got up to go) she talks about that day like it was her freakin’ prom night. Which I guess for a three year old, it kind of was.
A huge thanks to Target for inviting us to be their guests at the premiere. And now that we’ve broken the seal on movie-going as a family, I can’t wait to get back in the theater and try it again.
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