I can only remember a handful of times where my family went to the movies together when I was a kid. They were Jurassic Park and Home Alone. What I remember most about Jurassic Park was that I was so scared of dinosaurs by the end of the movie that I couldn’t sleep in my room alone. I ended up sleeping on the couch in our living room instead. What I remember about Home Alone was that our family loved being at that movie together.
I don’t know how often Casey’s family went to the movies together when she was younger, but our little family of three went a lot. However, our little family of four (hi Vivi!) hadn’t gone to the movies together at all up until Saturday.
Casey, Addie, and I used to go to at least once a month. Those movies weren’t always good and they didn’t always involve popcorn. In fact, they rarely involved popcorn, but what they always involved was the three of us enjoying spending time with each other.
When Vivi was born our ability to go on these outings took a backseat for a few years because I’ve never been a big believer in mixing babies with the movie theater. I’ve seen babies in theaters and a lot of times they lay there sound asleep without making a peep. But then there are lots of babies that come into the theaters and cry throughout the entire movie, which ruins it for all the other people who paid to be there. I’ve also seen the younger toddlers in movies and a lot of times they’re perfectly okay and other times they run up and down the aisles screaming and shouting. (Side note: I also saw wide awake toddlers at World War Z which I’m not okay with because who goes to zombie movies with a toddler?)
We tried to take Addie to a movie when she was three-years-old, but we didn’t know if she was ready to sit in a movie theater yet or not so we took her to the local dollar theater. Once the movie started things went alright for the first twenty minutes. A few minutes later it was pretty clear that we either had to leave the theater voluntarily or we were going to get booed out of the theater. It was too early for Addie. She couldn’t handle going to the movies—the lights in the aisle were more fascinating to her than the film.
This last week Despicable Me 2 came out in theaters and we were all huge fans of the first Despicable Me. I could tell that Casey didn’t want to miss seeing Despicable Me 2 in the theaters, and I didn’t either. So, I decided that we’d give Vivi a shot at going to her first movie.
All-in-all, it went pretty well. Vivi sat there in her own seat as she snacked on her little toddler puff snacks and sipped on her sippy cup full of water. In between handfuls of snacks, she’d point at the theater screen during a funny moment and laugh. That’s how it went for the first three-quarters of the movie. For the remainder of the time, it was a battle to keep her from polishing the head of the bald man sitting in front of her with the wipe that she was holding.
Aside from the nearly polished head of a stranger, the movie was great and Vivi didn’t really make a peep. She probably didn’t understand most of what was going on in the movie, but it wasn’t about Vivi comprehending the storyline. It was about all of us being able to go together to the movies and spend time together. After a 2 year break, it was nice to be able to spend time together again as a family at the movie theater.
More on Babble Dad: