Toddler + Movie Theatre = Challenge

MovieTheaterJob_HWell, challenge accepted.  Damn $6 Tuesdays at the movies (check your local regal cinemas).  I love a great deal and it is hard to pass up great movies on the big screen for $6 all day long.  I usually take my daughter to see a good show once a month but, this month, I decided to take Justin.  Did I mention that he is in the terrible two-phase (Lord, let it be just a phase).  Anyway, it was raining, he was irritable because he didn’t take a nap beforehand, and my daughter wanted everything she saw at the concession stand.  To summarize, this is how it went:

Scene 1: We enter the multiplex, my 13-year-old daughter says that she has to use the restroom and will get some things from the concession stand. I hand her my credit card (big mistake) and she runs off.

Scene 2:  I struggle with my flailing two-year old and find a spot where he will not annoy any surrounding viewers.  The lights dim, the music from the previews start, and now Justin is in fear for his life.  Why is it dark?  Why is loud?  He cries and jumps into my lap and holds onto me for dear life.

Scene 3:  We sit like this patiently until his sister returns with two huge drinks, chocolate covered raisins, a large popcorn, and sweet and sour cabbage patch kids or we could just say $30 in the hole.

Scene 4:  Justin calms down because his sister is there and he sits between us but, I think he is only calm because he sees food and a huge coke (which he refuses to let sit in the cup holder in the arm rest but instead must hold it in his little lap).

Scene 5:  The movie starts and everything is going okay…. at least for an hour.  The last half hour Justin decides that he would like to ask a lot of questions really loudly during the movie, stand up and dance, move around, cry out when we say no to his demands, and spill food on the floor.  My daughter and I block him in by placing our legs up to the chair in front of us so that he is trapped ( I like to call this unconventional parenting).

Scene 6:  The movie is finally over and it is time to leave.  My daughter has to go back to the restroom, maybe from the huge sprite she drank, and I am left to struggle with Justin to get him out of the theatre, through the rain and into his car seat.  He wanted to run around the lobby area of the theatre instead.

Scene 7:  My daughter finally appears and we are on our way back home.

Now, there are a couple of things that I learned from this incident.

#1 Feed the children before you get to the theatre and keep snacks in your handbag.  I know theaters do not like for you to bring your own food but, I wound up spending more than I would have on regular priced tickets just on food alone.  They are not paying your bills and if you have a toddler (which you pay for their ticket too, you can put some water or juice in their sippy cup along with some  Goldfish or Cheerios and save yourself the money).

#2 Always go on a weekday or early afternoon as there is less chance that the theatre will be packed and people will become annoyed with you and your rambunctious toddler.

#3 Look for another toddler.  This in fact saved me a lot of embarrassment because while Justin was up in the top row talking loudly, a little girl down in the front was screaming at her father and running around.  This took the attention off of us.  Okay, okay that is not an actual lesson learned.

#4 Take them often until they get used to behaving in public.  I know you want to call it quits but, they will never learn if we just avoid all situations where they misbehave (except for the grocery store, at the grocery store leave the cart where it is, take the child and get out.  They will learn that they are not running the show and still will not get what they want and you have not lost any money, only time).

Lastly, the movie sucked.  I should have waited for it on Netflix.

 

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