Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Where's Lightning McQueen?

Tommy and I went for his first trip to the movies on Saturday morning. Tommy has been obsessed with Pixar's Cars for quite a while now, and so when we saw that Cars 2 would be coming out this Summer we figured that would be a good first movie for Tommy to see in a theater. Amy and I were disappointed when the movie got pretty poor reviews, but we figured that seeing the most mediocre Pixar movie was probably pretty far from the worst movie-going experience we would have to endure for the sake of our children. Having now seen Cars 2 I can confirm that it is indeed not very good, but it is also not nearly as bad as a number of movies I have sat though for the benefit of my wife.

As for the rest of the movie-going experience, I have to admit that I didn't think too much ahead of time about things that might complicate taking a three-year-old to his first movie (the scary folding seats, the dark theater, when is the movie going to start?, keeping quiet, bathroom breaks, seeing other kids eating popcorn and candy at 10:30 in the morning, etc). It wasn't even until I watched the exit of the first kid who had to pee that I realized that I might have wanted to take Tommy to the bathroom before the movie started, you know, maybe sometime during the approximately 45 minutes of commercials and previews which apparently air before all movies these days (Amy and I don't go to a lot of movies...). Fortunately, my son is awesome and has an iron bladder when seeing/not seeing any amount of Lightning McQueen is at stake. Actually I couldn't even talk Tommy into going potty after the movie, but I still think he would have held it willingly if he'd had to go.

Backing up a bit, we got to the theater about 15 minutes before showtime and stood in line briefly with a few other parents and children - some seeing Cars, some Winnie the Pooh, and some Smurfs, which thankfully Tommy hasn't heard of. I could tell Tommy was a little overwhelmed by all the lights and pictures and everything else in the lobby. My goal was to make it to our theater, which was at the end of the corridor, without having Tommy ask me anything about Final Destination 5. On a similar note, there are seriously a lot of posters with guns on the way to the G-rated fare.

Once safely inside theater #4 I quickly encountered complication #1: the seats. Actually, we ran into "when is the movie going to start?" first - before we even made it through the entrance, as soon as the screen was partially in view, Tommy wanted to know "where's Lightning McQueen?" He's coming - we just have to wait a few minutes so more people have time to get here. Variations on that theme were repeated often for the next 20-30 minutes, each sounding less convincing than the last - even to me.

The seat issue was a bit more of a problem than the wait. I thought that if I made the spring folding action look fun we would be ok, but, well, not so much. It wasn't hard to get Tommy to try it out, but as soon as he sat down and scooted back, the seat started to fold up, and he was not cool with that. I could hold it down with my leg, but I could tell that Tommy didn't really trust that he wasn't going to fall, so around the time the actual movie started Tommy was looking for another solution. Fortunately, I have a lap. Problem solved.

The dark theater wasn't a problem - I told Tommy that's how we would know when Cars was finally going to start. I did have brief scare regarding the "seeing other kids eating popcorn and candy" issue, as one kid came in and walked past us with his mom and huge thing of popcorn. Tommy: "I want some popcorn!" Me: "No Tommy, you just ate breakfast. We don't need any popcorn." But for a fraction of a second while I was saying that, I thought to myself, wait, should I let him have some popcorn at his first movie? Then I remembered of course that, no, it was a ten twenty AM showing. Thankfully, Tommy seemed to forget about popcorn as soon as it was out of view. And the world kept spinning.

Ultimately, I think Tommy had a really good time. I know he enjoyed the movie since he asked for more as soon as it ended, and he insisted that we stay and watch the entire end credits (which weren't interesting). Seriously, we were in there until the lights came up and the dude with the broom had already started sweeping. And I know I had a good time hanging out with my boy. And now, here are some pictures:

Are we excited yet?

Almost there... outside theater #4

There were a lot of previews


Tom said...

great post

Beth Sykes said...

what a big guy he has become!! And what a lucky guy to have such a special daddy!

Sweet Apron said...

Good post! Charlie was terrified by the folding seats, too, and didn't like the "baby" booster seats. Next time, you & Enrique should take the boys. Perhaps the combined weight of Tommy & Charlie would help.