The Movie Theater Experience. With Children.

Are you gonna say something?

I text my reply: No.

BANG.

Shit.

I quickly text him these words: And again.

He replies: Do you want me to say something?

I shake my head as I type: No. It’s fine. Whatever. I’m used to kids kicking the back of my chair, right? Happens all the time in the car.

The Interrogator whispers, “Mom, are you texting Dad?”

Me: “Yes, buddy.”

Interrogator: “But why are you texting him if he is sitting right there almost next to you?”

Me: “Well, because we don’t want to talk in this movie theater.”

We settle into our chairs at the Tuttleman Omniverse Theater just as the lights dim.

BANG.

Goddamn this kid behind me.

The opening scene shows a boat on the water. The Interrogator leans very close to my ear and whispers: “When’s it gonna happen, Mom?”

Me: “When’s what gonna happen?”

Interrogator: “When’s that boat gonna sink?”

Me: “The Titanic?”

Interrogator: “Yeah.”

BANG.

Motherfucker.

Me: “It already sank. It’s at the bottom of the ocean.”

Interrogator: “The real ocean or the ocean in this movie?”

Me: “Both.”

Interrogator: “Are we gonna see it?”

BANG.

Son of a bitch.

Me: “See the boat or see it sink?”

Interrogator: “See the boat when it sinks?”

Me: “After it sinks or while it sinks?”

Interrogator: “While it sinks?”

Me: “No, it happened already.”

Interrogator: “In this movie it happened?”

Me: “No. Before this movie.”

Interrogator: “Then what boat is that?”

Me: “That boat is full of scientists. They are going to take a smaller boat to the bottom of the ocean.”

BANG.

Piece of shit.

Interrogator: “What for?”

Me: “To see the Titanic. It’s down there.”

Interrogator: “Where are all the people?”

Me: “The scientists are getting on the little boat now.”

Interrogator: “No, Mom. Not those people. The people who were on the Titanic. Where are they?”

I frown, “They died, buddy. It was sad.”

Interrogator: “They died from going to the bottom of the ocean in the boat?”

BANG BANG BANG

Relentless bastard.

Me: “Most of them died because the ocean water was freezing. It brought their body temperatures down too low. And their hearts stopped working. It’s called hypothermia.”

The Interrogator leans closer: “Oh. I don’t want to get that. That hypothing.”

Me: “You probably won’t.”

His lips are on my ear now: “Don’t take me on a boat that’s gonna sink, OK, Mom?”

titanic

I nod my head, “I’ll try not to. Let’s watch now, OK?”

Interrogator: “But what happened to the bodies, Mom? After they died?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t know. Probably they became part of the earth again.”

BANG.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Interrogator: “Mom, this is boring.”

Me: “Wait, they’re almost at the Titanic. This is the cool part.”

Interrogator: “Did it sink yet?”

Me: “Yes.”

Interrogator: “Why didn’t we see it sink?”

Me: “Because it happened a long time ago.”

Interrogator: “A long time ago in this movie?”

Me: “No. A long time ago before this movie.”

Interrogator: “But why not in this movie?”

BANG.

For the love of Christ.

Me: “Because this movie isn’t about that. No more talking. Let’s watch.”

Interrogator: “It’s about the Titanic, Mom, right?”

Me: “Yes.”

Interrogator: “So I just don’t understand why we don’t see it sink. I really want to see it sink, Mom.”

Me: “Shhh. Let’s watch. They’re steering the little boat closer to the Titanic now. And that is very dangerous.”

Interrogator: “Oh, I know why it’s dangerous! Cuz of the angler fish.  And their sharp teeth, Mom. Angler fish have sharp teeth like this, Mom.”

BANG.

Should I shoot a dirty look behind me?

Interrogator: “Look at me, Mom, Look at my sharp teeth.”

I shake my head: “I can’t see your teeth in the dark.”

Me: “Use your phone to take a picture of my sharp teeth.”

Me: “After the movie. Let’s watch.”

BANG.

Dear God Almighty.

Interrogator: “Do you have any more of that licorice?”

Me: “I don’t.”

Interrogator: “Does Dad?”

Me: “I don’t think so. Let’s watch.”

BANG BANG

Would they even see me give a dirty look in the dark?

I point to the screen, “There is it! There’s the Titanic!”

Interrogator: “Where?”

Me: “That thing with seaweed on it.”

Interrogator: “That’s not a boat.”

Me: “It’s all that’s left of the boat. It’s been at the bottom of the ocean for 100 years!”

The Interrogator announces proudly: “I’m going to live to be 100 years old.”

I smile in the dark theater: “I hope you do. You’d better start eating your vegetables.”

I don’t have to see him to know his nose is crinkling as he replies: “I don’t like vegetables.”

Me: “You need them if you’re gonna be around for 93 more years.”

Interrogator: “Are you gonna live to be 100, Mom?”

I hope not.

Me: “I don’t think so, honey. Let’s watch the movie. Verb, sit down.”

Interrogator: “When we will see the angler fish?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Interrogator: “What if an angler fish broke through the glass of that boat?”

Me: “Oh, that would be awful. And scary.”

Interrogator: “Is that gonna happen?”

Me: “I don’t think so. Not in this movie.”

Interrogator: “How do you know? Did you see this movie already?”

Me: “No. Shh. Watch.”

BANG.

Jesus Christmas.

Interrogator: “Do you smell that, Mom?”

Me: “Smell what?”

Interrogator: “That smell.”

Me: “What smell?”

Interrogator: “I farted.”

On the other side of me, the Verb says: “Something smells not good.”

The Interrogator leans across me: “Guess what it is, Verb?”

The Verb pops out of his chair: “I give up.”

Interrogator: “It’s my fart, Verb. I farted in the movie theater.”

Me: “Verb, sit down.”

Verb: “Ewwww! Let me smell it again.”

Interrogator: “Wait, I’ll do another one…..OK, do you smell it?”

Verb: “Hahahahaha! Another one? I smell it! You’re sure good at doing those farts, Interrogator!”

BANG.

I wish I were on that fucking boat right now. 

Me: “OK, well, thank you for that. Verb, sit down. Interrogator, please stop talking. Let’s watch the movie, OK?”

The Interrogator leans his head on my shoulder. “Mom, I’m gonna miss you.”

Me: “When?”

Interrogator: “I’m gonna miss you when you’re dead.”

Me: “Thanks, honey. I’ll always be with you though.  You’ll carry me in your heart.”

Interrogator: “And then will you be in my belly? And then you’ll be born again?”

I shake my head: “Um, not quite. I’ll just stay in your heart.”

Interrogator: “Oh, right, cuz only girls can have babies in their bellies, right?”

Me: “Right.”

Interrogator: “That’s good cuz I don’t want a baby in my belly.”

Me: “Shh.”

BANG.

Please, baby Jesus, make it stop. Make it all stop.

Interrogator: “Mom, why’s this taking so long? When’s the Titanic gonna sink?”

Me: “Soon, honey. Hopefully really soon.”

22 thoughts on “The Movie Theater Experience. With Children.

  1. Priceless! Fucking priceless! I am always amazed at your composure! I can’t even fathom it. I have an issue with becoming a screaming banshee and then laughing at myself with those that I screamed at. Usually when I am confronted with these situations the Little One will ask the First Born…. “Is this the crying time? Is Mommy gonna start crying now?” Yes, this was asked at dinner one night with my parents. When my mother smugly inquired further, the First Born explained that there are nights that they have a contest to see if they can make Mommy cry. This horrified and quietly affirmed my mother. What he did not explain was that the crying is from laughter. But It was not even worth stating my case.

    • You’re Italian. I’m not. That’s the difference between us. My inner monologue is a screaming banshee. With colorful language and fits of crying.

      I love that they make you cry with laughter. I feel like I’m not present enough to be there yet. I’m still having an out of body experience when I’m in the presence of all my kids simultaneously.

  2. Oh my gosh I am rolling laughing. This is every single experience in my life right now. The delicate balance of trying to remain pleasant while all you want to do is scream at the chaos going on around you while fielding 378 questions per minute from a little one. Good times . . .good times. 😉

  3. LOL! That’s all. (No wait–one more thing. That kid behind you. Yes. I couldn’t help but think about how he would make good fish bait, you know, for the Angler fish. :P)

  4. Ha ha ha! Awesome, Bethany! Loved it! Still laughing! Oh, and I hate kids and adults who kick seats! These are the people who always sit behind me!

    • I think the chair kicking bothers me most because I take pains to ensure 8 little restless legs do not make contact with the seats in front of them. Just asking for some reciprocity. Thanks for reading!

  5. Amazing!!
    Hilarious and touching
    Classic!!
    I love reading your stories
    And I love how it’s helped me with parenting my three boys. When they’re driving me crazy I just picture it all being written in a blog and then it becomes a funny situation and not an angry one.
    I hope they don’t see me laugh when they’re whining about whatever….:)
    Btw I bought that book I just want to pee alone.
    Love love love
    Absolutely hilarious!! Relatable on every page!
    I’ve been telling everyone I know about it
    Thanks!

    • Pnina, I look at my kids’ chaos the same way you do since I began writing…every time they do something ridiculous, I take a breath and think, “I could turn this into fairly decent reading material.” Boom. Instant patience. Thank you for reading and for buying the book!! And for spreading the word!!

    • Thank you, Helen! Sometimes I have so much dialogue it’s like a sitcom. But that’s my life right now! Thanks for reading!

    • Nina, my oldest asked if he could read this one. I said, “sure”. Halfway through reading, he handed my laptop back to me and said, “I can’t read this. I live through it everyday.” That’s how I feel about writing it down sometimes. I have to get up and walk around because I might go mad just reliving it. Thanks for reading!

  6. I just….honestly, I never thought I’d find another mind/temper/whatever like mine. This, it’s like a fucking miracle cream because while I don’t feel younger, I finally feel understood.

    xxoo

  7. Haha!! I am dying. And this is making me feel way better that I haven’t been brave enough to try taking my kiddos to the movies yet. You are a rockstar for doing this!

    • Meredith, my 2nd born would have watched static at age 2. Boy #3? The Interrogator? He makes it so sweet, but so very difficult. Thanks for reading!!

  8. ha ha I have had the experience of kids kicking my seat and farting near me at children’s films them are the ones I always get by me the last time I went with my nieces it was two girls behind us there with their mother the youngest one I’m guessing about 5 or 6yrs old kept announcing she farted and sure enough seconds later the smell followed I don’t know what she ate before she came but the smell was awful even my nieces asked if I smelled it and said it smelled bad the girls mom didn’t even seem phased maybe a little embarassed she laughed a bit each time which in return made her girls laugh

    • Maybe I need to be more relaxed about passing gas. My husband has my kids convinced that it’s natural and they should do it whenever they feel the need. I am so worried about the smell. The sound. Or god forbid, having an accident! Thanks for reading!

      • Thanks for replying you shouldn’t be worried and yes you should be more relaxed about it most people are understanding about it when a kid has let one why are you worried about the sound or smell? if your somewhere family friendly like the movie theater or a circus its the best place for kids to let them rip usually no one knows where the smell is coming from unless they hear the sound or your kids announce it do you have girls or boys ? I have to admit you have to see the humor in it I bet your kids have let out stinkers at the movies or circus it is natural and better if they get it out my nieces will do it anywhere we never want to hear later their tummy hurts accidents shouldn’t be a problem unless maybe they are in diapers lol

        • Probably not the first time someone’s kid near you at the theater has done it and probably won’t be the last time girls can be just as bad as boys when it comes to stinkers at the movies it has happened around me several times there can’t you tell

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