Suburban Snapshots

If You Take a Three-Year-Old to the Movies

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Over the weekend, Steve and I experienced what must have been a Christmas-spirit-induced mutual delusion and decided it would be fun to take Anna to see The Muppets. Because I optimistically bought the tickets in advance, there was no turning back from the 3:30 matinee even after the child was overheard muttering, "Stupid Mommy" during a time out.

In the spirit of one of our favorite bedtime books, here's the recap.

If you take a three-year old to the movies, she'll be sure to skip her nap, eliminating her tolerance for just about anything except giant boxes of candy.

When she spots those giant boxes of candy — priced one dollar less than a week's worth of groceries — she will defiantly stomp hard enough to topple another patron's bag of popcorn.

When the popcorn has fallen to the floor, she'll try to eat it, and while she's down there she'll spot some old, hairy gum. You'll retrieve her in the nick of time.

Mid-tantrum, she'll remember that you often carry gum in your purse and insist on a piece, though today you have left it out in the car. She sentences you to death with a disgruntled furrow.

When you threaten to promptly remove her angry little self to the car, she will reluctantly march into the theater.

In the theater, you will be forced to contain your child through a six-hour series of previews that are as loud as an airshow and offer no distraction from the fact that every other kid in the audience has a bag of popcorn.

Defeated, you just go buy the freaking popcorn.

On your way to the popcorn, your three-year-old spots the restrooms. Suddenly, she feels a life-or-death need to pee.

While waiting outside the stalls, you hear small fingers touching every surface in their vicinity. You open the door to find her elbow-deep into the tampon disposal like it's a goddamned Christmas stocking.

The thought of Christmas reminds you that this is the perfect opportunity to use Santa as a threat. Once you've scrubbed her fingers-to-neck in the bathroom sink, you return to the popcorn counter, where you are now too late to buy any popcorn.

And so, caught between spending her college fund on a giant box of candy and suffering through the last half of the movie with a miserable child, you decide to cut your losses and head home for a nap.

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