A few years ago I started seeing advertisements on various money-saving blogs for a summer movie series that various theaters across the country do - one children's movie a week, during the day, at a wonderfully reduced rate. Yes, they're old releases, but who doesn't love watching a movie on the big screen? Of course, I've come to realize with small(-ish) town living that the terms "regional" or "select theaters" generally rule us out. And such has been the case since I first learned of this summery movie extravaganza.
Not so this year, my friends. Not so this year.
This year our town joins the ranks, screening various children's favorites for only $4 - sure it's not free as others do, but the price of admission includes popcorn, a drink and fruit snacks. You won't hear any complaining about that from our kids (especially since they're not paying for it).
As soon as I caught wind of the excitement to come, I loaded up my calendar - each and every Thursday morning screening is prominently labeled, so I'll know which days we need to be lining up at the ticket counter.
Yesterday was the first of these much-anticipated days.
I loaded up the kids - a little concerned about how Joey would do, but also recognizing I was going to a movie theater at 10am to watch an animated movie everyone probably already owned on DVD - I doubted a squawky toddler would receive much attention. I knew I'd have my hands full, but it's not like I'm completely clueless at this point when it comes to toting around three children under the age of five.
I've got this.
What I forgot to factor in was toting around three children under the age of five (one on my hip) and three kids' boxes filled with popcorn and soda cups to spring-loaded theater seats not equipped for the meager weight of pre-schoolers and the inability to take bathroom breaks with the above mentioned munchkins and their snacks.
Let's just say, I have quite a few mental notes of how to do it better next time. These include not handing Emmett his popcorn tray until he has figured out how not to get scrunched by the chair, not arriving early so as to cut down on the time needed to hold a 15-month-old's attention (well, and just plain hold him - especially when he's using all his squirmy might to escape to the floor) and not having to share my (aka the baby's) popcorn with older brother (which includes a side-note of making sure his doesn't get spilled) - because when the popcorn is gone, so is that fidgety baby boy.
All things considered, we all had a fairly enjoyable morning. Joey finally resolved himself to the fact that Mommy wasn't letting go (no matter how good the popcorn on the floor looked) and, thumb in his mouth, settled his tiny head on my arm. Emmett learned how to hold his seat in place and made sure to point out to me all the parts that were funny. Micaiah leaned over at one point, to snuggle with Momma, and had a great time laughing when the other kids laughed (even if she didn't always get the joke).
The kids and I agreed, a morning at the movies is definitely not a bad way to pass the summer time.