Crying at the Movies
"Boys, we're going to the movies!", I exclaimed.
"Hooray, the Wiggles!" screamed Jonathan.
"No, an adults' film", I replied.
"With guns, and knives, and people with no nappies on?" asked Thomas.
"Maybe not quite like that...", I said.
"A chick film, I suppose" said Jonathan flatly.
"Hey, this is the Real Movies we're talking about! I haven't been to a movie since well before you were born."
"Will we be still be able to have naps?" asked Thomas. "And breast feed?" asked Jonathan. "But of course!" I replied. "We'll do it!" they chorused.
That's how I came to be at the movies with a pair of three-month olds. Cinema Nova is running "Cry-Baby" sessions, where babies are invited to bring their parents and enjoy a film together. We went, along with eight-month old Benjamin (and his mum Joan) and had a thoroughly good time.
I enjoyed greeting a few other mums in the foyer - there was a friendly atmosphere from the start. I wondered how we would cope with all the paraphernalia parents like to carry - prams, nappy changing gear, and so on. This turned out to be particularly easy. There was room in the aisle for one pram next to each row of seats, and plenty of parking space under the screen. I brought along a bouncy baby seat, and found there was ample room to sit it at my feet, and bounce one baby at a time into insensibility. The seats were comfy and plush, with ample room for a cuddle or a feed. The gaps between rows were unusually big, and the carpet spotless, so Ben and the other older babies had plenty of crawling space.
The handful of toddlers seemed to be coping alright too, although I expect an older child (of talking age) may not be able to play quietly for that long. The lights stayed on just enough to see what we were doing, but not enough to detract from that magic feel of "Being at the Movies". Amazingly, the noise levels (with about 20 parents and their babies) was very tolerable, and I wasn't distracted from the movie at all.
We emerged from the film with all the boys having had a good feed, to discover it was lunch time, a lovely day, and that we were in Lygon Street! A pizza, a cappucino and a cake later we declared the day to be a total success. We kept bumping into other movie parents on the street, doing the same as us. There was even an opportunity to collect groceries and do odd shopping chores on the way. It was a great day out, and many parents were not even concerned about what the film was. And of course for new parents who were regular movie goers in the pre-baby days, these sessions allow them to keep up their most enjoyable pastime. Hey, if I ever have a dinner party again, I'll have something other than nappies to talk about!
Pauline Benzies Laing