A few weeks ago we took Hannah and Jayce to see the new live version of Cinderella at the movie theatre. Hannah was excited, Jayce wasn’t, and Chris and I were in that way that you are when you think your kid is going to be really delighted by something.
It wasn’t entirely delightful for anyone.
Hannah is almost four and has only been to the movie theatre one other time, and that was to see an animated movie. I didn’t realize until we were sitting in the theatre just how significant the difference would be between a live movie and an animated movie in maintaining her attention. The back story which takes thirty seconds to communicate in the cartoon version took twenty minutes in this version. The time spent developing the story was completely lost on Hannah and she kept fidgeting and asking where the prince was.
She chatted with me a lot. A lot. I had to remind her about every two minutes (no joke) that we needed to whisper, because whenever she had a question or got excited about something, her first instinct wasn’t to whisper. That’s understandable for a three year old but still a bummer in the theatre. She was up and down in her seat, we left to go to the bathroom twice, she switched back and forth between sitting on my lap and Chris’, and she got up a few times to dance in the aisle.
When the movie ended she started crying and cried all the way out of the theatre. For the next week whenever we saw previews for the movie on tv she would say sadly, “But I didn’t want that movie to be over.”
For the sake of my own sanity and frazzled nerves, I wish we had waited for some sort of “kids day” showing of the movie on a Saturday morning or gone to a cheap theatre. For the sake of the other (adult and full-price-paying) movie-goers I felt like I needed to keep her restrained, and when we got home I was absolutely fried. But she loved it. She mostly remembers that she didn’t want it to end, which would suggest that she liked it and had a good time despite my shushing her.
I don’t regret taking her.
Some outings work really well. The kids behave, the weather behaves, the kids don’t have meltdowns and the parents don’t lose their tempers. This one was not easy but in the end it was still worth it, good, and enjoyable for everyone. In hindsight that is. It was enjoyable for me in hindsight.