Last weekend a small piece of my soul died as I sat through a sing-a-long version of Frozen at our local cinema with the two-year-old, and *whispers* not only quite enjoyed it and also knew most of the words… (ok all the words.)
It was, in fact, a complete success… Although given my criteria for success is either ‘Was it better than childbirth?’ or ‘Do I get to eat cake while doing that?’… I wouldn’t get too excited…
But yes. We survived. Honestly. My husband has the bite marks to prove it…
We’re no modern day Von Trapps, but the toddler bloody loved getting her groove on whilst belting out ‘Let It Go’ at an impressive level to rival the pack of 5-year olds behind us. And it was actually almost… relaxing…
I did say that word.
I could be hooked. A two hour session of toddler entertainment where I basically sit on my arse, occasionally providing a chocolate button, sort of paying attention and blaming my pregnancy flatulence on the surrounding small people whilst eating Whisper Bites… What’s not to like?!
So. For those yet to brave the big screen with a pre-schooler, here’s my tips for making the most of it:
Do not arrive early. Instead spend the morning completing a series of toddler-exhausting challenges; playground laps, scooter circuits, badger chasing… arrive as the film starts, then sit back and relax…
NO sugar in the lead up. It’s the toddler equivalent of doing crack before you head to the library. Less calories in, equals less skin and hair pulled out.
Avoid the snack counter. They place the fruit-shoots at toddler eye level deliberately. Because they are [email protected]*ts.
Have a scale of treats. Begin with fruit flakes/optimistic orange segments for ‘sit down’ bribery, escalate to Pom-Bears or chocolate buttons for ‘please get off my lap and just bloody watch it’ encouragement, and keep the holy grail that is Haribo for when they start assaulting other children with their booster seat and heading at speed for the fire-exit…
Containment, containment, containment. Sit either side. Use large bags as containment units to block any visible exits. Be aware, toddlers can climb. And you might not be aware of this yet, but you can’t.
Establish a series of elaborate hand gestures which you and your husband can furiously sign at one another in order to ensure all snack demands and containment breaches can be dealt with swiftly. Obviously it will be his fault if the Pom-Bears aren’t administered in a speedy enough fashion at any point. Twat.
Make eye contact with no-one. Ignore everyone around you and focus on keeping the toddler completely engaged. Anything goes in this man-made dimly-lit fortress of parental popcorn-laden guilt… If you need to punch a feral six-year-old in the face with a pic’n’mix bucket for obscuring your view, then that’s just what you need to do.
Remember. This is your chance to weep freely while no-one is watching you… Let it all out whilst eating sour cherries until you can’t feel your face.
Can I recommend Skips? Also chocolate Freddos. And lollies that they will suck a few times before asking you to hold them, which you will put in your bag and find a month later. Great blog 😉Reply
It's one of my very favourite ways of 'entertaining' the kids while I sit on my bum for a while. We'd go more often if it didn't invovle a 7 millionth mortgage. But I think we've sat behind you before now … 😉Reply
I love the cinema with my girl SO MUCH. Until she weed on me during Moshi Monsters and in a very quick move I pushed her off my lap. Onto the floor. Forgetting she was a tiny child. That was a low point x PS Not long now for le baby!!! xxxxxReply
Great blog as usual.Reply
I keep toying with the idea of doing this. The boys arent too bad watching a film so cinema shouldnt be too painful!
Defo take gin though…
Ha yes!!! I discovered this little gem recently AND the cinema was completely empty except for another couple with a small child. And he loved it. Definitely doing that again 🙂Reply
I love the cinema! It's definitely one of my favourite things to do with the kids. We have it down to a fine art – arrive as doors open to save the seats, then take it in turns to get sweets/ go to the toilet etc so we're not properly sat down until the film starts!Reply
You've typically discovered this gem mere moments before you won't be able to use it for another 2 years. I find avoiding all children's TV and only letting them watch movies increases their tolerance. Our 4 year old was under 2 the first time he went and sat through the full 90 minutes in awe.Reply
I'm with Older Single Mum though – why does it have to be so sodding expensive?!
Haha – one of the most effective ways of ignoring your children. I always intend to have a snooze but then get a bit too much into it – even Lego Movie (my life is obvs very boring) xxReply
Oh you're on fire today Mrs. Brilliant post! I have never, every gone to the cinema with a toddler. You must have been desperate for entertainment!Reply
Perfect tips! My daughter would adore to go to one of these, and yes, I'd know every word, too! xReply
Brilliant. Am sitting here on a train chuckling out loud and getting strange looks! Yep sweets before anything are def like administering crack cocaine!!Reply
Sweets before rugby club, good, before cinema, definitely not. Great post preggers. Hope you're feeling ok, missed you at Blogfest. The tone was way too high. xxReply