Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Pleasant Outing?

Last week my kind neighbor offered me her extra tickets to the free matinée at the local movie theater. My kids were thrilled at the prospect of watching a movie on the big screen. So, today I coiffed the kids and loaded them in the car to go see Over the Hedge.

Since the tickets were free I decided to splurge and get a large popcorn and soda for them all to share. Their little eyes were bugging out of their heads when they saw that giant bag overflowing with popcorn.

We went into the theater and Mason chose our seating location: middle of the very last row in the theater. I placed open napkins on their four little laps and gave each of them a little pile of popcorn. Teensy turned to me with a big smile on her face and said, "This is a good idea, Mommy!" My heart swelled with a feeling of contentment as my brain whispered, "Look what a fun mom you are!"

My daydream of myself as Super Mom was interrupted by Mason's whining/scolding voice directed at Teensy and the $5.00 64 ounces of Sprite being poured all over the theater floor. Fabulous! I kept my cool, threw my extra stash of napkins on the puddle and then gently scooped up all the popcorn bundles off of the kids' laps. "Quick! Let's go get a refill and come back before our seats are taken and the movie starts!" After various moans, pleas and maybe some tears (not from me...yet) I herded my flock down the 927 stairs and back out to the concession stand where we got our free refill.

Once we were back in our seats with our popcorn bundles redistributed and the "two hands on the cup at all times" rule instated I was feeling good again. Mackenna was so happy to eat her popcorn; she made me refill her "pa-corn" whenever there were less than two hand-fulls on her napkin. It didn't take Mason long to start complaining that I had brought them too early and why wasn't the movie starting? Ugh!

Poor Mackenna kept crying during the movie. She wanted to know where the turtle's mom was, where the raccoon's mom was..."Turtle wants his momma!" I kept trying to comfort her that he didn't need his momma. Of course, my little momma's girl could not comprehend a creature not needing/wanting his/her momma. Happily, I report that her crying did eventually stop.

Teensy was cold and doing her best to lay down across three seats; two of them were occupied with Mason and me. Mason, of course, did not like her kicking him and Mackenna did not like sharing my lap with Teensy's head.

Just when everyone finally settled down Teensy had to go to the bathroom. So did Mason and Maia. So, the five of us tripped over people's legs to get to the aisle where we traversed the 927 steps yet again, this time with Mackenna screaming the entire way down (she wanted to walk but I was carrying her because she had taken off her shoes back at the seats). Somehow Marlee managed to pee all over her skirt in the restroom so she was crying when we returned to the theater. I arranged the wet part to the side of her and pulled the shorts-part of her outfit as far down on her legs as I could to make her more comfortable.

Not five minutes after we hiked up the stairs and re-tripped over the strangers in our row to regain our seats, Teensy announced that she had to pee again. Are you kidding me? Why did I ever buy that blasted Sprite? I told her that I was not going to hike the four of them out and down again; her choices were either she could hold it or I could slap one of Kenna's diapers on her in the darkness of our last-row seats. Neither choice appealed to her so I listened to her incessant "Is the movie over yet?"/"When will the movie be over?" until Mason announced that he, too, had to pee again. I grabbed Kenna and told Maia to head to the restroom.

And that's where we were when the movie ended. By then I didn't even care. I walked the kids out to the car and was strapping Kenna in her seat when Teensy realized that she had left her purse in the theater. "Well, what's even in it?" I asked. "My make-up and cell phone," she replied so matter-of-factly that it made me smile.

Unbuckled Kenna, listened to more whining from Mason about how he doesn't want to go back in, herded my flock back into the theater where I am chased down by worker wanting to know where my tickets are...but we found the purse! Back to the car, rebuckled, listened to Mason lament that we never do anything fun (Grrr...) and headed home. Halfway home Teensy realized that she had also taken a stuffed chic into the theater. Seriously. Well, we'll just have to hope that the good theater workers find the chic and we can gather her later. Mommy's not dragging four kids another inch today.

And yet, in spite of it all, I can't help but look up what movie is playing next Wednesday morning. Am I insane? Or just a mother of four? Or does the second imply the first?


Joni said...

HA! I am cracking up. The best part about the neverending drama is that you got a great blog post out of it!!

Tracy said...

I'd never leave my house again. It made me exhausted and frustrated just reading it. I was considering taking my kids, but I'll have the rethink that idea.

Cami said...

um, insane. Please don't go back! Please! I am hurting for you right now. I guess I'm just so wimpy that I am not willing to do that with my kids. I guess that DOES make you a good mom. You're definitely braver than I am.

Ruth & Ryan said...

The free movie is my favorite part of summer. We make sure that Griffin is so tired that he won't complain and Evan simply adores it. He only gets a small sippy cup of liquid and we pee before we leave and when we get there. We saw Over the Hedge a few weeks ago and this week it will be BarnYard.

Sally said...

The patience of Job you have, my friend. I think you are not insane. I think you are hopeful. I want to be the mama for whom happy outings are routine, effortless, and commonplace. So I keep trying to make it so. It's clearly all a facade, though, since it's probably not perfect for even the mama who makes it look it is. I envy that woman though, because even when I'm trying my best, it's clear that I've already lost it. I burst into tears or yelling too quickly. I figure it's like childbirth. It's painful, awesome, slow and frustrating, but also exhilirating, so we want to do it again. Either we forget how bad the bads were, or we're hell bent on improving over last time! More power to you. Hail Mendy!

Christie said...

LOL!! I loved this post. So so funny. You make it such a fun story to read. :-) You've gotta just love the movies eh?

Christie said...

No pictures???? :-)

Jann said...

Oh man Mendy. I can not believe you survived this. I would have quit half way through the movie. I am amazed you handled this so well. There is always the hope that next time will go better.

The Jensen Family said...

Wow!!! That is was some trip. It always happens that way, when you are trying to be a fun mom. Lucky for me Abbey and Zack both don't enjoy watching movies yet. Jared and I tried and vowed to not do it again for a year or two.

amberacottrell said...

You are so awesome! It is funny for me to read but I can only imagine the frustration at the time! What a memory you will always have!

Julia A said...

Yes, yes, and yes, but--take an adult friend or responsible teenager next time. That way you can leave half the kids in the theater :D

The Spiveys said...

Haha that is so funny (although I'm sure it wasn't at the time!). You're a good mom for even attempting such a thing.

Corinne said...

THIS is a post I can relate with. MENDY, you slay me. I wish I was by your side during that man. We could laugh at our tears :)

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill