The kids and I have been working our way through our summer bucket list. I was determined that this summer 2014 would be a fun one. And because I believe in saying things aloud and blessing verbally, I began blessing our summer long before it got here.
In case you haven’t read about it hear yet, I was ill for the latter half of last year and unable to do much of anything with the kids last summer.
One thing on our bucket list was to see the movie Rio 2. I waited for it to come to the dollar theater (which is now actually the $1.75 theater) and scheduled us to see it on a Tuesday (the day of the week when it is truly just a dollar).
Going to the movie theater with my kids was a big deal. Neither of them have ever been (they will be turning three and five soon). My five-year-old daughter has sensory processing disorder and had some learning delays so she took longer than most kids to enjoy a full-length movie.
We have the DVD for the original Rio movie at our house and the kids love to watch it repeatedly.
I had everything planned to a T. We were going to go to the 2:30pm show. I fed the kids lunch at 11am and put them down for their nap early. This part of the plan came off without a hitch. My son awoke from his nap at 1:30.
We got ready to go and left the house 40 minutes before show time.
Then we hit a snag.
Construction on the local main road caused a traffic standstill. I made a U-turn, and then followed the route less travelled given to me by my phone’s GPS to get to the theater. I made good time despite the setback and we arrived ten minutes before the movie started.
We had to park far from the movie theater (not a good sign). I shuffled the kids out of the car and had to arrange everything I was carrying (purse, diaper bag, and golf umbrella because of the forecast) to be able to hold two little hands in that busy parking lot.
I saw lots of other families with kids headed towards the entrance.
We finally made it through the doors when I could hear the concessionaires shouting “Rio 2-sold out!”
I felt tears well up in my eyes. I had worked so hard to get to this point. It wasn’t just about getting a diaper bag ready and making sure my son had a nap before we left the house.
It was about overcoming a physical incapacitation that had left me unable to do things like this with them last summer. It was about taking my kids to experience something they have never been able to experience before.
I could have burst into tears right then. The kids were very anxious and ready to watch the movie.
How would I explain to them the concept of “sold out”?
I herded the two of them over to the concession stand line, resolved to buy tickets for the next showing.
I would find something for them to do to kill time until we had to come back. The kids were hungry and I had not packed a snack (having counted on popcorn).
I used my GPS to find the closest Chick-fil-A and headed there. I explained to the kids in the car in the simplest terms possible that too many people wanted to see the movie at the same time as us so we would have to come back later.
As I drove into the parking lot of the restaurant, I was a little disappointed to see an outdoor playground there. It is the middle of July. In Georgia.
Oh well. We’ll just make the best of it.
My almost five year-old daughter’s main sensory issue is auditory. Loud noises bother her a lot. She began having meltdowns in Chick-fil-A bathrooms as a young baby due to the loudness of the toilet flushing.
To add to the fun today, my body decided to start passing a kidney stone. They run in my family and I found out last year through imaging tests that I have them. However, I didn’t start passing them until this year.
I now know how to recognize the signs that I am passing one and could feel the great discomfort in my bladder all day today. If this event had not been so well planned out, I would have cancelled.
Passing a kidney stone for me means frequent trips to the loo, so there we were.
My daughter kept her hands over her ears the whole time we were in the ladies’ room. I assured her that this toilet didn’t flush by itself so she could relax a little and I would tell her when I was going to flush.
After eating some chicken and fries and playing for a while on the outdoor playground, we headed back to the movie theater almost a full hour before show time. I didn’t want to go through the same stress of crowds and long lines that we had experienced at 2:30pm.
I had already bought the tickets for the 5 o’clock show so all we needed was to buy some popcorn and candy. We stood in line again. My kids were quite hyper and antsy. They were also getting on each other’s nerves.
We headed towards our theater about twenty minutes before show time.
My daughter already knew I had headphones for her. She needed them as soon as we walked in. Even the advertisements were bothering her ears.
I put the headphones on her, however she still complained. “It’s too loud! It’s too loud!”
Meanwhile her and my son are both clamoring for some of the popcorn and chocolate I just bought them. I alternate divvying out handfuls of Nestle buncha crunch and poured popcorn into two plastic containers I had brought with us.
It didn’t take long for one of those containers of popcorn to be poured out onto the floor (by my almost three year-old).
I chose a row of seats in the middle and all the way to the back. One brave person came and sat next to us. I warned her that she might hear my daughter complaining about the noise a few times.
There was another mom seated in front of us who had a few older kids with her.
An older couple came and sat in the row in front of us as well. It was only the previews; however, after hearing a few comments from my son, they decided to find other seats. J
My daughter was having a very difficult time with the noise (or the anticipation of it), so she came and sat on my lap. There she stayed for the rest of the movie, leaning back against me, hands covering the headphones that were covering her ears.
My son alternated between standing up and sitting on my other leg.
During a quiet time in the movie, my son all of a sudden yelled out “I wanna watch Jake!” referring to their favorite pirate show. A few people in the audience laughed. He was my little commentator during the whole movie.
My little boy had a major speech delay (similar to his older sister), and has had a language explosion recently. I have noticed that as we drive in the car somewhere, he loves to point out whatever things he knows the word to. “Truck!” “School bus!” “Railroad track!”
I knew it would be next to impossible to muzzle him during the whole movie so I tried to be affirming and occasionally said to him “Let’s whisper”.
When I looked at my watch and saw there was still 30 minutes left in the movie, I was ready to go home. I asked my son if he wanted to go home (I knew what my daughter’s answer would be). He said he wanted to stay and watch the movie. I said OK.
He then proceeded to repeat his desire multiple times and rather loudly for all to hear.
We made it all the way through the movie. Daughter on my left leg, son on my right, and a sea of popcorn crunched under my shoes on the floor.
I’m glad we got to have this experience. I’m glad we got to cross one more thing off our summer bucket list.
I think we’ll watch the next movie from the comfort of our home.