Christina M. Currie: Movies hardly worth hassle
The last time I was able to focus all of my attention on a movie and actually watch from start to finish, I had to be more than 200 miles away from my girls.
So in nearly five years, that makes one movie. Thank God it was a good one.
The problem is that I always go into a movie thinking that I’ve covered all the bases. I make sure the girls are fed first and have a movie of their own to watch. I even take them to the movie store so they can choose it themselves.
But the only time a movie holds their full attention is when they’re using that to avoid going to bed.
I’ve tried setting up the “Learning in Toyland” computer game (which they love) or distracting them with toys.
Heck — I’ve let them fill up their teapot with water and given them the entire box of Froot Loops, which by the way, I still find under the bed, in the heater vents and, go figure, in their dresser drawers.
I’ve started movies after bedtime, during naptime and during outside time.
It doesn’t matter.
Last night was the worst. Trying to concentrate on a movie filled with plot twists and subtle inferences was nearly impossible with girls climbing all over you, chasing each other around the room and playing hide and seek with the blankets.
I probably asked for quiet a dozen times and yelled “hush” twice as much as that.
In an effort to mind, the girls went in their room and dragged out their electronic song-and-dance piano, which features your choice of a duck quacking “Mary Had A Little Lamb” or a dog barking “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” among a hundred other mind-numbing options. It was a gift from Aunt Candice. Oh yes, hers is coming. I have big plans for her son’s birthday.
Anyway, I assume that the girls thought they were following the letter of the law — they were being quiet. It was their toy that was making the noise.
As far as the movie went, I was more lost by the minute and getting annoyed.
At the peak of my frustration, I sent the girls to their room again, but this time to stay.
They must have known that I was reaching the end of my rope because they disappeared and a hush fell over the house. I watched the remaining 15 minutes of the movie undisturbed.
Of course, any parent will tell you that “undisturbed” is a very bad thing. As much as the noise bothers you, the results of prolonged quiet are generally worse.
And they were.
After the movie ended I headed back to start our nighttime ritual and found my way blocked — completely blocked — by everything that was once in the girls’ bedroom room.
They moved toys, stuffed animals, even their bedding into the hallway.
Don’t ask. I don’t have a clue why.
I told them to pick it up and left. Five minutes later, I checked their status. The pile in the hallway was gone. They’d moved the entire thing to their beds.
I tell you, there’s no winning. This is the stuff good movies are made of.
Of course, no parent I know could watch it.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or at email@example.com.
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