For the past few months P has been hinting that it is time for SS's first movie theater experience. For some reason I envisioned a cartoon movie, specifically a D*sney cartoon movie as the time to brave public humiliation with our daughter. But P, Sunshine, Mr. Fisheries Biology, lover of all things aquatic, the man who still remembers the scientific names of fishes (9 years after his B.S.) had something else in mind. SS's first movie venture? D*sney's Oceans, very fitting for this family. At least he got the D*sney part. And their movies are kid friendly in length, ninety minutes. We saw our last movie in late June 2008, Baby Mama. We were all scatter brained planning for our China trip and meeting our daughter, but P insisted we needed to see a movie. He knew there were not many things we would stop doing once SS came home, but he knew that we would not set foot in a movie theater for a while. Smart guy, great sense of what awaited us.
We just posted a few days ago about SS's less than stellar behavior during lunch at the Thai restaurant. Then why would we think that taking our increasingly ill mannered child to a strange place, dark, with a screen larger than she has ever seen before, and with deafening noise level would be a good idea? Ah, that is easily explained by our fly by the seat of our pants parenting philosophy. After picking up SS's van from the shop we introduced our second born to the world of over priced popcorn, soda and assorted snacks. That turned out to be a good move. The only time SS shut up was while sucking on her large cherry Icee (she finished three fourths of it, quite impressive), or when she was stuffing way too much popcorn in her precious little mouth. But since it was a D movie, she was not the only chatterbox there, and for the most, she was not ear drum shattering loud.
SS and I entered the auditorium during the previews, while P was stuck at the concession stand. Things have certainly changed since JJ's first movie. I am ashamed to admit that he was only 5 months old, but did not utter a peep the entire movie. The booster seats came in handy, since SS's whopping 26 pounds are not enough to keep the seat down. When I sat SS down she was all smiles, mesmerized by the big screen, while taking quick glances around her. It was so interesting to see the world through the eyes of a three year old. After a few minutes SS held her hands together in front of her, looked at me and in a burst of unadulterated enthusiasm exclaimed "I WATCH MOVIE!!!!!" Close sweetie, you were watching movie previews, but exciting nonetheless.
A documentary, not even one with the D*sney seal, is not the best first movie experience for a toddler. But there is no way I would deny P that experience, the subject was a big deal to him. The worst that could happen would be a hasty exit with SS, and we have made a few of those already. SS's interest in aquatic creatures was a big help, although she lost steam by the one hour mark. That is a long time for someone her age and with a nonexistent attention span.
We found Pierce Brosnan's narration excruciatingly bland. I told P he would have done a bang up job narrating the film. He has a great voice, I could listen to the guy blab mindlessly or even read the phone book. That is the kind of voice P has, and I have the $600 phone bill when we were dating and on opposite ends of California to prove his pull. His grandmother says that he gets his sexy voice from his father (major eeeeewwwww factor there for me). Seriously D*sney people, have P narrate the darn movie and your female attendance will increase 1,000%. The bland narration did not help SS, but she did better than expected. The only stressful moment came when an army of newborn turtles emerged from the sand on the shore and tried to make it to the ocean, while mean birds flew down and picked them up for a snack. We feared that SS would have a flashback to that *&%@%*$ seagull stealing her corndog in San Francisco. If her mind went there it did not show.
Impressions of SS during the movie:
* Her record attention span, seriously blew us away.
* Her recognition of sea creatures and her fondness for dolphins, sharks and tugas (tortugas or turtles).
* When a circle of life moment was imminent (an animal eating or attacking another animal), the foreboding music would give it away. SS picked up on this and upon hearing the change in music would say "Ut oh." So freaking adorable.
* Her exuberant reaction upon seeing a clown fish. SS then proceeded to share her delight by yelling, really yelling "CLOWN FISH!!!!!!!"
* The perma smile on P's face whenever SS recognized an animal, or when she repeated the name of an animal. I probably did not watch much of the movie, because the actual entertainment for me was first watching my daughter, and second watching the pride P was oozing out of every pore.
* Our daughter making sure to touch either one of us, sometimes both, while she was in her own seat.
* Leaning her head against my arm at around the 45 minute mark and saying "Hold me."
* Spending half the the movie between my lap and P's.
Why was it an unnecessary milestone? SS is not going to remember her first movie or those to come for a few years. Did she need to see a movie? Of course not, it is one of those things that are more important to us as parents. Why would I ramble on this post about such a common occurrence? I have no idea exactly how many people watched a movie today worldwide, but I am sure that they number millions. Nothing earth shattering, news worthy about SS's experience, mundane at best. Heck, I bet only P and Abu will read the entire boring post (feel free to prove me wrong if you last this long). But it was a milestone for SS, for us, one of many more we look forward to enjoying. The little things that make us smile, that make our day, that memories are made of. The little things we dreamed about while we waited for three years, and wondered when we would bring our daughter home. The little things that make us forget the painful wait, make us forget when SS dumped baking soda all over the kitchen floor, stayed up all night, threw a three hour tantrum, had us worried sick about attachment and the consequences, bent and almost broke our glasses, and many other cute but not so endearing moments. We signed up for this eyes wide open, not only the good, and we got exactly what we wished for.