I firmly believe that if you want kids to do something, you have to make it part of who they are. If you want them to eat in restaurants, you have to take them to restaurants. If you want them to read, read to them. If you want them to behave in a theater, keep taking them to movie theaters. This is not rocket science.
We can safely say that we have mastered the social setting of the cinema. We have executive functioning and behavioral task analysis down when it comes to Hollywood and Independent art houses. I don’t have to take the earmuffs anymore. We know the social story by heart and flow through the steps like any kids with a competent mom on a summer afternoon at a theater.
In even BIGGER news-we have mastered the sharing of a popcorn bucket. One child sits on my lap with the bucket while the other two are on either side of me and the whole thing is gone half way through the film. We don’t add butter, not because I am uber super healthy mommy, but because Kenneth freaks if anything touches anything he eats-no butter, no ketchup, zilch. Four people sharing a bucket. That’s two dollars a person. Proud of my math or what?
We decided on Ice Age: Continental Drift. This would be the fourth installment and they aren’t direct to video yet. I am not big on these movies, but…Ok, Ok…let’s do it. I’ll pretend every time I hear Dennis Leary’s voice I’m watching Rescue Me.
Previews are spotty-Lowell hides under the chair for most of them. We want to see the Hobbit but Mama is going solo to Frankenweenie.
Lovely, bravo…we did it…mother of three can leave the house every now and then without making a scene!!!
What do we do when skills are mastered? We take it to the next level and re-write the family goals.
Now that I can leave the house and watch a movie, we are going to discuss the movie afterwards.
Rule number one I want them to always remember: movies are meant for the big screen-not the little one. The point of a movie is to go BIG! You are doing a disservice to the writer/director/actors if you wait for DVD. I think they got it.
I made them answer these questions if they wanted ice cream for desert:
What happened? Give me the plot of the whole thing.
Who were the characters? (It helps to have a poster or a picture or a McDonald’s Happy Meal if you swing that way…)
What did we learn about friendship and family?
What were the funny parts? The comic relief?
What was scary?
We went over all of this and I think they got it. I’m not putting down their answers because I really don’t want to spoil the surprise of the film…ha.
I made the mistake of asking, “Did anyone else notice anything we didn’t talk about?”
Why did I do that?
Kenneth had to pipe up. I knew he would. I asked the question and he isn’t going to let anything go. Maybe I should have just let them go run around the backyard and swat bugs with ice cream bars in their free hands.
“Actually mom, now that you bring it up, I don’t think the science was accurate.”
“No, probably not.”
“I mean, I know that all seven continents were once one, but I don’t think it happened that quickly and all the animals…”
“Want to ride your bicycle without training wheels some more?”
Yes, I distracted him, I taught high school Spanish, not Earth Science.
The best part for my children to see was the end when they coupled the actors recording their voices next to pictures of their cartoon counterparts. I didn’t realize that Game of Thrones super star Peter Dinklage was Captain Gutt or I would have agreed to go much sooner. If my children ever hope to get a puppy out of me one day, all they have to do is promise to name him Tyrion. :0)
New rule-we watch a movie as a team, we discuss it as a team.
Their mother is a freak that way.