Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Astrid's 1st time at the movies

I took Astrid to see her first movie today.

There's a movie theater in Los Feliz (the Los Feliz 3), that has "Mommy & Me Matinee" on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. (Kids under 4 are free.) I've known about it for awhile now, (and U is always telling me I should go), but I waited until I felt Astrid was ready and able to sit through a movie. Now she can (just barely) sit through an entire hour long episode of Sesame Street, so it was time to try out the mommy & me matinee. Here we are in front of the movie theater kiosk, having just purchased my ticket for a slim $4.50. Astrid was free.Astrid standing in front of the Cinema 1 room, ready to watch her first movie.

I kept trying to describe to her what it would be like to go to the movies, since she had no concept of what a movie is. She watches kid shows and cartoons, but never a movie, and this was her first time at the movie theater. To get her excited about going I told her we would be eating popcorn. So the entire way there she just kept asking about the popcorn.We had the entire row to ourselves at first. Then the parents with kids starting filing in. In total there were about 10 adults with about the same number of children.I toyed with the idea of just buying the popcorn there at the theater, but then I thought about how unhealthy it was and all that salt, so I opted to bring my own. I came prepared with organic popcorn that I brought from home (that doesn't contain any oil or salt and is shock full of fiber), grapes, animal crackers, graham crackers, and water. It was pretty cool to introduce my kid to the movie theater experience.Looking up at the big screen.

The kids present were newborns to about 4 years old. I saw parents trying to keep the younger kids distracted with iPods and such, and there were a few kids that cried, but the parents were pretty good about it. For me, with Astrid being almost 3 was the perfect time to go. She was really well behaved and I actually got to watch an entire movie in the theater.We saw the movie, "Juno". It was the perfect mommy & me movie - not too long, pace was slow, not a lot of action, and plot wasn't complicated. I didn't miss anything when a kid was crying, or when I needed to get something for Astrid.

Astrid sat through about half of the movie. Then she got up and walked in our aisle. There was another little kid at the end of our aisle that caught her attention and so she went over to investigate. I moved to the seat at the end of the aisle to be near her. The other kid was younger than Astrid and not a real playmate, but she would still watch her. She also kept herself busy with the aisle floor lights that fascinated her. She would put her foot over the lights to cover them up and then take her foot off to make it bright again.

It was also interesting to see how protective of me she is. When a little baby came too close (about to touch my leg) she shouted, "Mom!" and rushed over to protect me. And when she saw that I wasn't moving back to my seat she went and got the diaper bag and brought it over to me to make sure I didn't lose it. (Although I no longer need it to hold diapers, I still use it for all the other essentials, so it has become like a permanent fixture on me.)

Later on we moved back to our middle seats and while Astrid sat on my lap, I wrapped a blanket over her and she must have felt warm and cozy because she sat like that for about 20 minutes. After the movie was over and we were about to leave, Astrid bent down and started picking up popcorn off the floor. She said, "I cleaning up Mommy." It's kind of hard to explain to a 2 year old that you don't have to clean up at the movie theater since they hire people to sweep up, (and I didn't want to confuse her with why not here, when she has to clean up at home) - so I let her clean up.

It was a lot of fun for both of us and something I will definitely do again with her before I start working again full time in March.

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Peter, international stay-at-home-dad of mystery said...

oh .. what a nice concept ... I wish they had something like that here .. but then I bet i'd be upset that it was called "Mommy + Me" (i guess there were no dads?)

I am also a tad confused that they selected a PG-13 movie for such a thing .. it is more like 'Movie for Mommy and kid and browse around'

In germany I saw one movie theater that actually offered a sunday morning like that, but grown up movies for the parents and entertainers for the kids in the lobby ...

Astrid looks very proud and happy!

(Oh, and they let you bring your own stuff to eat? Last time I went to a movie theater .. hmm .. 3 years ago in Fiji, one could not bring ones own food or drink)

Rose said...

I did see one other dad there with his kid.

All the movies (3) playing are available for the mommy & me matinee. This time around it was Juno, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly, and Atonement. I chose Juno because I already saw the other two. So yes it is more for the adults (so they can watch a movie and bring their kids along).

I like the concept in Germany even better - with separate entertainment for the kids. If we had that here, I'd go as often as possible!

Technically they don't allow food in the movie theater. But I just brought stuff for Astrid in the diaper bag, which I was pretty sure they wouldn't search.

Only downside to this movie theater is that there are only 3 movies playing, and the week after we went the movies still haven't changed yet. So I'm still waiting for a new selection so we can go again.