A cautionary tale about toddlers and cinemas

The Plot: Toddler’s first cinema experience

The last time I went to the cinema was when I was pregnant, which would make it an entire 24 months to date. I’m not even sure if that last movie counts for anything since I was heavily pregnant and staying awake and sitting comfortably in any given position was an attempt at the impossible. Even at my best, there’s something about those comfortable chairs, blanket and pillow in the Reel Cinema Platinum Suites that lulls me to sleep no matter how good the movie is. So I say all this to say that it had been a very long time since I had watched a movie in its entirety and I decided that it was high time I gave it another shot and I was going to drag everyone there with me. So here was my thought process that justified my actions. Walk with me.

1. Vox cinemas in Mall of The Emirates has a cinema dedicated to Kids 

2. They were showing Despicable Me 3 and all kids, without exception love Minions

3. I own a minion who I gestated, birthed and have raised for the past 20 months so she goes where I go 🙂

4. My husband is a fan of the movie franchise

The Conflict:

My only reservation was whether I could keep little miss “ants in my pants” sitting still for the entire movie. I figured between my husband and I, she could swap laps to her heart’s content, just like we do at home and we could all enjoy the movie…in its entirety but anyone who owns a toddler will know that’s not how it played out.

We were off to a good start as I deliberately missed the movie trailers so that we could just enjoy the movie and cut the sitting time to the absolute necessary. The popcorn was going down a treat – first time she had ever had it but she went for it like a pro, bouncing on my lap, dancing to the movie soundtrack and acting engaged for all of 20 mins, then the restlessness began! First she thought it would be a good idea to stand on my lap so I did a quick rubberneck turn to see if anyone was sat behind us and luckily it was all clear. That quickly lost its appeal and she decided that sitting on the floor is a much better idea. My stomach turned as I wrangled her off the floor and convinced her that standing on the floor is probably a better idea – so that was the first 20 minutes of the movie that I missed.

By this point it was time for a break so we did the awkward ‘bent over crouching run’ across the front of the cinema to the exit. That’s when the perfectly timed Terrible Two’s Toddler Tantrum ensued. I wouldn’t let her go into the other cinema rooms which was in her eyes, the worst thing someone could have ever done to her. So naturally she dove onto the floor kicking and screaming and I think she may have even mouthed “you are not my mother”,  but I quickly diffused the situation with “Babu” (Piggy Back) around the cinema hall. Out of respect for her privacy, I have left out those meltdown scenes from the mini movie because let’s be fair, I would not want my mother sharing some of my pre-baby, post-brunch behaviour so “do as you would have others do unto you” 🙂

The Resolution:

By this point we are down another 30 minutes and my concerned husband had been texting all the while, as with any good tag team, I tapped out and he came to take over random entertainment while I snuck back in to watch the last 10 minutes of the movie!

So that was our toddler’s first cinema experience! Lesson learned – we are not doing this again until she is well into her teens but it really was a fun morning out. We got out of the house, had a great lunch and treated ourselves to some delicious Pasteis de Nata from Alma Cafe – my favourite Portuguese pastries and made a little movie sharing the highlights of our morning out – sans meltdown.

If outdoor activities are more your thing, check out what we got up to when we went to the Waterpark at Aquaventure in Atlantis, The Palm. Until the next adventure, enjoy our little movie and Ciao for now!




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