July 13, 2015

Let's Go to the Movies: An Imperfect Parenting Moment

There have been many times that Brandon has acted out in public, and I have had no problem dealing with it.  I make him finish what he's doing (if it's something like a hair cut) or take him away (if it's something fun).  I've carried him out of a room like a sack of potatoes while he kicked and screamed.  This doesn't bother me too deeply.  I don't get easily embarassed when displays bad behavior.  Don't get me wrong...it's not like it doesn't bother me at all...but it doesn't keep me up at night with worry or embarrassment.

We went to see the Minions movie yesterday.  This is the second movie Brandon has gone to.  The first one was a year ago.  It was a summer movie event where each week they were playing movies that had been out for a while.  I thought it was a good way to introduce him to going to the movies because he would get to watch Despicable Me - a movie he had seen many times before and loved.  He didn't last the whole movie but he did just fine.

So, when the Minions movie came out I had to try and take him to it.  I had him by myself and I was worried we wouldn't get an aisle seat for the stroller, so I went to the movie on time.  I should have chanced it and gone about 30 minutes late, because I hate that he spent so much time sitting while the previews played.  He would have lasted a lot longer if we didn't have to set through the previews.

He didn't do anything wrong.

It's just hard for any three-year-old to sit that long, and he doesn't understand that he can't run around the theater and be obnoxiously loud, even if it is happy noises.  We had to leave, not so much because of the noise, but I could not get him to be still.

So, when he cried as we left the theater, my heart sunk.  It was a sad cry; not a tantrum.  He tried to pull me back into the theater.  He understands very few words and says basically none without prompting.  So, although I was telling him he was a good boy but we had to go, he didn't understand.  I wish I had gone back in and let him try again.  It did keep me up last night because I feel so sad that he had to leave something he enjoyed so much, and he just didn't understand why.  

Mostly, I felt like I didn't do a good job as his mom.  I made a mistake by not letting him go back in (before the crying).  I'm usually really good at reading a situation like that and making the right call.  You don't need to tell me I'm too hard on myself.  I am proud of the mother I am.  I am a good mom.  I know that I can't be a perfect mom, but that doesn't stop me from feeling sad when I mess up.

I wish I had let him try again.

When things like this happen, you have got to reflect and learn from it.  Do better the next time.  I learned a couple things from this situation.  One, I will go to the movie 30 minutes late next time so we can skip the previews, regardless of whether or not I have my husband there to save an aisle seat.  Two, when I take him again I will let him take a little break by walking out of the theater or at least to the door, then let him go back to his seat.

I plan to take him to see the movie again before it goes out of the theater.

If at first out don't succeed...try, try again, right?

We've got this next time.


  1. We've only taken Milo to the movies once--it was at the drive-in when I was pregnant with Linus and it was such a nightmare I've never been brave enough to try again. Seeing this gives me the hope to try again. I love your idea of taking breaks and trying again; I would've just left, too. I wouldn't have even thought of that. Thank you for a great suggestion!

    1. I would love to take B to a drive in movie, but I can hardly stay awake myself for those!


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