I love going to the cinema.
The moving picture is so fascinating. Montages, subjective camera, special effects.
I love going to a cinema date, too.
But ever since we got our first kid, and then our second kid a year and a half later, and then our third kid, another year later, I still love going to the cinema but I refuse to admit that I suck as an audience.
My husband sucks, too.
If you have small kids, you and your partner are likely to suck, too.
Here’s a case scenario.
The preparations to going to the cinema date begin right about a week earlier: by calling at least five baby-sitters to try and book with at least one of them before settling for the in-laws. At their mercy.
We fix for a Friday night cinema date.
Isn’t that when all lovey-dovey couples go to cinema (maybe dinner to start, with prospects for a make-out to finish)?
The long-awaited evening arrives.
Alas, there’s still the whole routine to go through – the feeding, the washing, and the putting the kids to bed.
There’s no way out of that one.
Cinema date isn’t one until you are, in fact, at the cinema theatre.
Minutes before we leave the house, of course, the kids subconsciously decide to retaliate to our intention to dump them mid way through their evening nap.
My daughter will definitely get high temperature.
My son will stuff something up his nose.
My 2-month-old will definitely refuse to take the bottle and he’ll have a diarrhoea that has leaked (weirdly upwards) all the way to his neck, something or other very complicated, that only the mother – me – can deal with and no one else.
I jump to the rescue leaving my make-up half way – meaning, one eye ready only – to clean one bottom, stick Calpol in another, and pull something out of a nose.
After a 15-minute shouting match in order to restore…order, I rush quickly to change into something cleaner. Forget about sexier.
In-laws cosy up to East Enders.
Older kids are drifting off – or so I’m convincing myself to believe.
Baby kicks in his cot, unaware that his parents are about to flee.
Time to movie: 12 minutes.
Drive time to movie: 17 minutes.
It’s about to happen and I can’t believe it.
Finally, we’re out of the house.
I walk ahead heading towards the car.
My husband is dragging his feet.
He’s too slow.
He is probably not as excited.
Where IS he???
I’m already near the car and he’s nowhere to be seen.
I enter the car. Still no husband.
I refuse to go back to the house.
I will not go back to the house.
I’ll spend my two hours in the car if I have to, but I ain’t going back in.
What happened? I ask 4 minutes after he finally gets into the car.
Our daughter wanted a top-up (milk).
We’re off. I can’t believe it.
The movie has already started. No biggy. I’ve been watching movies 20 minutes into their stories for the past four years now, I’m used to it.
We tiptoe to our seats – front row, bang in the middle.
The theatre is dark.
The movie – Noir.
The conversation between the characters is intense, read monotonous.
Night scene, crickets do their cricketing thing.
My eyes – one with make-up, the other one without – begin to weigh heavily like led.
This is fantastic.
My head hangs like a ripe tomato on its branch.
My neck feels numb, I wake up and snap at my husband.
Lean! I need to cushion my tomato head.
Oops, I woke you.
We rearrange positions.
Head to head we lean on each other and pass out completely.
“How romantic these two”, I could hear from the back seats.
Too much noise, I can’t handle all the shooting and banging.
How can a person sleep from all this noise?
Next time I will chose the movie.
The end is near.
We stretch limbs and try to snap out of our daze.
Where are the kids?
Ah, cinema date. Right.