Movies with Mia: Madagascar 3
Posted by Rachel
Guess what I did Sunday morning? Besides eat left over birthday cake (his not mine) for breakfast, we thought we'd give this whole theatrical trip another test and took Mia to see the third Madagascar film, which seemed to be more of an experiment for me as the parent. Oh, how the tables have turned.
I was a bit scared at first, because when I asked her if she wanted to go to a movie with a giraffe, hippo, zebra and lion, she got really excited and shouted "The Lion King!" Um, no sweetie, that ship sailed last year when you were too little for the theater. After that I was praying this wasn't going to be another Pirate Piggies debacle.
So we get to the theater and I buy her the Madagascar promotional snack pack, because after all, popcorn is the Mia Buffer. As long as she eats it during the movie, she's relatively quiet and still. Brad accompanied us this time too, which is the Rachel Buffer when the Mia Buffer runs out.
We actually walked in right as the movie started, so she didn't have to sit through trailers, which makes her super antsy. Of course I saw the audience and immediately became nervous, as it was the biggest we've encountered so far. It was only a third full, but more than I expected. Thankfully, nobody likes the far side aisle seats, but I have found them most useful for small children, especially when there is three of us and only four seats in the row, guaranteeing no strangers will occupy that last seat.
All was going pretty well and the film at least captured her attention this time. Of course at one point, she decided to start naming all the colors she saw on screen...in Spanish. Though I hate to quash her love of the language, ssshhhing commenced.
Then the unthinkable happened: she stopped eating her popcorn! There was plenty left, but she didn't want it anymore. My heart rate increased as I went into panic mode, since we weren't even halfway through the 85 minute runtime. I sat with my pulse racing, fearing what would come next. But she just sat there watching the movie, drinking her Sprite, not talking or squirming. Eventually there was some "musical lap" playing (first Brad's lap, then my lap, then Brad's lap, and so on), but nothing completely disruptive, unlike the kid a few seats away who decided to get up and dance to all the cheesy pop songs. Oh, and eating of the popcorn did eventually resume.
Overall, things turned okay, much better than The Pirates! experiment. Unfortunately, she didn't seem to care. She might have giggled a time or two, but there wasn't that look of fascination that seeing Beauty and the Beast gave her. She seemed to be enduring the film more than anything, and that makes me a little sad. I know they can't all be winners (and Madagascar 3 wasn't) but she's a kid, and kids love talking animals, right? Don't get me wrong: I'm grateful she was well behaved, but I also want her to enjoy going to the movies as well, and we didn't reach that this time.
This particular experiment held another purpose: testing me, the parent, at a kids' film that I didn't give a crap about. I haven't seen any of the Madagascar films, I had no idea who the characters were or what the plot was, and I didn't care to know. However, I had to refrain from whipping out my phone to play Words with Friends or finish another episode of Breaking Bad. It was an exercise in testing my own patience of sitting through a movie that held zero interest for me, for the sake of my child's (pseudo) entertainment, which in the end is beneficial since there will many more years to come of such situations. Ya know, having family time while setting a good example and all that jazz.