Milestones: T’s First Trip to the Cinema

For the past year or so we’ve been introducing T to feature length films. Starting with short films like Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo, which we viewed over Christmas or on long car journeys via Hopster. We then started introducing him to longer films on rainy days and seeing how far he would go before his engagement would naturally drop.

We are huge film buffs in this house, so it was natural that we were going to introduce him to films as soon as possible. One of my favourite past times as a child was watching films in our dressing gowns on a rainy afternoon.

Since his introduction, we’ve watched a range of Disney Pixar films, from all three Toy Story films to The Incredibles – these are great for capturing his attention and they don’t have difficult storylines to follow, they’re also pretty short in length which makes them a great introduction.

When he then began to sail through a Disney film and ask for another we decided to up it to feature length films, starting with Harry Potter (obviously) and less animated films. We still watched animated film, but we wanted to broaden his knowledge! So far, we’ve completed the first three Harry Potter movies, and have recently started on the Goblet of Fire which T is thoroughly enjoying. Although we are conscious of movie ratings, we know these movies inside out as well as how our son will likely react. With this in mind, if we get to Order of the Phoenix I think we’ll stop after that and wait a while before starting The Half-Blood Prince.

The Big Screen

T’s first trip to the cinema was completely out of the blue, which was perfect for us as we then didn’t have time ponder over it too much. We saw that The Incredibles 2 was out and decided to book some tickets seeing as he had only recently watched the first Incredibles movie.

After we picked ourselves up off the floor following the cost of tickets, we then made our way down to the cinema. We decided to leave everything as a surprise otherwise we would have had a barrage of questions during our car journey. Plus, T loves surprises.

When we finally arrived, T had reached a whole new pitch of excitement. Only dogs could hear him. I’m still not sure whether he knew where he was but he was very excited, especially as whatever we were doing was resulting in snacks! Taking out a small loan for snacks we then picked our seats, which was more challenging then we had hoped for.

Although the cinema provided a booster seat – which I think was awesome – finding the right seat  for T was a mission, especially as the seats we had initially booked weren’t quite right (something you can’t really judge when booking online). Whilst T isn’t short, he was still a bit small for the seats and the angle of the screen. Plus, adults are taller. This resulted in us moving a few times because we had sat in someone else’s seat (they clearly knew more about this malarkey than us!).

Eventually finding an unoccupied seat that was also in perfect view for everyone, we tucked into our sweets and started the film.

If I’m honest, I didn’t think our first trip would go to plan. T is brilliant at home – he is truly engrossed from start to finish – barely asking questions. The only sounds we hear from him are exclamations of joy at the good guys or disgust at the bad guys. We love sharing that with him. The cinema, however, is a completely different environment. It’s bigger, darker, and there are other people. Plus, you’re not sat in a comfy sofa. Therefore, we expected some challenges.

Surprisingly, he did well. Very well, in fact. Apart from a trip to the toilet and the sudden urge to sit on our laps – which resulted in a few seats in front being kicked – he did amazingly well. I think the only thing I would have liked to have seen were less adverts! These cut into his attention span significantly and after the fifth film preview he was wondering what the heck he was waiting for.

Apart from that though, he did brilliantly and I have no qualms about taking him again. Maybe next time though, I’ll bring our own snacks!

K

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