After what happened a couple days ago, you'd think I'd learned my lesson with public outings, with my intuition barking in my ear, begging me to stay home. But, I guess I wanted to prove myself wrong and shut down my ever so increasing anxiety of going places with my extremely "well behaved" children.
Besides, Regal Theatres across the country are offering free kids movies, yes FREE, for the rest of the summer on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so how could I pass that up. In the back of my mind, I figured I would take the relaxed approach. If it goes well, great. If it goes disastrous, and I have to get up and make a quick exit, at least I didn't have to pay for it.
No big deal.
Today's movie was Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, one we hadn't seen. So I figured, why not and packed up the crew, the baby, shoved some snacks into my completely disorganized purse, and off we went, to enjoy, what I thought, was going to be a pleasant experience on an unusually hot June day.
It started off great.
The kids held hands as they went descended down the aisle of the theatre, which, by the way, was extremely packed. But thanks to my friend who arrived early with her 4 kids, a feat I have yet to accomplish (not the 4 kids, but arriving some where early) we had reserved seats for a "freed" out movie. As we took our seats and snacks were dispersed, I dare say, the movie went off without a hitch. The kids sat, watched, laughed and seemed to be having a good time.
This was great, I thought,( blinders on) this is actually going to work. That is until my friend got up with her daughter to go to the bathroom and Sophia, begged to go with them. That bathroom trip set it off.
Then George had to go, okay, no problem.
And the Sophia had to go, again and again and again. Running up the aisle to leave the theatre and sprinting down the aisle to get back. And honestly, after second time, I would have ignored her repeated requests if it weren't for her persistent shouts that she had to poop. I thought I was avoiding a smelly disaster until the 4th time to the potty when I saw her run up the aisle and then, like it was in slow motion, she turned around the gave me that smile, that now-I've-got-you-where-I-want- you smile and I knew I'd been fooled.
To her, this was all just a game.
As we returned to our seats the 4th time, I could now find them blindfolded, I took my seat on the aisle, and she laid in the aisle, feet in the air, arms above her head and started to roll down the aisle.
I ignored her.
Then she got up and started doing running sprints from a couple aisles behind us to the front aisle, bending down tagging the safety lights as she went.
I still ignored her.
And when the movie got loud, and she got scared and jumped into my lap. We watched the citizens of Chewandswallow sail away on Peanut Butter sandwiches with sails made of cheese and pizza, sail away and avoid disaster. Avoid being toppled by a food-a-lanche.
Where is my sandwich? I could have used one, one made for just one parent and of course and innocent baby, to avoid the kid-a-lanche that was taking it's time toppling me over.
As the screen flashed, The End, I was out of my seats faster then town's Mayor devoured that enormous hot dog topped with scoops of ice cream, and the kids were in tow. My request to have them hold hands, to avoid losing anyone, as the crowd of munchkins swarmed and crowded the aisle to the exit doors, turned into a brawl. And as we exited the movie theatre and made our way towards the exit, my fighting kids tackled each other, falling to the ground, forming a heap of flying dust in the middle of the crowded hallway.
I secretly hoped someone would step on them.
"Did you hear?" my friend asked above my whining kids. "Chick-Fil-A across the street is offering a buy one get one free deal for their kids meals, Tuesdays and Wednesdays after the movie. Wanna go?"
I looked at my kids, both crying, except for the baby who was calm and probably completely entertained by this circus act that was taking place before his eyes, and took a rain check.
My traveling circus struck again.
For more information, locations and a schedule of movies during the Regal Theatres Free Summer Movies Event, please check their website.