I went to my first Reel Moms movie today, Marie Antoinette at the Metreon, only to find out as I was purchasing my ticket that it would be my last. Appparently, AMC is discontinuing the parent-friendly movie series because of "low turnout." This surprised and disappointed me, especially since the movie theater was pretty crowded for an 11 am Tuesday matinee (remember, I learned on my maternity leave just how popular Tuesday matinees are). There were probably about 25-30 adults, at least.
I guess I have to wonder what AMC accomplishes by killing the program. As far as I could tell, the only added overhead was an usher checking strollers, while I, for one, was definitely paying money I wouldn't normally be paying AMC just to have a family-friendly experience seeing a first-run film in the theater. Meanwhile, the rest of the 14-screen movie house seemed damn near deserted. [cue cricket sounds] Guess I'll have to keep that money, AMC! Your loss!
What surprised me most about my first movie-going experience with a baby was just how little the infants detracted from my enjoyment of the film. Sure, there were a few moments here and there where a line or two of dialogue was slightly obscured by a crying baby. But what about a normal movie audience? You know, the annoying lady who carries on a running commentary alongside the on-screen dialogue, the inconsiderate guy who slowly unwraps crinkly candy wrappers at the height of a tense and quiet scene, or the teenager who kicks the back of your chair throughout the whole film... At least a little baby doesn't know any better, and these infants were way better behaved than your average grownup moviegoer. (By and large, they mostly slept through the flick...without snoring!)
I say BOO to AMC, and that's not a Halloween Boo!
As for Marie Antoinette, I enjoyed it--great soundtrack, luscious costumes, and beautiful scenery of Versailles. Not an outstanding movie--in fact it was kinda slow in lots of parts--but since I could bring along my baby guilt-free, it was worth my $8. (Which is not something I can say for most movies I see in the theater these days!)
I harbored certain notions about how having kids would change my life. These notions mostly centered around how much my free time would be affected and how little time I'd have to myself. Well, it's Saturday morning, and I've awoken feeling well rested (for me, that means I got about 8 hours of sleep, though not all in one stretch--but then, that was hard to accomplish even when I was child-free). All the guys in my house (kitties included) are sound asleep, and it's very quiet. I've checked my email and read the latest headlines and blog posts (sounds like Mary had a great day in SF yesterday...hey Mary, call me next time you're doing all that fun stuff with your kids. I'm home all day and I appreciate stuff like family lounges too now!). I could take a long shower or watch some trash TV or maybe even beat the rush at Tartine, a local bakery that's excellent but a complete waste of time if you get there after 9:30 or so because of the massive and poorly managed line. I could even write that blog post deconstructing the problems with Tartine's service that lead to its massive line, if I cared to (which I don't at this particular moment--perhaps because now that I have kids I have more important things to overanalyze ;). But anyway, I just wanted to note for the record that, while having a child has certainly reduced the amount of time I have to myself, it hasn't totally eliminated it. I never would have imagined my mom self having another morning so similar to the one where I wrote that old post about being child-free, but here I am, writing on my blog, about to head into the kitchen to make myself a decaf chai soy latte, which I will sip while I generally enjoy the silence. I consider this particular myth busted! Makes me wonder what other motherhood myths are out there waiting to be debunked.
Having a child has changed more than I could have predicted. What I'm most surprised about is how it's changed my desire to blog. There's so much to say, but since so much of it is about a little innocent person I chose to bring into the world (as I'm sure he'll remind me when he's a teenager--he didn't ask to be born), I've discovered early on that I feel very conflicted about discussing him in this public setting. Even though the audience here is mostly friends and family, I feel a little weird about sharing intimate details about someone else. It's especially strange because my sister-in-law is, like, the mommyblogger extraordinaire, and I (along with countless others) love reading her chronicles of their family's adventures. I also admire her ability to share so publicly. Somehow, though, I'm not ready to share in that same way, and I'm a bit disappointed about that, because if one thing gives you awesome fodder for a blog, it's motherhood. I figured that out in the first few hours of the experience! My feelings may change... we'll see. Because my new favorite little guy is pretty cool, that's for sure!
I had the baby! Most of you already know this, but if anyone's hanging on my blog for the updates, I had the baby! The birth went really well, and parenthood has been going reasonably well, too, at least for these first few weeks. Little Septimus SpaceBaby rocks, verily. But I have hardly any time for blogging, so this is going to be a short one. I plan to be back to regular writing soon, though except for that particular forward-looking promise, I'm really trying to take things day by day. From my limited exposure to parenthood, that seems like a good plan. A damned good plan.