Yesterday B and I had a special treat. We went with my sister and her three kids, to see Finding Dory at our local Vue cinema. My mum got the tickets by redeeming her Nectar Points too, which was a bonus! My mum kept J and W, which meant we would be able to relax and stay for the duration of the film without J getting distressed or W getting fed up.
This was B’s first ever visit to the cinema and he was very excited. (We went to see a showing of frozen in a venue once but not the real cinema.) He talked about it all day the day before and kept asking on the day if it was time to go yet. I packed some of his usual snacks in my bag, as I wasn’t sure if he would like or want anything on offer when we got there. When we went to drop J and W off at my mum’s he opted to wait in the car. Possibly in case I changed my mind and decided we were just staying at Gran’s instead. He has some trust issues my boy. We arrived before my sister and headed inside to pick up the tickets from the machine.
Snacks at the cinema cost a small fortune but since this was his first ever experience, and we had effectively gotten the tickets for free, I let him choose something. He opted for a lemon flavoured Tango Ice Blast and the nice girl behind the counter advised that for an extra 40p we could add popcorn and a chocolate bar (so of course we did!) my sister arrived and we headed in. B’s excitement was written all over his face and he was eager to get in and sit down.
As he had been so excited I was quite surprised that, once we were sitting down, he suddenly became very quiet and didn’t want to eat any of his snacks. He spoke in a quiet voice and stared straight ahead. I’m not sure if it was the fact that it was quite dark, very loud, big and the screen was bright; or if the excitement all became too much. He seemed quite anxious and I wondered if this was why he refused the snacks. His eyes were wide and he just sat there looking slightly terrified. He got a bit bored of the adverts too and kept asking when the film was coming on. Once it started he seemed a little better, until a chase scene with an octopus and some rather dramatic music terrified him out of his wits. After this he moved to sit on my knee and seemed a lot more settled from there on.
The film was great, though I don’t think quite as good as Finding Nemo. It had the usual jokes aimed at the adults, who would inevitably be forced to watch it with their kids, and I actually enjoyed it. There were funny bits, silly bits and the obligatory tear-jerking moments. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who intends to go and see it but I was actually crying at the seashell trails left on the ocean floor 😢 (and I’m not someone who cries easily!)
The thing I most enjoyed about our day was that it was just for B. He was the reason we were there and he got to choose things for himself. He got to have my undivided attention and have me all to himself. This is something very rare for him. He’s so capable and able to get on with things and J’s needs are such that, at times, he has to do just that. On the way home in the car he told me he had had ‘such a great day’ and that I was his ‘best mummy in the whole world!’ It’s funny how something as simple as time on his own with me and a wee trip to the cinema can be so rewarding. I sometimes feel like I’m letting him down and that I’m not always able to give him everything that he needs. I really hope we get to do something like this again very soon.
Does anyone else find themselves torn between their children and thinking they’re not doing the best job of managing it successfully? Or is it just me?