Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Six Months and Various Moviegoing Methods

Six months old!  A whole half a year!  The Wife has written a great update post here.
SERiously, this child...
He tries to get around a lot more than he used to... This is how he usually ends up in the bouncy seat.

His newborn cap doesn't quite fit like it used to anymore.
To commemorate half a year, The Wife made half a cake.  It was DELICIOUS.  Bobo didn't get any.

And now, for something else, somewhat related:

Anyone who knows me and The Wife knows that we really like movies.  We went to see a lot of movies before this little Bobo came along.  Naturally, we knew that we wouldn't be able to often go see movies in the theater like we used to (and really, Redbox is a perfectly good option for many, even most movies that come out these days), but since May there have been a few movies that we really wanted to see, or wanted to see enough to try out a few methods, with varying results.

Man of Steel (29 June) -- The Take-the-Newborn-Along-and-Hope-For-the-Best Method

For this one we purposely waited until the movie had been out for several weeks, picked the most obscure matinee time possible, and sat in the most out of the way seats we could imagine, complete with emergency exit plan.  It turned out to be pretty successful, only a couple of 5-week-old baby squawks here and there, and he even nursed and/or slept through most of the movie, even when the second half was like an hour-long extremely loud and neverending video game (and then he a major diaper fill during the brooding, emotional conversation at the end, of course).  Still, though he was pretty good (and one guy in front of us kept glancing at us even when we were deathly silent... I had a few ideas of what to say to him if he confronted us after), we heaved a pretty big sigh of relief after.

Mini movie review:  Superman was a little too angsty for me -- I don't love it when superhero movies take themselves so seriously, but it was okay.  (But wouldn't you be angsty if you had two Robin Hoods for dads?)  Again, the action in the last half was ridiculous.

Monsters University (21 August) -- The Take-the-Three-Month-Old-To-a-Kids'-Matinee Method

This one was less of a gamble since it was at the cheap theater a good two months after it had been released, and also the other moviegoers would be a lot closer to his age.  He slept for a lot of it and when he did make little baby noises it just added to some of the other noises in the theater.  Another great success!

Mini movie review:  It was funny and Pixarish, but it was missing a lot of things that made Monsters, Inc. the masterpiece that it is.  I just don't know that this story needed a second installment.

Ender's Game (8 November) -- The Go-While-the-Wife-Stays-At-Home-With-the-Baby Method

Some friends invited us to see this, and The Wife hadn't finished reading it yet, and was really in NO hurry to see it anytime right away, so she fully supported me going solo and seeing it with our friends, with whom we ALL went to dinner beforehand, and who also came over after to visit.  This method naturally worked pretty well, though Julie still hasn't seen it yet (or finished the book yet...).

Mini movie review:  I actually really liked it!  I don't know why I expected not to.  One of those decades-long hype kinds of things, I guess.  I thought Ender was too old and I didn't love Valentine (and Bonzo was cartoonishly puny), but the battle room was pretty awesome and I liked it overall.  I will be glad to see this again when Julie gets around to finishing the book, ha ha.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (22 November) -- The We-Can't-Possibly-Wait-Past-Opening-Night-So-We-Hired-a-Babysitter Method

Yeah, we weren't going to try to take a six-month-old to this one on opening night, and we certainly didn't want to wait, so we hired my sister's oldest girl to watch him!  He's had a couple of experiences with babysitters, and he IS getting better with stranger danger, and we planned to go after bedtime to minimize Katy's responsibilities and having to deal with a possibly frantic baby an hour after putting him down (which he had started to do the week or so before for some reason...).  We worried whether or not everything were going all right, but Katy was very confident and we had good company, and eventually we just trusted that no news was good news and all was fine, and when we came home learned that he did wake up, but she managed to calm him down and get him back to sleep.  Hurrah!!!  We shall use this method again (that means you, Mr. Baggins).

Mini movie review:  Um, yes.  I liked it a lot.  I haven't read the books in several years, so a lot of things were totally new to me and I couldn't remember them happening at all, so it was pretty exciting.  The only problem is that I wanted the last one to start immediately after (and also just be one movie instead of split into two).

Thor: The Dark World (23 November) -- The Go-In-Shifts Method

This was probably our most experimental concept.  The idea is that one goes to a matinee while the other stays home with the baby, and then they come home and swap places.  It worked out all right, except that we had some scheduling and timing issues so Julie wasn't able to see it until a few days after I did.  It's not ideal, but it worked, and can be a good way to fill a Saturday afternoon in a pinch.  Still, it's more fun to see movies together (I used to go to movies alone now and then, and didn't really mind, but now all I can do the whole time is think of how Julie would respond and things I would whisper to her during the previews or the movie).  Again, not the best method, but it was an interesting experiment.

Mini movie review:  I thought the first Thor was okay until I saw it a second time, when I realized it's kind of silly.  I liked the second one a lot better, though it still had too much Loki.  Loki is laaaaaame.  My favorite parts were every time he was pwned.  Captain America, please.

Frozen (27 November) -- The Maybe-He's-Old-Enough-To-Be-Quietly-Amused-Or-Perhaps-Nap-Through-An-Opening-Day-Matinee-For-An-Animated-Movie-I-Can't-Really-Wait-For Method

This was probably one of our biggest risks.  It's generally hard for me to wait even one day to see the latest from Disney Animation (except for Wreck-It-Ralph, which for reasons I had no problem waiting several months to see...).  The Boy doesn't watch much TV, but when he does he's pretty mesmerized, so we thought it was worth a try to take him to an animated movie where there would surely be other kids present.  We also planned it to be around naptime and picked seats (reserved seats FTW, by the way, but fees for online ticket buying FTL) immediately adjacent to the exit just in case, ready to take him into the stairwell or the hallway as needed.  As predicted, he WAS mesmerized by the trailers and opening scenes, and then, as hoped for, he did actually fall asleep on an off for about an hour, and hardly made a peep the entire rest of the time.  This method might not work as he gets older and noisier and wigglier, but who knows, maybe he'll inherit his daddy's love of animation and Disney and be perfectly glad to sit quietly through them in the future too.

Mini movie review:  For some reasons I was worried this wouldn't be as good as I thought it should be, but I was actually pretty into it, and left wanting to see it again right away, which just doesn't happen that often anymore.  I still and I'm sure forever will wish it were 2D animated like it was originally going to be, but it was very beautiful an vibrant and exciting and a musical (I haven't been able to get the soundtrack out of my head for days... though I still would love to have heard what Alan Menken would have done with that score), and the real star is definitely Anna, as you can see.  I used to devour everything about a new Disney movie before seeing it, including the music, but I've become a little more spoiler-wary in later years, which makes the first viewing experience pretty fun.  There were quite a few surprises along the way.  Olaf still hasn't won me over, but he wasn't as annoying as I feared.

So that's how that's been going for the first six months.  We didn't want to have to hire a sitter EVERY time we go see something, if he can possibly go with us, which for a while he on occasion has been able to.  Even when he's good in movies we're still pretty relieved when it's over (we certainly don't want to be Those Parents, and we clearly take precautions to avoid being such), and while we but it's nice to know there are options and we can still do this thing we enjoy doing while also enjoying our delightful little Bobo.  Sometimes I can't imagine him being any cuter or me loving him any more than I do, but then he is and then I do, and it just amazes me every time.   Happy six months, my son!
He evidently liked the tree lighting at Riverwoods.


  1. We took our 16 month old to Frozen because my whole family was going and we thought wed be sociable, even though we were sure there was no way she was going to sit through it all. We took snacks and sat on the end of a row - and never got up. She LOVED it, and even said "Uh-oh," when the chandelier fell and quacked when some snow ducks were running around. (I don't know what they really were. She thought ducks.) She sat on all of my brothers' laps and visited both granparents and ate tons of popcorn and craisins, but it was a total success.

    1. That sounds like a great success! And it also makes me really optimistic for the future, since most people say things like, "enjoy doing so-and-so now, because soon you'll NEVER BE ABLE TO AGAIN!!!" even though they said things like that we would never be able to take our baby to a movie after he was four or five months old. Maybe SOME babies can't, but so far ours did okay. :)

  2. We've ways worked it out for movies we really want to see :) Granted we go a lot less now, but if it's one that is a must for us we make it work. Silly people. Also Rose loved Frozen, until the last 20 minutes, then she found it a snooze ;)

    1. Probably because that's when all the musical numbers ended, ha ha. Or maybe she just grew too sleepy.