Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Afternoon Matinee

We really enjoy movies in our family. Before G-Dog and ConMan were born, CPod worked extra Saturdays and saved the cash so that we could afford to install a projector and 108" screen in our basement. We figured once the twins arrived, we might not ever leave the house again, so why not splurge on what could be our only source of entertainment in the future?

Now, we only rarely go out to the movies. When we have a babysitter, we'd rather go someplace we can have an actual conversation. We love to eat good food, and movie theater popcorn, while good, does not quite meet my ridiculously high food-snob standards. (I am absolutely not being sarcastic here. Seriously.)

There's also something to be said for a film operator who is willing to pause the movie for you if you have to use the bathroom. Let's be honest. I leave the bathroom door open and keep watching the movie while I pee. Can you do that at your neighborhood stadium seating multiplex? I think not.

I won't even go into other things you're allowed to do in our theater.

As our children have grown, they have come to enjoy the wonders of the projector as well. Except for the time we rented Charlotte's Web. The first time that 18 inch spider appeared on the screen, my little boys couldn't climb over their daddy and up the stairs fast enough. We only made it 10 minutes in before they'd had enough.

They were much younger then, so today, I decided to try again. We put MayDay down for a nap, and then, upstairs on the normal sized television set we have in our living room, I turned on Charlotte's Web.

First of all, it was my intention to turn on the movie and then go be productive doing other things, like folding laundry or cleaning the bathrooms or cooking dinner for the missionaries. But I was totally sucked in. You see, Charlotte's Web is one of the first books I remember reading. I remember finishing my work quickly in Ms. O'Neill's first grade class so I could get out my book and read. I remember figuring out ways to stay up late so I could read into the night. (I devised all kinds of methods later in life . . . that's a post all its own.) I remember crying when Charlotte died. (Sorry if you haven't read it. But what rock have you been hiding under?) And mostly I remember loving every word.

I sat on the couch snuggled up with my twins for the entire 100 minutes, surreptitiously wiping away my tears, and I loved every minute of it. I loved Julia Roberts' intelligent voice for Charlotte. I loved Oprah Winfrey's mama goose voice. I even loved gross and slimey Steve Buscemi as Templeton the rat. And my boys loved it, too.

But we didn't love it until about 10 minutes in. And it's all G-Dog's fault. Here's how it went:

(Opening credits roll, narrator begins to tell story of the young girl who did something extraordinary . . .)

G-Dog: Mommy, who is that girl?
Mommy: She's Fern.
G: Is that her room?
M: Yes.
G: Why is it raining?
M: Sometimes it does that.
G: Why is she getting up in the middle of the night?
M: I don't know.
G: Where is she going?
M: I don't know.
G: Why is the light on in the barn?
M: I don't know.
G: Who is that man?
M: I don't know.
G: How many baby piggies are there?
M: I don't know.
G: Is that her dad?
M: Yes.
G: What is he going to do to that pig?
M: I don't know. (I really did know, but I didn't have the heart to tell him he was going to kill the runt. Turns out I needn't have been so discreet.)
G: Is he going to kill that baby piggie?
M: Just watch!
G: Why does that girl want the piggie?
M: She didn't want him to get hurt.
G: Why does her daddy need the piggies?
M: He sells them for money.

(30 seconds later)

G: Why is she taking the piggie to school?
M: She wants to make sure he gets taken care of.
G: Why did she get in trouble?
M: Because she shouldn't have taken the pig to school.
G: How many animals are in the barn?
M: I don't know.
G: Is the piggie going to scare that rat?
M: I don't know.
G: Is the rat the bad guy?
M: No. His name is Templeton.
G: Is the mommy pig turned into money?
M: No, she's in another barn and she'll have more babies later.
G: Did the other baby piggies get turned into money?
M: They were sold.
G: Did the mommy piggy get turned into food?
M: No.
G: Is Wilbur the good guy?
M: Yes. Just watch the movie, G-Dog! If you would stop talking long enough to listen to the dialogue, you would learn the answers to most of your questions!

He never stops. Well, almost never. He did finally become absorbed enough in the story to stop his mental bleed-out.

Exhausted, I tell you. I am exhausted!


  1. I have an almost 14 year-old who STILL watches movies the way your son does. Thank goodness for "pause" and rewind on that magical DVR.

    Long ago I came up with my billion dollar idea, which was mini-screens in the ladies' room stalls of movie theaters. First they sell you a six gallon diet Coke, then they won't pause the movie for you! Sadists!

  2. Can I come over for a movie??? he he he

    My husband and I love movies and we used to go quite regularly until we became parents, now is a rare thing because just like you we rather talk than sit at the theater unless is something that we really want to see (funny how I don't die if I don't watch a certain movie anymore, sometimes is even hard to find a good one).

    I think my little one will be like that in the future, because at his short 2 years sometimes he talks non-stop :)

  3. So funny! I loved all the "I don't know" answers. That is me. My husband on the other hand just makes it up as he goes and my now five year old thinks her daddy is "an expert on everything" in her words.
    The laundry probably would have been less exhausting! I love to snuggle up for a movie with my little people too!

  4. That's how Lathen watches movies. He even asks me what is going to happen in a movie he has memorized! Ah! I'm feeling you!

  5. I'm afraid that is what I do to my husband sometimes when I watch his totally-over-my-head spy movies.

    When I was little my dad used to stop the movie about 1/2 way through and say the following. "Okay, who wants to know how it is going to end?" Well we never did, but he told us anyways and the worst part was that he was always right!!!

  6. My Rachel is that way when we read books together. Now I just stop reading and make a face at her and then she rephrases her "Why did that happen" question to be "I wonder why that happened." For some reason that doesn't bug me as much....

  7. Charlotte's Web is a favorite around here too. I get sucked in every time, no matter how many times we watch it.
    And, I totally ask my husband a million questions too, during his action packed thrillers. It's the worst when we are in the theatre b/c you can't pause it and I totally annoy him.

  8. You guys had a great idea! -maybe I should talk my husband into doing that ;) -

    G-dog and my MIL should never get together to watch a movie.

  9. Boy, that sounds exactly like watching a movie at our house!! I love Charlotte's Web- I remember reading it as a little girl, too! I haven't watched the new movie- I will have to rent it soon and maybe I will post all the questions that Reilly will ask...

  10. The little conversation is so funny! That always happens to Lilly and me, except it is when I am reading a story. It is really hard to read a story AND answer continual questions!


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