Took the three older grand-kiddos to the movie last weekend. Yep, the two kindergarten grandsons were uninvited. On purpose. Now before you go writing hate mail to me, let just say this: “Mr. Poppers Penguins.”
See, I used to read that book when I taught second grade. So when the movie was released I called dibs on taking all five of the eldest grandkids to see this film. I was so excited!! I even figured out how to turn the movie booster seats upside down to serve as a tray for all the snacks. Oh…you knew that already? Sigh. Well, the movie started and the thirteen year old, nine and eight year old and the fifty-something year old was chuckling at so many penguins creating chaos for Jim Carrey. The two five year olds were good as gold. Until then.
‘Then’. I don’t know how to explain ‘then’ but the movie was nearly over and one five year old we will call ‘Jack’ and the other one will be known as ‘Conner’ both started moving. In opposite directions. As I was trying to sit one down, the other circled around. Before I knew what was happening, they escaped! Conner, with the mischievous smile and glint in his eye went one way. Jack, with his glasses on one end of his body and clomping fireman boots on the other end bolted down to the front of the theater. I started after them Sure of my skills as a parent and teacher, I was so confident that one scolding shout of “BOYS!” would suffice.
Umm no. Faster than a penguin toboggans across the ice, there were my grandsons running in front of the screen. I was mortified! And too slow. Couldn’t catch them for anything. I tried. I would hide in the outside theater seat and sit low so I could catch ’em as they ran by. No go. Now the thing is, I am short. But they are shorter. So while they were really not being that disruptive, I sure was! My “faster than a speeding bullet” waddle was no match for run-away testosterone, even in the Pre-K size. They were having a ball. I was having a fit. As I got close to them, I would hear a small voice proclaim, “There she is! Go this way!” Do you know how hard it is to chase small children in the dark? I was desperate. I decided I would move to the edge and trip them when they whooshed by. Nothing doing. I would zig and they would zag. I sweated and they laughed.
My other grandkids sat wide-eyed and serious. Somebody was going to get in big trouble! The question was: will it be those two “awful, terrible no-good very bad” boys, or the lady running around the theater disturbing the other patrons?
Soon, I gave up. I grabbed the other kids, jackets, my purse and headed up that darkly lit ramp to the exit. Those three grandkids were in shock. One would say later, “I don’t think he has ever been that bad for my parents.” Gee, I have all the luck.
As we headed up the ramp, here come two little out of breath, yet quite proud of themselves boys, giggling to beat all. Wasn’t that fun? Well, let me just say that “Mr. Poppers Penguins” drew an icy response from me and yes, there was some ‘popping’ going on with my hand on their fannies. Oh come on, you know I am old school and I don’t play. None of that sugar coated, “I am so disappointed with you and your bad choices.” Huh uh. And don’t even think about a ‘time out’ chair. I was in the mood for an electric chair. I was wicked mad.
Now…I did call both of my own children and told them that I had to enact some tough love on their perspective offspring due to their horrible theater behavior. My son said very little. He knows. My daughter, however, was picturing all of this in her head, and was stifling giggles. Boy, was I mad. I told those two juvenile delinquents they were NOT going to the next movie, then sealed that promise with kisses. And hugs. My kids would tell me later, “Mom….I know you will see the humor in this one day. Maybe it will even be in a story.”
Well….here’s your story. I have seen the humor in all of it, even if I still lay awake at night and say, “When did it all go so wrong? When did I lose total control?”
So…next time you get to thinking about taking a herd of children to the movies, I warn you to reconsider.
Those little buggers are fast!