May 16, 2011

Hire a Sitter or Stay Home

On Saturday, Hubby and I managed to get out of the house for a rare date night. For the first time in nearly two years we saw a movie in a movie theater!! I found an on-line deal and snagged our tickets for just $4.50 each (normally $10 each). 
On the way into the theater, I joked that we somehow managed to pick the only R rated movie in the facility (Bridesmaids), and thus would be able to enjoy our movie without a bunch of chatty teens. As the lights dimmed and the opening scene of the movie began, a baby started crying. The baby was in the audience, not the movie. Throughout the movie, the mom or dad would either stand up and bop around the aisle with the baby or venture out into the hall. I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed. Hire a sitter or stay home. I don't buy into "Oh, my baby can sleep through anything." Have you been to a movie lately? They're loud. They're usually no less than two hours when you factor in previews. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a baby to be quiet during the entire thing. Still on the side of the parents? I bet you wouldn't feel that way if they had rolled in with twins, triplets or quadruplets. But one baby is OK, right? No.
I swear I'm not one of "those people"... the kind who roll their eyes whenever a child acts up in public. I'm a mom. I get it. Babies, kids, teens... they all have their moments. But if I'm paying to go to a movie with a rating that is designed to keep anyone under the age of 18 from being in there, I don't expect to be confronted with a crying baby. So the "poor parents" just needed to get out of the house? Suck it up. Hubby and I are lucky to get to a movie once a year because of the cost associated with hiring a sitter. Or go to a movie where the moviegoers expect to be surrounded by children. Even before having children, I knew if I went to a movie targeted toward children/families, I was bound to encounter whispering, restless kids. (I also think the program that designates "baby nights" at theaters is genius. At least you know you'll be surrounded by babies on those nights).
Don't get me started on the concept of an R movie. Bridesmaids is filled with hilariously raunchy, bawdy comedy. While the infant in question had no concept of the comedy involved, I just wonder how many f-bombs registered in his/her ears. Speaking of inappropriate scenes, it didn't help that there were at least two kids in the audience. They were there with their parents and appeared to be about 12 and 7. Their parents sat on the opposite side of the theater and the kids sat in our row. The oldest one repeatedly put his feet on the seat next to them, then put his feet down and let the seat slam, jarring the entire aisle. Plus he and his brother constantly got up for bathroom breaks or to just wander around. Yes, that can happen in any movie, but I'm still wondering why the parents let those kids watch such an inappropriate movie for children. You can argue that an R rating simply means anyone underage must be accompanied by a parent. Ratings exist for a reason. If you want to take the whole family to a movie, opt for something more family-friendly. There were plenty of those choices on Saturday.
Let me reiterate, I'm not the type of person who typically gets annoyed with children misbehaving or even just acting like kid out in public. After the movie we stopped for dinner at a family restaurant. There were lots of kids there being loud. It didn't phase me. If I wanted peace and quiet, I would have gone to an "upscale" restaurant. I don't expect a quiet meal at a family restaurant, but I do expect age-appropriate movie goers in an R rated movie.
****On a lighter note, thank you to those of you who have been voting for Buried in Laundry to be included in the Top 25 Parents with Multiples List by Circle of Moms. Please continue to vote once every 24 hours through May 30. Thank you!!


MaryAnne said...

Okay, I took one-month-old Johnny to the movie theater with me, and he slept through the entire movie. It wasn't R-rated, though, and we left Emma with my dad.

Honestly, I'm more shocked at the parents bringing their 7- and 12-year-old children to a movie like "Bridesmaids"...

Quadmama said...

I truly don't have a problem with a baby in a movie that's not rated R. To me, though, R movies are meant for just adults. And yes, I'm still shocked those young kids were at the movie... and seemed to understand some of the jokes.

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your commentary! Particularly since becoming a mom, I think I am very understanding of kids "acting like kids" in appropriate settings. However, I find myself getting more annoyed than ever when parents drag kids where (in my opinion) they don't belong, and/or allow them to disrupt a non-kid-friendly environment.

This tends to fall into two camps in my mind...I see parents dragging poor kiddos along to accommodate the parents' schedules...eating in a restaurant during what appears to be the poor child's naptime...or traipsing through the grocery store at 8:30pm when the child is so tired she doesn't know who she is.

And then there are the folks - as you described - who take children to inappropriate an R-rate movie...just because the parents want to go.

It seems to never fail that when I get out for some coveted alone time while the girls nap on the weekend, or - even more rare - a date night with hubby, we run into this situation. That's exactly what I'm trying to "escape" on my date night, folks! HA!!!

Quadmama said...

You brought up another good point. During the holiday season, my part-time retail employer is open until midnight. I could write a whole other post on parents who drag their clearly exhausted kids shopping at 11pm or later!

Stephanie Barr said...

I don't bring babies to movies. That's a consideration thing. My son, now seven, has never behaved well at the theater and, when he acted up, my husband or I sacrificed and sat with him in the car until the movie was finished. This did not have to happen many times for us to stop taking him.

Because my daughter is three, I haven't really tested her in the theater. With the kids' extensive movie collection (and the fact my husband and I like animated movies on our own), it's easier for us to see them and just buy them on DVD so they can watch them at home.

Having said all that, I do not, as a general rule, worry much about ratings and my children. There are things I've considered inappropriate that I have found offensive and many a poorly rated movie that struck me as benign. I judge for myself, but I do so at home. My daughter saw many more "adult" things when she was younger which were apparently benign compared to what she saw in school. Even though she's a teenager, I still don't take her to R-rated moves, but I don't keep her from seeing them at home. She's old enough, in my opinion, to judge for herself.

Stephanie said...

Ugh. I could have written this post. My comment is always "If I wanted to hear screaming babies, I could go home." But instead I got someone to sit with my kids (and probably paid them $10 an hour!) so that I could come out and listen to someone else's kid scream because they are clearly out way too late! AND listen to the parents scream at the kid because they have no parenting skills. Because if they did they wouldn't have a 3 year old out at 9pm anyway. Can you tell this is a pet peeve...?

Christina said...

I feel ya. Who wants a date night at the movies while listening to a baby cry? I get annoyed when I go to the grocery store and there is a kid screaming's my time to not have to listen to that crap, don't they know that??!! ;)

Quadmama said...

Ha ha! That's why I wear my IPod at the grocery store. Then I don't have to listen to anything!

Holly Ann said...

I agree! Just like the other commenters here, if I'm on a date night, I planned it with the entire purpose of getting away from screaming children.

That said, I do not at all mind screaming children in places like family restaurants (as you mentioned) or, even more importantly, the grocery store. Kids gotta eat and it would be absurd of me to get a sitter every time I had to go grocery shopping. I'm a teacher - I don't have that kind of money. lol

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