For Valentine’s Day, we took the girls to their first movie. I’d seen the previews for Paddington, and I thought it looked sweet and funny. I checked with a couple of friends who’d seen it, and they said it was very benign. Their kiddos loved it.
The girls were excited to go. We saw a “movie” at the planetarium a few months ago, and they have been talking about it since. I prepped them as best I could, telling them how big the screen would be (“As big as the WALL???” Baby A kept asking), and that it would be dark during the movie. They were set.
The movie began sweetly, but it was no time until there was a devastating earthquake. Baby B hid her head, and Baby A started to cry. Baby B remained tentative throughout the movie, and A cried off and on for the next 90 minutes.
My A was upset that the father of the family didn’t take kindly to having a bear in the house. She was terrified of the villain in the film, the taxidermist who kept trying to steal Paddington from the family. (Yes, a taxidermist. Why I didn’t read about this and consider it might present a struggle, I don’t know.)
Baby B sat in my lap, and A sat by her daddy. He kept hugging her, reassuring her. A couple of times I tried to get his attention to see if he thought we should leave. I had mixed emotions, for sure…it was torturous seeing A upset…but I thought it might be helpful for her to see the story through to witness the conflict resolution.
The movie had a happy ending, of course. Walking out of the theater, Baby A said, “I liked the end, Mommy.” She loved seeing the last couple of minutes, the family playing in the snow with Paddington. And we talked a lot about the movie the rest of the day, confirming the girls’ understanding of certain parts, and trying to put them in context.
I don’t think the girls are scarred from the film, but I don’t think we’ll be making it back to the movies very soon. Baby A has only seen a few movies (including Curious George and Milo and Otis), and she’s found both of those to be too intense, or “scary”, as she calls them.
Certainly I hate to see my babies in distress, but I so loves their precious, tender hearts. I do hope they’re able to enjoy a good movie one day, but I hope that dear part of them never, ever fades.