After the picture finally started, the two oldest kids made two trips each to the restroom, which in practical terms means we ALL went to the restroom four times. The youngest ate more than half of an $8 sack of popcorn and talked merrily throughout the film while giving me non-stop High Fives. Then she removed and tossed one of her shoes down the aisle. I do not see well in the dark, but always bring a pocket flashlight with me for these special occasions. Middle child took his shoes off as the credits rolled, then went running and leaping up and down the theater aisles. Oldest child offered to share her Skittles with every kid leaving the theater. She and her brother danced until the house lights came up, then we looked for their shoes.
And once we got to the car, loaded up and locked in with seat belts, my three-year-old son screams, "Daddy! I left Nemo inside the movie house!" Nemo is a beloved stuffed toy, a Clown fish from the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo. Whereever my son goes, Nemo goes.
Nothing to do but unload everyone, bang on the Exit door of the theater until a kind soul let us in, then pick our way through the theater in our quest for Finding Nemo.
Alas, the stuffed fish was not in Theater #8. But the nice folks at Lost & Found had indeed found Nemo, no worse for the wear and tear except for a few pieces of buttered popcorn stuck to his gills.
Half an hour later, we were back in the car and on the road. Youngest had both her shoes. Mr. Elephant was in the possession of my oldest. And middle child clutched Nemo to his chest -- a clear sign that going back into the theater was the right thing to do. Hell, the only thing to do.
Over ice cream the kids talked happily about how much fun they have going to the movies. And I thought quietly that the tale of a Talking Plane and his adventures with firefighters in the Pacific Northwest could scarcely compare to the real-world excitement of lost shoes, finding Nemo, and making so many trips to the potty I am thinking of equipping everyone with a colostomy bag.
Fatherhood: the most challenging job I ever loved.
(For those of you on the fence about the Planes sequel, truth be told it's better than the original. The computer animation is a wow. For kids and their parents -- at least the parts we managed to see.)
Cinema Uprising copyright © 2014 by Steve Evans. All rights reserved.