hello august

August 2, 2009 |  Category:   life





August is here. Which means that the remainder of summer will fly by and just when we’ve established some sort of comfortable summer routine in our days, Fall and Back to School is being pushed at us on all fronts. I even saw Halloween stuff in stores today, but there is still so much that we haven’t done this summer – a trip to the water park off the West Side, a visit to the High Line, a ferry ride back to Governor’s Island. But with September now looming around the corner, Mia, who has started reading simple sentences seemingly overnight, found out by mail on Friday, who her new Kindergarten teacher is. She was so excited to hear the name of her new teacher that it inspired her to get down her beads and make a necklace for her right away.

This summer Mark and I decided to start a new family tradition that we hope we can keep up with even as the business gets busier come Fall – family movie night. It’s no secret that Mark and I haven’t gone to the movies much since we’ve had kids (an embarrassingly low number of times, actually), and believe it or not we only just joined NetFlix a few months ago. We decided on Friday to watch E.T. The kids haven’t watched many movies that aren’t animation based and we had no idea if it’d scare them, but we gave it a try. They were allowed to stay up late, and with bowls of freshly popped corn in their laps, we watched the movie together. It went over well (E.T. totally had to win Claudine over though, because she seemed a initially frightened by him, but he did. Eventually).

Given how well that went, we decided to take the girls out to a real movie theater for a treat to see Up today. Along with our own lameness about not going to the movies, we haven’t taken Mia to a movie yet, though she’s gone twice with a friend of hers. We figured we’d take Claudine because she seemed to have a good attention span for watching live theater performances and movies at home. We grossly overestimated. It started off ok. The theater lobby was exciting and picking out bulk candy by the pound to take into the theater put the girls in a giddy mood. When we first entered the theater, Claudine looked up at the high ceilings as she walked into the dark room and breathed a quiet “wow”. When we sat down, she barely was heavy enough to weigh down the seat. But she sat there through previews and quietly munched on M&Ms. About ten minutes into the movie she started covering her ears and closing her eyes tight. Then she started to cry. I guess it’s been so long time since we’ve been in theaters ourselves and we totally forgot how loud the sound could be. Mark took her out and 5 minutes later brought her back in. She lasted another 5 minutes before she started crying again, this time louder, so Mark took her out again. He waited in the car where she fell asleep while Mia and I watched the movie. But about halfway through I noticed that Mia had stopped munching on her candy. She sat stone faced and I asked her if she was scared, which she denied. About 20 minutes before the end of the movie I hear a little voice say “I want to go home”. 1 minute later and a little louder, “I want to go home. I’m scared”. So after about 8 times of this, each one getting louder (yeah, i was really pushing it), we left. I guess the girls aren’t ready, though I suspect if we watched the movie on our smaller TV at home, they’d be fine. Since it doesn’t look like we’ll be going to the movies anytime soon, this fuels our flat-screen TV envy even more (I think we may be one of the only people we know that still has a clunky old TV).

So…who’s gonna tell me how Up ends?

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  • julia August 3, 2009 at 12:15 am

    They return home and the old grandfather continues to play an active role in Russell’s (was that his name? It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie myself) life even attending his badge ceremony since his father didn’t make it. It’s a sweet story that totally had me tearing up, but I’ve got to admit that I found some of the scenes terribly scary, too – like the crazy dogs and their master. I think the cuckoo discoverer guy ultimately fell to his death – out of a plane? Or was it that he fell off the house fighting the main character? Somebody help clarify my muddled memory!

  • Andrew Thornton August 3, 2009 at 12:16 am

    I don’t know how the movie ends, but if it makes you feel better – I don’t have a flat screen. We hardly have a TV at all. We mostly watch things on Hulu or to fulfill my TrueBlood and Project Runway addictions, go over to friends’ houses.

  • Katie August 3, 2009 at 4:53 am

    I don’t know about the movie, but we too still have a clunker of a TV, You’re not alone. 🙂

  • .amanda. August 3, 2009 at 8:25 am

    oh how cute!! I think an at home movie night is an amazing bonding experience for a family! I wish I had has one in my family growing up.

    I babysit a 7 [almost 8] year old and even she still gets scared at the movies. [with it being so loud]

  • Sam August 3, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I don’t know how it ends either; my kids still don’t like the movie theatre because it’s too loud. They love to have movie nights at home though; the plus for us is that it’s much cheaper 🙂

  • Lani August 3, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I just saw Harry Potter yesterday and had to stuff my ears with tissues. Seriously, every movie I go to I have to plug my ears. Maybe C inherited my eardrums.

  • Lani August 3, 2009 at 10:24 am

    forgot to say: I love your movie night idea!!!!

  • karen August 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

    we still have a clunker of a tv too, and yeah, my kids havnt been to the movies or even watched them on tv yet ( they watch cartoons, just think most movies are still a little long and have potentially scary parts), so I don’t think it’s lame. I actually think a lot of parents/kids watch that stuff before they’re ready. Having said that, it will be fun when they are older and we start the family movie night tradition.

  • Basht August 3, 2009 at 10:48 am

    i’m lucky in that respect, i’ll be taking llusion to stars and strollers until she’s able to handle the normal theatre…one day a week the big theatres in my city (and across canada) go baby/kid friendly, they just dim the lights if they lower them at all and they lower the sound. they also have stroller parking and a change table set up. I’ve taken my 9 month old to 2 movies now.
    Unfortunatly the day we were going to see UP we weren’t able to and so we bought the jr. readers version of the book. Llusion doesn’t care yet, but i enjoyed reading it to her.

  • Maureen August 3, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Check around the various theaters in your area – some have morning shows geared for kids where the lights aren’t off completely and the noise levels are lower AND all the people going are families so they won’t be annoyed by a little noise from your kids. Also, the movies they show are typically G rated and geared for younger kids.

  • HaeWon August 3, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Ha ha this is too funny. I had the same experience with my daughter. http://cadencelee.com/blog/2009/06/26/dinner-and-a-movie-night/

  • Luann August 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t know how Up ends but I do still have an old Sony tv – it turned 20 this year and just won’t die. The picture’s still pretty awesome but it’s tiny compared to what’s out there now!

  • Fiona August 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Here’s a chime for the Clunker Brigade. Our “young” TV is about 8 years old, and the older one (which lives in the closet) is more like 20.

    We don’t go to the movies because the other patrons are so loud. It makes me grumpy. Then Charles is grumpy. Then no one has any fun.

  • Mery August 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Oh poor Claudine! Tino has the same issue with the volume at the movies. Last movie we went to see was Monsters v. Aliens while on spring vacation. We weren’t prepared and we just went like that, he must’ve looked like a weirdo because we all had to give him our fleece jackets so he could put them over his head to muffle the volume to be able to stand it, specially of the previews… which for some reason are so much louder! Now we know and went to Home Depot and got him some of those headphones thingies that gardeners and carpenters use for next time.

    We also have big issues with him about being scared when he’s watching a movie, so now we try to watch it first to decide if he’ll be o.k. …Sometimes you forget that they are so little (Tino will be 5 next month) …because they act older than their age (like Mia and Claudine do)

  • kathleen August 3, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    i recently went to the theater with my daughter and i was taken back not only by the volume but how the sound was actually vibrating of our bodies. kinda freaky so i can only imagine how intense it was your wee ones.

    i bet your girls would love the drive-in and they could go in their pj’s which is lots of fun. hopefully there is a drive-in still around in your area. sadly, all our drive-ins but one have closed.

    i think your family movie night sounds like a lovely tradition. enjoy! 🙂

  • shannon August 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I saw UP, and was crying my eyes out at the end. There were a few scary parts and I thought it wasn’t appropriate for kids either….mean dogs, fighting, the mean adventure guy and his plotting and he does die…, falls to his death, I think!
    and I dont’ even have kids!
    oh, and we don’t have a flat screen either, still this huge box tv

  • Alison August 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I’m coming out of lurkdom to share something. I totally identify with Claudine in her quiet way of taking in everything and thinking long and hard before doing things. I was a lot like her as a child. Elizabeth Aron’s name for it is the Highly Sensitive Person (I still find it kind of funny as a label, but anyway…)

    It was a relief to me to have a name for being the kind of person I am, and perhaps it’ll be of some help in understanding Claudine and helping her (though you two seem to be doing just fine), or maybe in explaining it to people like her teachers.

    I love reading your blog, even if I feel like a stalker for knowing so much about a family I’ve never met!

  • Lecia/A Day that is Dessert August 4, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Abbott at age 7 still can’t sit through a movie at the theatre – too loud; all of them too scarey. I’ll add ET to our netflix queue – I had forgotten about that one.

  • leslie August 4, 2009 at 2:23 am

    Movie theaters can be scary for kids, especially if you see a 3D version of a movie. Most of the time I end up with one (or two!) of my kids in my lap!

  • Lara August 4, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Oh Lord, I love the first photo of Claudine’s legs in the pool. How chubby cute!!!

  • emily August 4, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Yes, we know that feeling! It took 3 visits to the theater with about 4 month between each visit before our little guy (now 3 1/2) could go to the movies and last. We realized that it has to be a movie that he already is familiar with to keep him interested, at least at this stage. So we get Madagascar on Netflix, he watches it 20 times, then he is excited to see the sequel in the theater….I guess we’re all learning!
    Also, home movie night has been a real great thing for our little family. We work too much (from home) so it is hard to make real time to do something just fun without interruption- so we love the popcorn and tv approach (yes, after years of hand-me down tvs, we have a flat-screen now and we are very happy with it!)…still no cable, but with netflix that’s okay!

  • karmen August 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    my son is 5. last year we took him to WallE in a cinema cafe along with 6 other kids ranging in age from 3 – 12. Max, my son, was terrified and intrigued by the movie at the same time. we had to keep bringing him out only to have him tell us he didn’t want to leave because he had to know if WallE would end up ok. he was shrieking and crying but could not leave without knowing the ending. I thought it was so incredible that the other little 3 year old was sitting there just absorbed in the movie with no fear issues at all. This summer, we took him to UP. he did just fine except for the ending freaked him a bit. it freaked me a bit. but he didn’t cry and didn’t ask to leave. needless to say, we don’t do movies too often. and we have a tv but no cable or converter box so are doing a little Hulu, a little noggin.com for Max and alot of reading and other stuff. I don’t miss it at all but still dream of that flat screen hanging on my wall somewhere.

    I really like reading your blog! food and family…love it!

    Karmen in Mpls MN

  • Jenna August 5, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Alison, Thanks for that link. I’ll look into it. C is pretty sensitive though I do see that she is growing out of some of her sensitivities as she gets older. She’s much different this year than she was last year.

  • Annisia August 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Where is this amazing pool?

  • Franziska August 8, 2009 at 5:24 am

    this post made me smile!

    we have a old tv too and we are absolutely not thinking of replacing it! it may be 18 years but still does everything a good tv has to do and it doesn’t look that old either!

  • Jenna August 12, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Annisia, this is my parents’ town pool out on Long Island. It’s pretty great, with a separate kiddie pool and a playground behind the pool. There are also ball fields, tennis courts – and although we haven’t done it yet – lots of hills for sledding.