In Defense of Bringing a Baby to the Movies
We came. We saw. We ate popcorn.
During my maternity leave with my first child, I dreamed about hauling the baby to the movies for a matinee. But I was too afraid. What if the baby cried? What if she pooped? What if I dropped her pacifier? The horrors! Since then, I’ve lightened up a bit. I’ve learned that babies aren’t Gremlins. You can take them into public, feed them, and live a normal life with one in tow (You just flash more boob).
Two weeks ago, in the middle of a deep freeze that gripped our area of the Midwest, I took both kids (my 2-year-old and 6-month-old baby) to the movies to see Frozen. My daughter loves movies and my son, well, I didn’t think much about strapping him in the Ergo and bringing him along too, until I got up to the ticket counter.
“Um, you’re bringing him in?” The girl asked.
“Yes, is that a problem?” I said. She just rolled her eyes and waved us through.
When I settled in my seat and dug out the nursing cover, a couple of women near me, in the almost empty theater looked over and sighed. “I never took my kids to a movie until they were 5,” one of the women said loudly. Her friend murmured a response. And I made sure to flash some boob in their direction, when my son started to nurse.
Once the movie started, the baby nursed and then fell asleep, while my daughter sat mesmerized—laughing at Olaf the Snowman, crying for Princess Anna. It was a lovely afternoon and completely uneventful. If the baby had started to cry, I would have had no problem taking him out to the hall to calm him, while my daughter sat with our friends.
But not everyone agrees with my choice. According to an informal Baby Center poll, only 22 percent of parents say they would bring their baby to a movie. Forty percent of respondents said they would go if there were special “baby friendly” showings and 28 percent responded “even when my baby’s invited, I’m too distracted to get into the movie.” Also, according to a Cafe Mom poll, 51 percent of respondents said babies should not be allowed in movie theaters.
I feel conflicted. As a movie-goer, I understand the frustration of having a film ruined because of a crying baby. However, as a mom stuck inside the house with two kids, I enjoyed the chance to get out and see a movie. And I’m sure I will do it again. Over the summer, our local theater offers free showings of kid-friendly movies. And I can’t wait to take my daughter to some of those to beat the mid-summer heat and I’m sure the baby will be in tow. Let’s just hope he always stays compliant.
What do you think: Would you take your baby to the movies?
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