“Would you like to go to the cinema?” I ask teeniest, having spotted a great new children’s film about to show at our small town theatre.
“Will there be trains there? Or cars?” he replies excitedly. I suddenly realise that we haven’t ever taken him to the cinema before and so he has no idea what it actually is!
“No, no trains or cars”, I say with a smile. “Going to the cinema is a bit like watching a film on television, only the screen is much bigger.”
“Oh”, says teeniest, brain whirring.
“You usually get treats at the cinema as well”, I add. “Drinks, sweets, popcorn – things like that.”
“OK. I’ll go”, he replies immediately, rushing into the hall to look for his shoes. “Can we go straight now?”…
Three sleeps later and it’s cinema day.
“You said there was a big TV”, whines teeniest when we get to the auditorium. All he can see is dark red curtains which are hiding the screen.
“You’ll see it in a minute”, I say, trying to find our seats. As soon as we sit down, he’s up again. He’s found that banging the seat down as hard as you can, then watching it bounce up again is a great game.
Curtains open, lights dim and the trailers start.
“Who’s got the TV remote?”, teeniest shouts, as he kneels on his seat and peers around the cinema in the dark to try and find the lucky person.
“No-one, darling”, I whisper, trying desperately to get him to sit down again and be quiet. “There’s a man at the back who projects the film onto the screen. Now let’s just watch the trailers”.
“Trailers”, he repeats incredulously, standing up again. “Why didn’t you say there were tractors here? You said there were no cars…”
Film eventually starts. Teeniest starts fidgeting. I think he’s still looking for the man with the TV remote. Then he says he needs a wee, so we dash to the toilet.
Half an hour passes. I try to get into the film.
* Munches noisly on a bag of crisps
*Sucks furiously on a drink carton straw, making slurpy noises just as the film gets to a quiet scene
*Says he needs a wee again (I realise he’s taken a liking to the handdryer in the ladies)
*Gets glared at by the grown up in front whose seat he has been continuously kicking
*Starts searching through my handbag for a red toy car that he insists he brought with him and has to play with NOW.
Once again I try to ignore him. The film is getting to a good bit. I know it’s a children’s film but even I am quite gripped.
“Mummy.” Teeniest starts prodding me again.
“Mummy,” he announces loudly. “I think I like coming to the cinema…
But when’s the film actually going to start?”